Testimony In Our Community: Brother Ralph
It is almost a year since I came to Sunday Breakfast and I wanted to share a little of what it was that brought me here and what has happened during my time here. I was raised in a Christian home so The Word, salvation through Jesus, and the church as a whole was not a foreign concept. Both parents taught me the right way to live and I had nothing but love given to me growing up. However, I took a path that was different and that was one of drinking and the use of drugs on a recreational level. By the age of 27 I was introduced to heroin and thus began a very long, and painful 20 years of being in and out of addiction. After the loss of my wife to lung cancer in 2008, my life took a turn for the worse and I would spend the next 4 years in and out of treatment centers and being homeless. This brought me to the Kensington section of Philly. I spent the next year and a half on the streets and a slave to heroin.
I reached a point of being broken like never before. I was broken in every way but the most painful aspect was spiritual and family disconnect. I knew the one thing that would bring me true peace was the very thing I ran from my whole life and that was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In July 2012, I arrived at Sunday Breakfast and came into the overcomers program. Through devotions, Bible Study, and making a decision to surrender to Jesus, my life started to change. That change was very quick and radical and my desires in life changed as well. I was introduced to members of CCCNC and soon started to attend worship service regularly. I felt comfortable from the moment I came to the church and felt like I belonged and that meant so much to me.
Back in February I was blessed to attend the Justice Conference here in Philly. That experience made such an impact on me and prior to the conference I had plans to go overseas and do outreach work with those inslaved by human trafficking and the sex trade industry. The conference only fueled my desire all the more and opened my eyes to so many ways humans suffer at the hands of man. It broke my heart to see so many young boys and girls living with no hope and more importantly without the love of Jesus. Two months ago, I was offered the change to become an intern chaplain here at the mission. Through much prayer and thought, I accepted the offer. I now have a chance to see and talk with men and women who live as I once did. I still have a burden to go overseas and help those enslaved and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every other Saturday members of your church come here to fellowship with the men in the program. I want to thank you so much for making me feel welcomed and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Love in Christ,