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Harry is ready to go ‘100 percent in’ to Christ
Harry, now 35, spent his whole life in the Westchester area of Los Angeles until he got to the Mission last year. His dad raised him and his three sisters after his parents divorced when he was 4 years old.
When Harry started growing up, particularly in middle school, he made new friends, and got into skateboarding. “I started getting distracted and bored,” he said. “I was messing around and got into trouble a lot.” He was kicked out of high school, but entered a continuation school. And despite the fact he “didn’t like school,” Harry finished all of his credits and graduated.
He started working at 18, and got his first “real job” at Trader Joe’s. “I was there for 10 years—from 2005 to 2014,” he said. “I had a girlfriend. I met a lot of people and a lot of people liked me. People would talk about the word there, and I was noticing it more and more.”
Harry describes the experience of starting to read the bible as “drifting into the word. God was pulling me that way,” he said. “I started reading on my own. I believed it. I felt it. I cried and got all emotional. I got saved in 2007.”
But eventually, Harry said his old habits came back. “The enemy came,” he said. “I wasn’t grounded. I didn’t have church. A graduate has since told me that he wished he would’ve known that just getting saved doesn’t mean life is going to be great or even easy. “Now that I’m here, I realize that I wasn’t strong in the word. I was a new believer and I was in a spiritual battle. I started making my own decisions and I was not praying for guidance.”
Harry was drinking, and although he never got angry, his father didn’t like it. “They remembered the fighting,” he said, reflecting on his early childhood. “I was under my dad’s roof and things got worse.”
After an issue with his father last April landed Harry in jail for eight days, he came to his mom’s in Oxnard. She’s attended Calvary Chapel of Oxnard for 10 years and has seen Mission clients there before. She got more information and told Harry about the program. “It was time,” he said. “My mom still loves me, my dad still loves me, and they want to see me doing good. I want to be productive—I’m ready to move on. I have goals and it’s exciting.
“There are a couple guys who I fellowship with and who I can go to for guidance,” Harry added. “We are friends and brothers in Christ. I can talk to them about anything, yet we can still have fun. I really love bible studies. I love the intimacy of it.”
Harry said fellowshipping and church is important to his sobriety. “I need to be in the word and in song daily. I know if I ever drink again, it will take me away from God. It’s a disease that runs in my family. I need to go 100 percent in Christ. “I feel in my heart I’m going to have a bright future after this. This program has helped me because it’s based on the word, on God. The staff is amazing, all of them—they are here to help any time of day. God is restoring so much in me.”
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