A Changed Life Became a Life Changer

Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

In 2006, Angel found himself sitting in Miami Dade’s Juvenile Detention Center for the first time.  “I didn’t comprehend [it] then, but…what should have been the end of the road for me became the initiation to a brand-new journey because God met me at that detention center.”

Specifically, God met Angel through Glenn Craig, a faithful JJM missionary with Miami YFC.  That evening, Glenn shared the Gospel, and Angel’s heart was ready to hear the life-changing message of Jesus.  He had an encounter with God through Glenn’s words, and realized he needed God and only Jesus could make that happen. That night, Angel gave his life to Christ.

Angel’s life was not perfect after that, but it was the start of a long journey with a faithful and loving God. Since 2016, Angel has been a volunteer or on staff with Miami YFC.  Last year, he finished his Master’s in Counseling, and guess who asked Angel to be a mental health counselor for youth? The very same detention center where he once was an inmate.

“I tell the kids at the detention center that God can do what seems impossible! Some of them don’t believe me…but when I pull out of my pocket the keys to the very same doors that once held me as prisoner, it all falls into perspective for them. They realize at that very moment that God has a plan for their lives, and I am the tangible evidence,” says Angel.  Even when not speaking with YFC, Angel is allowed to proudly wear our 3Story logo at the detention center as a visible nod to the God who changed his life.

John Newton, abolitionist, clergyman, and composer of Amazing Grace, wrote, “Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”  Those who know how dramatically their lives have been changed by Jesus can make the greatest impact for the Kingdom.  How many more Angel’s are sitting in the detention center today, waiting for their hearts to be stirred by the hope of Christ?  YFC is committed to standing in the gap for these youth before their lives turn around because we believe God can and will use them greatly. 

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