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David Urges Sinners To ‘Run Toward The Cross’

Jun 28, 2019

David, a college graduate, was married with two kids when the store he was managing—a Mervyn’s in the Central Valley—went bankrupt. “I had a lot of time on my hands suddenly,” he said.

He and his wife were also having issues. “We separated and I started to have a taste of the single life again,” said David, who was 35 at the time. “I started going to clubs and seeing other people. I started going back to old habits.”

David had used drugs more than a decade earlier, and their allure resurfaced. “I was drinking, and that opened the door to other things: first painkillers, then meth. Once
I started that, I didn’t care about anything else. I didn’t care about going to court for custody. I neglected everything. I was just giving my mom and my brothers heartaches.”

Then something happened that would change David’s life forever. In a drug-fueled rage, David got into a fight with his roommate. “I put him in a coma,” David said, in tears. “I put him in the car and drove him to the hospital. I walked him in in a wheelchair, filled out the paperwork, and left. The cops swarmed me before I was back. They said I was the last one with him, and they thought it was me, but I just kept denying it. I was in jail for five months, facing life. I prayed to God every day asking for a chance. Then he woke up from the coma. And he said it wasn’t me. He said he forgave me. He said he knew it wasn’t me, it was the drugs, and I was a good person. He wasn’t going to let one bad day ruin the rest of my life. He told me to give God the glory.”

David got out of jail and did well for a while, but relapsed. “My brother wanted me to go to a program, and I told him I’d think about it, but I had no intention of doing it,” he said. “But at one point, I was sitting in a parking lot at this park, down to my last $50. And I just thought, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t want to live in my car. I don’t want to repeat history and put someone in a coma again. I called my brother and said, ‘I’m ready.’”

David drove from Modesto to Santa Maria, stopping for showers at gyms and food at homeless outreaches. He even tried to get lost, a last-ditch effort to avoid recovery. “I turned on the radio. It was on a Christian radio station, which I would’ve never had it tuned to at the time. The song said, ‘God loves you, David.’ I pulled over and just cried.”

David said the transition was difficult at first. “I wanted to leave after the first day,” he said. “I started praying to God, and things got better. The program has helped me reestablish that bond with God. That’s the most important thing. Everything else—my self-esteem, confidence, my identity—it’s falling into place.”

The mission’s director, Jon Bronkowski, said David was dealing with a lot of issues when he arrived. “When he got here, I wasn’t sure David would make it six hours,” he said. “Now, he takes all the new guys under his wing, making sure they feel accepted and welcome. He’s an ambassador for every new man that comes in. That’s the transformative power of Jesus.”

David said he enjoys shepherding the mission’s new clients. “I was telling one of the new guys, ‘Right now you’re in a cave, but you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to get a hold of that light. That’s God.’

“I don’t want to let God down,” David added. “I love it here. My goal is to get right with God, be clean and be consistent. I don’t just want to just do the program, I want to apply it to my life. God has my attention. I’m not perfect, but I’m going to aim to be like him. I’ve learned that if you do sin, don’t run away from it. Run toward the cross. We are so lucky we have a loving God.”

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