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Lives changed for good: Esteban


Esteban was in a dark place when he first experienced Jesus Christ. Struggling with anxiety and depression, Esteban was in the hospital. “I was having these intense panic attacks, like really, really bad,” he said. “The pastor at New Life Church, he met me there. And he laid his hand on me and prayed. And as soon as he touched me, I just started uncontrollably crying, just like instantaneously. That was the first experience I had with Jesus.”

Esteban, 31, had been doing drugs for about 10 years. He first hit rock bottom after overdosing in 2012. Since then, he said, “it’s just been this uphill climb, trying to get back to ground level.”

He started going to church, and got baptized in 2014. He quit drugs in 2013, and alcohol in 2015. But everything didn’t magically get better. “Once the drugs were gone, I didn’t have anything to run to,” he said. “The anxiety and depression, it came back really hard this time. It was overwhelming.”

Esteban struggled with suicidal thoughts and major depression. He got medical help and ultimately came to the Mission. He credits the Mission’s chaplains and fellow clients with helping him avoid isolation. “They gave me what I was missing out there,” he said.

Esteban, who has a 9-year-old son, graduated from the program and is now in the Transitional Living Program. He’s working at FedEx and taking classes at Moody Bible Institute, where he is in their Ministry Leadership Program. His concentration is preaching. He’d like to pastor a church one day, and coach youth basketball. Esteban loves being a dad and is enjoying spending time with his son. They go to church, read the bible, ride bikes, and go boogie boarding at the beach together.

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