Blame Game Tamed
“By age 12, I blamed God for my problems. I blamed God for my brothers’ illnesses. I blamed God for the way our home operated as a broken home. I blamed God…up until recently.”
Until recently Rafael’s life was disappointing. He notes, “My childhood was pretty horrible. I was born to an alcoholic father. My mother was an immigrant from Mexico. I have three brothers. Two of them were born with cystic fibrosis, so they were always sick growing up. I don’t remember having any good times growing up. My parents ignored me, so I started acting out at school and getting in trouble. I roamed the streets, started to steal, and was defiant. I would act out at school and ended up being expelled in the 5th grade. I had to go to a community school and continued to get in trouble. Around 12 years old, I ended up in juvenile hall and spent most of my teenage years there. I ended up getting sent to boot camp and a group home.
“I had been addicted to heroin and meth. I was in the streets; sometimes staying in a shelter. I was out of options. I didn’t know what to do. I ended up going to a local church where I gave my life to God. I asked him to help me and He has. I met some good people at that church and they have helped me. They helped me get into the mission.”
After being at the mission for several months, he shared, “Now that I’m here I feel great. I feel like I’m getting a better relationship with God. I’m getting healthy physically and mentally. I’ve been clean for a year. I’m starting to get hope for the future. I plan to get a job. Sometimes I’m very concerned about it. I’m concerned about living on my own. Will I be able to support myself? Will I be able to rent a place or a room? But I’m making plans for the future.” Rafael’s suspicion has turned into trust and his hopelessness to expectation of good things to come.
To those who give to the mission, Rafael says, “I would want to hug them all and thank them. I would tell them that I’m going to make them proud.”