Celebrating Life in Recovery

This Hood Of Ours Ministry, Part 2

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Jasahn Larsosa, Johanahn Larsosa


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR000105B

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:14 Welcome back.
00:16 We're talking with Jasahn and his brother Johanahn.
00:18 And we're talking about their history
00:21 and where they've come in their life.
00:22 And the things that you have talked about
00:24 is just-- it's tragic,
00:28 but it was so normal for you to jump into a high school
00:31 where you have to go through metal detectors to get in
00:33 and where people are selling off bus passes
00:36 and you're dealing candy before you're starting to deal drugs.
00:39 I mean all of that kind of stuff
00:41 is so foreign to a lot of people watching
00:43 and now before the break you talked about being in jail,
00:46 hearing that your mother has died.
00:48 And nobody is even there dealing with a grief,
00:51 because you're in jail, I mean,
00:52 you know, you're just kind of having
00:54 to deal with that all on your own.
00:56 What--where do you go from there?
00:58 I went on-- I got sanctioned
01:01 about 5 years for the state of Kentucky.
01:04 I started about two of them before I made parole.
01:07 And, you know, all this emptiness inside
01:10 and I got to say that when I started selling cocaine
01:13 initially it was because I was starving literally to death.
01:18 I would probably have starved on the streets,
01:21 if I had not entered into that game at the time.
01:23 You were 16, left home,
01:25 didn't have a way to support yourself
01:27 and so you picked up what you knew.
01:29 Right. And so--but quickly it become something different.
01:35 You know, after the first 3 days
01:37 of this out of town adventure it was no longer a matter
01:40 of doing it for my survival because I needed to eat.
01:44 But now there's a-- there's--
01:45 and that's how quickly it happens.
01:47 It became this quest for-- to be that guy.
01:51 You know, I saw the potential in it, people liked me.
01:53 I was good at it and overnight I wasn't hungry
01:55 and overnight instead of, you know,
01:57 trying to get something to eat, I was trying to, you know,
02:00 be the producer of things to eat or something, you know.
02:02 Right, the power of addiction. Yeah.
02:05 When, you know, you weren't addicted to drugs.
02:07 Right, I was addicted to everything
02:09 that it brought you when you sold them.
02:11 I'm okay. I have the respect I want.
02:14 I have the power I need and things are gonna be okay.
02:17 And so when I was released I didn't deal with the,
02:20 you know--and I guess in increments, you know,
02:24 small parts I had dealt with what I was feeling
02:28 being away from home, losing my mother,
02:31 having a little brother who was 11 years old.
02:33 He's out on the streets. Right.
02:36 And so when I came home I didn't really holistically
02:39 look at that and to deal with it.
02:41 I jumped right back into what I aspired
02:43 and that was to make my life being the next drug king pin.
02:48 It's not only with your little brother's out there running,
02:53 Johanahn's out there running,
02:54 your sister's out there using-- I mean everybody is--
02:57 this is what-- this is what you guys know.
03:01 Yeah. This is what you know.
03:02 Yeah, I want to be all I could be.
03:05 So how do you get out of that?
03:07 So I got in trouble again because that's my luck.
03:11 And this time I was in the state of Indiana
03:14 and I remember what the judge said
03:17 when we were running an operation
03:21 in another small town called--
03:23 I think it was in Anson, Indiana.
03:25 And Judge Carol, he looked at me,
03:27 you know, after the drug taskforce.
03:29 They've been investigating me for about a year.
03:31 And when they finally called me
03:33 and the judge looked at me and he told me
03:35 that I was gonna receive a very serious sanction.
03:38 And he sentenced me to 20 years.
03:39 Wow. He did.
03:41 He sentenced me to 20 years.
03:42 And at that time you're still a baby.
03:44 Yeah, I'm 21. Yeah.
03:46 About to be 22. Wow.
03:48 And that's what I did. They sent me off and that's--
03:52 What did you think, because
03:54 you're with him during all that time?
03:56 Now he's facing 20 years.
03:59 You know, when we went down
04:00 we actually went down there for a sentencing.
04:02 So I went down there and I had just--
04:10 I had just got injured, probably--
04:13 So this is after--
04:16 It had been a few months--
04:18 well, before I got arrested?
04:19 You got injured in June. Okay.
04:23 Well, we went down there for the sentencing
04:25 and, you know--
04:26 And had you been shot already?
04:28 Yeah, I've been shot.
04:29 So now you're paralyzed, shot but still selling.
04:32 Right. And going to his court.
04:35 Yes, so we went down for the sentencing
04:36 and I just had my son and so I went down there.
04:40 I was meeting my son--
04:42 You know I see all of heaven wanting to shake you guys,
04:44 just saying "Stop, I love you.
04:47 Get--you know, get it together."
04:49 Do you know what I mean?
04:51 And at that point everybody is still playing.
04:54 It was a-- that was a--
04:56 it was a lot of life changing
04:59 things going on at that point.
05:01 I had just been shot and when I got shot
05:04 I think my son was like 10 or 11 days old when I got shot.
05:07 So that's life changing right there.
05:08 And for people that didn't see your program last week,
05:11 is that you were paralyzed the rest of your life.
05:14 Yeah. Then having a child.
05:16 Yeah, well, I had my son
05:18 and I was able to walk around with him
05:20 for 10, 11 days and then I got shot.
05:21 So I was paralyzed after that and then, you know,
05:24 as I was lying another life changing experience.
05:26 We went down to his court day
05:27 and they sentenced him to 20 years.
05:30 So, you know, it was--
05:32 it was-- I had my older brother there
05:34 and my son and a friend and just people in the court.
05:37 It hit everybody hard.
05:38 Even--I brought a friend on there
05:40 who didn't even know my brother and the whole courtroom,
05:42 you know, everybody just cried.
05:44 My son even cried. He was about three, four--
05:46 He was 8 months. 8 months old.
05:48 He was 8 months.
05:50 And when the judge handed that sentence down
05:52 it seemed like, you know,
05:54 everybody in the courtroom just broke down.
05:56 What did you-- what did you think?
05:58 Because your whole life--
06:01 I thought I didn't see-- I didn't foresee this.
06:03 I had dreams about it, spending a lot of time,
06:07 you know, behind bars or trapped,
06:10 you know, since I was a kid but I just never thought
06:12 that I would be somebody who spent
06:14 a great deal of his life in prison.
06:16 I never thought that that would be me.
06:18 And I've been sentenced to, you know,
06:20 a great fraction of a century.
06:23 And my head's spinning. My brother tells a story.
06:28 I think they let us see-- they let you see me
06:30 when we were getting on the elevator.
06:33 Yeah. We was--we was actually coming down the hallway.
06:36 He was getting on the elevator and they cuffed him in.
06:37 It was like, you know,
06:39 life was over when they sentenced him to me.
06:40 That's how I felt.
06:42 And he looked at me, he looked in my eyes,
06:43 he was like, did like this, I'll be home in 10.
06:46 And I'm thinking, "10?"
06:48 I'm thinking that's a whole another world.
06:50 So, you know, he was strong about it and that's how it was.
06:57 And I was just, I was telling him,
06:59 you know, I was just wishing
07:01 like I could do every--every day with him but, you know--
07:03 It's, you know, it's amazing that he says that
07:05 because I remember, you know,
07:08 months and years later I'm in the prison
07:11 and I'm learning and I'm, you know, exercising.
07:14 I remember every time I'd get on the treadmill
07:16 and you know, prison beats you down
07:18 and it makes you feel like you won't make it out, you know.
07:20 Your life is horrible. In what way?
07:22 You feel suffocated
07:24 because it's a very oppressive environment.
07:26 And it's designed to make you feel like nothing, you know.
07:33 And the prisons today are beautiful.
07:34 It has a lot of greenery, a lot of flowers.
07:36 They've got facilities and weights and--
07:39 But you're still in the cell.
07:40 Yeah, in the cell and the system the way it's set up,
07:44 the culture of it is very oppressive, you know.
07:46 Sometimes you can't always see it being an outsider,
07:48 but you're still a number and so it takes a toll on you.
07:54 And I'd get on this treadmill and I would run
07:55 and I would think to myself, you know,
07:57 thinking about how difficult this was
07:58 and you know, I had to survive it.
08:01 And I would feel guilty, 'cause, you know,
08:04 here I am thinking about how difficult this is for me
08:08 but I'm running on a treadmill.
08:09 And I would think about, you know, he's my twin brother
08:12 and he'll never be able to get on a treadmill again.
08:14 He'll never walk again. Yeah.
08:16 He'll never be able to do this.
08:17 Yeah, and, you know, at some point
08:19 this will be over with for me but I'll be back home.
08:21 And he'll still be you know, in a wheelchair.
08:24 And I was in the county jail again, you know,
08:27 when he got shot, gotten shot initially.
08:30 You know as an investigative ploy I had been picked up
08:34 and, you know, that's all about I knew
08:37 That's our street and, but nobody told me--
08:40 I think there must have been orders from the Larsosa family.
08:44 I'm not sure who issued the decree
08:47 that nobody was to tell me that my brother had gotten shot,
08:50 because, you know, I was in jail when---
08:51 They felt like you were dealing with enough.
08:52 And I was in jail.
08:54 I think somebody specifically-- I had a girlfriend at the time
08:56 who was a hoosier in Indiana and they told her
09:00 he was in jail when their mother die.
09:02 And don't tell him that his brother's in the hospital.
09:05 And nobody did.
09:07 I think that's probably best but, you know,
09:08 just looking at all the different things,
09:09 all the--and so you worry about that,
09:12 you know, in prison, you know,
09:13 who's gonna get hurt, you know, who might I lose.
09:15 Am I gonna see them again? Yeah.
09:17 Am I gonna get out? Is the family gonna be the same?
09:19 Am I gonna fit in? Yeah.
09:21 So now you're imprisoned, it is--
09:25 do you get a sense of-- are you using in prison,
09:28 'cause I know you can use if you want to.
09:30 I mean are you doing--
09:31 you know, people are still selling stuff,
09:33 people are still being robbed with the money there,
09:35 you know, their commissary goods and all that kind of stuff.
09:37 You can jump into that. Yeah.
09:39 Did you jump into that
09:40 or are you kind of trying to actually get it together?
09:45 Probably both, you know, I remember trying to do--
09:48 conduct business on the outside through my twin.
09:52 I remember having him pick up some money
09:55 and buying some dope for me
09:57 and trying to getting him to sell it for me.
09:59 You know, while I was inside he was still outside.
10:02 And I remember trying to tell myself that
10:06 that was gonna clean my act up and not gonna do anything,
10:09 but it wasn't a strong conviction.
10:15 You know once you convince yourself that something is okay
10:17 it's difficult to convince yourself that it's not.
10:19 I know. Right.
10:20 This is the way I live my life. This is the way it is.
10:23 Now I want to ask you straight up,
10:25 how did Go get to you?
10:27 How did you get to a place
10:29 where you actually started to come out of all that?
10:32 Yeah, it was the start to come out of all--
10:34 because it wasn't all of a sudden thing.
10:35 It was kind of like the velveteen rabbit
10:37 first gradually and then all of a sudden.
10:39 So that happened immediately.
10:40 When I was in the county jail the towers had just fell
10:43 and there was all the stuff in the media.
10:45 And everybody was trying to do something proactive
10:48 and something good, you know, in defense to this country.
10:53 So the whole country was in a trauma.
10:55 Yeah, and there are people who were doing,
10:57 you know, great things
10:58 to answer these new challenges.
11:02 And that was out maybe because he was a black,
11:03 maybe because--I don't know what the guy's name was.
11:06 Maybe I was watching CNN and I'm in the county jail
11:08 and there's a young, slim, tall, black guy
11:11 and he's giving a press conference about something
11:14 that the government or some agency is doing,
11:17 you know, in response to the recent demand
11:20 for terror-- yeah, and tragedy.
11:22 And I looked at him and, you know,
11:26 all I ever wanted was to do something with my life.
11:29 And I'm looking at this guy on TV and I shook my head
11:32 because I thought there he is and I thought I wasted my life.
11:35 Yeah. I wasted my life.
11:37 Did your heart cry I actually wanted do something good,
11:41 I wanted to be recognized? Yeah.
11:43 And, you know, I made-- I convinced myself
11:46 that it was all but impossible and--
11:48 but the truth of the matter was that
11:50 here I was in the county jail
11:51 because I was a low life, selfish drug dealer.
11:54 I had a little brother who needed me
11:56 and the fact was that there were good people
11:58 who were doing good things all the time.
12:00 I just wasn't one of them. Right.
12:01 And that convicted me. Right.
12:03 That's incredible because you know for a lot of us
12:08 the guy was raised in an area that wasn't the best
12:11 and for a lot of us what we see is what we become,
12:14 you know, and especially when you see it from the time
12:16 that you're really little and those role models,
12:19 those-- you know seeing
12:21 folks do incredible things, there's some power in that.
12:25 And that's what you experienced that moment.
12:26 I saw somebody doing something.
12:29 And so where did you go from-- where did that seed go?
12:35 I think that I wanted to-- at that point
12:38 it was important for me to educate myself
12:40 and learn new things and so I did.
12:43 But, you know, there was still critical pieces missing.
12:45 You know I had to develop a conscience in areas
12:47 that there wasn't one anymore.
12:49 You know I can't make myself feel guilty for selling drugs.
12:52 Yeah, because it's my business.
12:54 Yeah, you know, I've convinced myself that it's okay.
12:56 It's not the same to me as, you know,
12:58 taking advantage of a woman.
12:59 That I will feel guilty about.
13:01 But I've convinced myself that selling drugs is okay.
13:04 I had to. I did it for years and so it's victimless to me.
13:06 So how do you backdoor that and--
13:10 We're talking about, even on this program,
13:12 is that having God actually come in and teach us to feel,
13:17 teach us to the right and wrong of all that kind of stuff
13:20 and you're saying that at that point
13:22 I just didn't have it, I didn't get it.
13:24 Yeah, you know some things I did
13:26 but on some things like that, I just didn't.
13:28 And so that's-- I guess that's the evidence
13:30 that it still wasn't spiritual for me.
13:33 It was just based on what felt right to me.
13:35 And so I did get some education.
13:38 I did learn some things, but it wasn't till later on
13:43 that I really began to pay attention
13:44 to what it was that my life meant.
13:48 You know what was I after?
13:51 What was it that I aspire to-- Who are you?
13:53 Yeah, who am I? Yeah, who are you?
13:54 And I think, you know-- when you're in prison
13:58 and a part of you feels like am I gonna get out of this,
13:59 but a part of you stresses completely
14:01 about how you're gonna make a living,
14:03 you know, how you're gonna make--
14:04 how you're gonna make yourself.
14:07 When I came out of my lifestyle,
14:10 I think that was really interesting is
14:12 when I was working in clubs and selling drug there are times
14:14 I could make $1200 in a day.
14:16 And now somebody says I want you to be normal and together
14:20 and I don't even have job, I don't have a skill.
14:23 I don't know what I'm doing and that's a really big deal
14:26 for a lot of folks, is that-- but how, you know.
14:30 Everything I know is wrong.
14:32 And then at some point when God gets you to the right place,
14:34 when He got me to a certain place, the point was,
14:39 as I heard my brother mention on an earlier segment,
14:42 you can still be a man and you still have value.
14:46 And so I got back to a point where it was people,
14:51 at least for a moment and pleasing God
14:54 that was important to me.
14:56 You know you get these rare glimpses of clarity
14:59 where you recognize that nothing matters
15:01 because nothing is guaranteed, nothing is certain.
15:05 And so it's important to grasp all those moments.
15:08 I remember in one moment I talked to a guy
15:09 and I told him, you know,
15:11 I don't even want to get out of here
15:13 until I'm absolutely ready.
15:16 Wow. Yeah.
15:17 And that's--you know you got to watch what you say to God.
15:19 I know, and I'm right with you.
15:21 Right, because right at me-- you know--
15:23 I'm not feeling like a criminal anymore and so--
15:26 but that's not what I meant when I said that to God.
15:30 And God knew what was best for me
15:33 and so there was more to it than just not wanting
15:36 to be a criminal anymore.
15:37 It was-- What was the more to it?
15:39 The more to it is what are my values?
15:43 You know is it important to me to have--is it more--
15:47 which is more important, to have stability,
15:49 to have career and to have money and status
15:53 or is it important to recognize
15:55 that there are people out here that God wants to reach?
15:59 There are people out here who are suffering things
16:00 that nobody understands or wants to pay attention to
16:04 and that's a real need, that's a real harvest
16:07 and there are few workers who are committed to these chores.
16:12 And so was it more important to me to have a status
16:14 that's temporary and not certain
16:17 or to really ask for something that God is ordaining?
16:22 So as you're in prison, all of that,
16:24 is it the stuff that your mom kind of brought to the table?
16:28 Are you going to chapel while you're in prison?
16:31 I mean because it sounds like God is really
16:33 starting to kind of take your heart of stone
16:36 and break through some of that stuff.
16:38 Yeah, but, you know, even beyond chapel
16:41 and the churches and the religious programs,
16:46 because it has to be beyond that.
16:49 You know even here, in general population,
16:53 mainstream society, you know, we go to church and it has to be
16:56 more than about going to services,
16:58 because we go there and we tend do things religiously.
17:02 But how much of God is really in it?
17:04 And so He began to touch me in ways
17:07 that I couldn't get just from going to services or, you know,
17:11 learning and going to Bible studies.
17:12 It was about more than that.
17:14 It was more real than that.
17:15 It has to be more real than that.
17:17 And I love the fact that you said
17:18 that during that whole 9/11 thing
17:20 and the tragedy is that your heart started to say
17:23 I have always wanted to actually do something good, worthwhile.
17:28 And so it sounds like all of that kind of started
17:31 to wake up for you in prison, that you started to say,
17:34 "You know what is it and who am I?"
17:36 Yeah, you know I remember bargaining with God
17:39 at 13 and 14, you know,
17:42 after having been a weirdo all my life.
17:43 You know this kid who wanted to be on his mother
17:46 and talk to God and bargaining with Him
17:49 that I need to go around the corner because I need to,
17:52 you know, make me a stronger man when I come back.
17:55 And so I remember telling God that I got to get out of here
17:57 and be a gangster because this--
17:59 I'll see you later. I'm gonna jump out.
18:01 Yeah. This is not working for me in Detroit.
18:03 And so, you know, when you do that though
18:05 it takes you through some things and you wonder if you can ever
18:07 get back to where you are and where you began.
18:10 And it took some time.
18:13 And I remember some nights, those rare moments,
18:15 you know, laying in the bed and telling God,
18:17 recognizing that nothing else really matters.
18:19 You can have me and do what you want to do in my life
18:23 because nothing else really matters.
18:25 So you surrendered to Him?
18:26 Yes. In prison?
18:28 Yes, right at the end. Wow.
18:31 And what changed, because, you know,
18:33 it's like there's got to be for you--
18:37 now you're gonna have to talk to your brother.
18:40 And I already know that your sister's
18:42 really kind of coming around,
18:44 all of that kind of stuff is changing
18:46 and so now you are in prison and the same kind of thing.
18:48 Is it the stuff that your mom
18:50 said to you early on starting to make sense?
18:53 Right, it's really,
18:56 it's kind of ironic because yeah,
18:59 I'm undergoing this change inside
19:00 but my brother had already--
19:02 you know he's witnessing to me by this time,
19:04 already for years he's writing me and telling me
19:06 "Bro, did you know that the Sabbath is really
19:08 Saturday and not Sunday and, you know, pulling on
19:10 debating over the phone about foods to eat
19:13 and, you know--I'm like, "You're irritating me."
19:16 What are you talking about?
19:17 And so--yeah, so that's, you know,
19:20 when I come home even now they continue to witness to me
19:26 and so when I--and I witness to them as well.
19:30 But it's-- it wasn't a--
19:32 they didn't have to pull me back in and I certainly
19:35 had nothing to do with my brother's redemption
19:39 or, you know, any of them.
19:40 They already had the stuff together.
19:42 So they were witnessing to you.
19:43 So he comes out and at what point
19:47 do you guys actually decide to go in the ministry
19:50 and how did that develop?
19:51 That was when I was--
19:53 And what's the name of it all that kind good stuff?
19:54 So that was when I was still inside and
19:57 the name of the organization is "This Hood of Ours."
20:00 And so, you know, as we're learning--
20:01 you know God, He redeems you
20:04 and cleans you up and gives you a heart.
20:07 He softens your heart, gives you a heart of flesh.
20:09 And then--but the question becomes now what do I do?
20:12 Yeah. Who am I?
20:13 What am I gonna do with all this?
20:15 Yeah, how I express this.
20:16 And so I remember praying that He shows a need.
20:20 I guess I recognized that there has to be a need to be met.
20:23 And so, you know, we talked about
20:26 approaches to make you know,
20:30 and trying to invigorate communities.
20:33 So that's you and Johanahn are talking about that, right?
20:36 It was me, it was Johanahn and there's a third party,
20:39 Amy Halloway, she's a co-founder as well.
20:42 And she was actually a professor of mine
20:43 when I was in school in prison.
20:48 She was my communications teacher.
20:49 Did you think that when you were--
20:51 when you did turn it around
20:52 and you were witnessing to your brother,
20:54 did you think he was gonna get it?
20:57 No, at first I didn't,
20:59 because I remember having conversations
21:00 on the phone with him when he was locked up before
21:03 and--not that I was trying to witness to him then
21:06 but I was still trying to tell him like, you know,
21:09 I guess it was some sort of witness
21:12 and I was just like don't go back out of town and sell drugs.
21:15 We can do it here together.
21:16 But--no, but he was kind of still
21:19 hard-headed then so I witnessed.
21:22 Even then he wouldn't listen.
21:23 He would just have conversations on the phone
21:25 from prison saying, Well, you know, Johanahn,
21:27 when they let me out I'm coming back,
21:28 right back down here, so I would just--
21:31 you know when I witnessed to him by the Lord I know.
21:33 You know, I'm like, yeah, this is not working.
21:35 It is like you are irritating me
21:36 Yeah, this is not gonna work at all.
21:38 So, you know, to me I love the fact
21:40 that all of a sudden now you're saying
21:43 we've got to be able to take all of this
21:46 and see a need that would reach our heart.
21:49 And the need was what?
21:52 In our minds neighborhood community,
21:54 you know, the grassroots community development,
21:57 trying to increase kinship and responsibility
22:01 and communities. Exactly.
22:03 You know 'cause to me the first time I heard
22:06 you talk about your ministry and what you guys do,
22:10 it's almost like, you know,
22:12 you're saying that there's a whole group,
22:15 there's a whole community that if somebody doesn't intervene
22:19 these are the choices they have.
22:21 So what can we do to actually make it healthier,
22:25 to bring health into that community?
22:27 And somebody's got to pay for that,
22:28 somebody's got to-- you know
22:30 so talk about some of the things that you thought about
22:33 or actually, you know, how it's developed
22:36 and the things that you thought about.
22:38 You mean in the development stages of the organization
22:40 or just some of them which we are operating?
22:42 Well, now you're still talking about it
22:43 but I know that you did like the community garden
22:46 and you did some other stuff that I just love that.
22:49 So we run this really aggressive campaigns
22:51 and the end game is always to inspire
22:56 and mobilize the people to improve their own lives
22:59 by focusing on improving their own communities.
23:01 And so that looks like--it comes in all shapes and forms,
23:05 just depending on the needs of the particular community.
23:09 And so recent trends are people with a lot of money
23:13 or people with not a lot of money, they have property.
23:16 They abandon it and it sits there and it lowers--
23:19 property value lowers the morale and--
23:22 And for people that haven't seen that it really just sits there.
23:25 People move in. They may start a fire,
23:28 'cause they're trying to keep warm,
23:29 half of the place burns down and it still sits there
23:33 and that could be in any neighborhood.
23:35 Yeah, and, you know, the sentiment that spreads
23:38 is that anything goes here, you know.
23:40 We're talking about a broken windows theory
23:42 and the way that can-- you know a broken window
23:44 can influence behavior in a community negatively,
23:47 imagine what a black burned down,
23:50 condemned houses can do or-- It's huge.
23:52 Two blocks of unkempt fields where houses used to be.
23:55 You know the house we grew up in is a field.
23:57 And so, you know, that really influences the community.
24:01 You know it affects the way we look at where we live.
24:05 It affects the way we look at each other
24:06 and it affects the way we look at ourselves.
24:09 I'm not worth much if this is where I live
24:12 and this is the value of it.
24:14 And so we try to teach from asset base approach,
24:17 we try to encourage communities to look at the positive
24:22 and look at perceived negatives as opportunities
24:25 and assets like an abandoned field.
24:26 What can you do with it?
24:28 We can grow gardens, you know.
24:30 Grow some vegetables. Yeah, grow some vegetables.
24:32 Flowers. Yeah, yeah.
24:34 Work out together, hang out together.
24:35 Put together apart.
24:37 And the end game has to be increased goodwill.
24:41 Do you know what I thought was incredible
24:43 about you guys is the fact that okay,
24:46 this is gonna cost money, who's gonna pay for it?
24:48 We need to put grants off
24:50 and your business sense actually kicked in again.
24:55 It kicked in this ministry. Right.
24:59 Yeah and, you know, raising money is tough
25:01 and so it's really competitive. People are really territorial.
25:05 And so, you know, we've come to the point
25:06 where I'm a full-time employee for our organization.
25:11 I don't always get a pay check.
25:12 And so we've realized that if you come to the table
25:16 and we're conveners and so we're not direct service providers.
25:19 We try to get people to communicate
25:20 and we work hard to inspire people.
25:22 To work together. Yeah.
25:24 And we also help communities to get those victories
25:27 that they need to look at themselves differently.
25:29 And--but when you come to the table and you say,
25:31 "We're gonna help you do all of this,"
25:33 but when somebody has to help us,
25:35 then people get territorial and they feel like
25:37 they've got leverage and they'll say,
25:38 "I don't have to work with you.
25:40 You need us. You know we're set."
25:41 And so we're to the point where we realize
25:43 that you're not always gonna have the money
25:44 and so we worked for free.
25:46 You know, we wait for God to provide
25:49 and because for us it's really about the change.
25:51 It's not about building an organization.
25:53 It's about affecting change, change in lives.
25:56 But I really believe that part of what you offer is hope
26:01 for that kid that is growing up in that neighborhood.
26:04 It's like, you know, we've got to make
26:05 these neighborhoods healthier
26:08 as this child will learn what I learned.
26:11 Will be out there doing what I did.
26:13 You know we believe that if we can change that child's life,
26:16 you know, if we can get him to look at the neighborhood
26:20 different from the way we looked at it
26:22 then you've possibly grabbed an entire generation.
26:26 And if we can take that neighborhood
26:27 it becomes-- they have a different outlook.
26:30 It becomes more self sustaining,
26:31 then we possibly create an opportunity
26:34 to create a ripple effect and spread impact.
26:37 Because, you know, how many people have--don't have jobs?
26:40 But then again how many people have jobs
26:42 that are dead end and are unsatisfied,
26:44 unfulfilling, unrewarding
26:46 because Christ isn't in it?
26:47 You know God's not in our lives.
26:49 We let our bosses, our jobs, our co-operations,
26:53 even our government sometimes, dangle carrots before us.
26:56 We become dependent upon what they have to offer us
26:59 and we're no longer looking at what we can do for one another.
27:02 And that's a whole program is that how do you decide
27:06 to take ownership of yourself. Yeah.
27:08 Not be dependent on some organizations,
27:12 even welfare and charity
27:14 and disability and all of those kind of stuff,
27:16 because once I step away from those
27:18 I am empowered to actually be a benefit to the community
27:23 and to my families and all of that.
27:24 And you're saying you so know that
27:28 that I wanted somehow bring that back to the community
27:31 I grew up in. Yes.
27:32 That's awesome.
27:34 Thank you. That is awesome.
27:35 So to me, I've got to say,
27:36 it was incredible having you on the program,
27:39 hearing your testimony
27:40 and hen from even last week hearing yours
27:44 and hearing your story this week,
27:46 and the fact that God just is gonna is stepping
27:48 back into your lives and having you stand up.
27:51 And it sounds like you are becoming the guy
27:55 that is gonna make a difference.
27:57 I'm gonna stand up and do something good
27:58 with all of this stuff that I've done in my life.
28:02 Thank you for joining us. Thanks for having us.
28:04 We'll be right back. Stay with us.


Revised 2014-12-17