From Gangbanger to Disciple

 

Living in the projects in Chicago, Louis had to ask himself: Is it okay to sell drugs if you’re doing it to provide for your family?

In his neighborhood, dealers were the only people who had money. That’s why Louis ran for many years with the Gangster Disciples, one of the largest gangs in the Windy City, dealing drugs and committing crimes. He made enough to provide for his family, plus buy cars and expensive gifts for his friends.

But his choices came with a heavy price tag.

“I had to look over my shoulder all the time,” Louis says. “I was shot at. I couldn’t trust anyone. I lived in fear the police would catch up with me, which they did. I went to jail four times.”

For decades, Louis also used drugs every day. Eventually, he stopped dealing but continued using. When his girlfriend kicked him out, he came to the Mission for help.

One by one, people started talking to him about the Discipleship program. He decided to take a chance and enter it. “I was just tired of the same old routine,” Louis explains. “I would get up, smoke weed here, snort cocaine there, drink alcohol. I realized I couldn’t stop without God and the good people here. God opened my eyes.”

Your gifts provides Louis—and so many others—with a comprehensive healing plan that includes meals, Bible training, education and job skills, mental health therapy, and more.

Thanks to you, Louis doesn’t have to look over his shoulder anymore!

“I’ve never been anywhere that cared for me this much. A lot of positive things are happening to me here,” Louis says. “I feel good.”

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