Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Dahiana Jenkins, Damien Jenkins
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00061B
00:14 Welcome back!
00:15 I have got to say, first of all I want to say Diana
00:18 thank you for joining us.
00:19 I know that you have a testimony of your own. Yes!
00:24 But before we get into that I have to finish up.
00:26 I know what you are saying I came into a relationship
00:31 with Christ, not even with Christ,
00:35 I'm looking at the Bible and realizing that this love is huge
00:38 I want to know did that change you right away?
00:42 Well how did you respond to even getting a taste of that?
00:47 It definitely did not take place overnight.
00:49 I had what we call a conviction and it was just a mental
00:56 understanding that this made sense.
01:00 That this love that I was seeing in here by His actions,
01:04 really expressed something that I never understood before.
01:08 The were things that were contrary to my life.
01:10 So as time progressed I still sold drugs at that time.
01:14 When I realize these things I stopped.
01:16 I stopped, I still smoked myself but I stopped selling it.
01:21 As time continues to progress another year I stopped
01:24 with the alcohol as well.
01:26 But I remember... Can I ask you as you are getting
01:33 into this relationship you are feeling you know what, I'm
01:36 not going to be selling drugs, I am not going to be doing
01:40 that stuff, did you, why did that happen?
01:44 Did you read and just? get a conviction
01:46 Or did you feel like the Holy Spirit just saying...
01:49 It was just an understanding I had not read the whole Bible.
01:53 Or anything for that matter, it was just an understanding
01:57 that I couldn't keep doing these things because these were
02:00 things I was doing prior to understanding what this life
02:05 was like and I knew these things would prohibit me
02:07 because they were contributing to the way I felt, to the way
02:11 I was prior to me seeing this love.
02:14 So I did not want anything to do with them anymore.
02:16 I knew I had to cut them out.
02:18 It took about a year. So I just want to say
02:21 for somebody that does not know how God works
02:23 because I think it is the coolest thing that God slowly,
02:27 As soon as we even get a clue of who He is, and ask Him into
02:30 our lives our heart's cry is please don't leave me like this.
02:34 Please change me and He starts before we can even ask Him.
02:41 I don't even know what to ask for now and the
02:42 Holy Spirit says, you know what, I do.
02:44 Know that it is going to set you free and He starts that
02:47 before our mouth is even moving to ask for that.
02:49 He just start picking things out for me because I didn't know
02:53 what to start with.
02:54 I had anger problems, I had was involved with certain women
02:58 You were taught to look at races in different ways because
03:02 of your dad.
03:03 I mean it is like I could see all that stuff and God says
03:06 you know what, I love you for even looking at Me.
03:08 That's right and I found that when I started studying and
03:12 actually got into the Bible and started looking through
03:15 the passages, it literally would just find a verse to
03:20 counter the verse I heard in the rap music.
03:23 That it will completely discounter it.
03:25 Can you think of one right now can you give us an example?
03:28 okay, I have one, the one that says any means necessary
03:34 what ever the cause, even if it means that lives are lost.
03:35 In other words I'm going to do what I have do, even if
03:37 somebody else has to pay for it.
03:39 Jesus says that, how can I put this?
03:43 He would say things that without Me you can do nothing.
03:47 You can't do anything, but with Me you can do all things.
03:51 I am the vine and you are the branches.
03:52 So as the branch cannot grow fruit by itself,
03:57 unless it is connected to the vine how can I make this
04:00 a possibility? I can't! I can't, I can't do it.
04:04 So everything that was stored in your mind from rap music
04:08 and all that stuff, is that you were using Scripture to
04:11 It was completely countering every single one.
04:14 In fact, it was so prevalent that I had to have some type of
04:19 Scripture music because I was very involved with this music.
04:22 I had started a record label of somewhat and then
04:26 it never got started because of some very controversial
04:30 issues that involves some people getting hurt really bad.
04:32 I literally had to... I like the way you have to say
04:36 that so nicely. Right! Right! Right!
04:37 I guess because I'm somewhat from that kind of background.
04:44 The way you said that was so nice, I thought how
04:46 sweet is that.
04:47 It was terrible, it was terrible.
04:48 It was horrible and people got hurt and you had
04:50 to fold everything.
04:53 and God is saying put Scripture to Music.
04:55 Because that is what you know well.
04:57 I hated that music when I first heard it.
05:00 it was scripture songs and I hated them.
05:03 It sounded so bland, folky. Lame! They were boring.
05:07 But one of them stood out called To Everything There is a Season.
05:11 Just one of them and I kept playing it over and over.
05:14 All of a sudden I started to appreciate the rest of them.
05:15 Because I started to experience the Scriptures in my life
05:18 in my experience.
05:20 Your desires actually change? The desires changed.
05:22 How do you explain that? I had desires for something
05:26 that I had never had a desire for.
05:27 Only God can do that. Only, it would have to be.
05:31 Where did I start? I don't know.
05:34 When I was trying to get off of heroin somebody put me
05:38 with drawing, somebody put me in the living room and put some
05:42 Christian music on and it was like fingers on the chalkboard.
05:44 I'm thinking can you shut that off?
05:46 So it is like when you come from the world everything about
05:51 spirituality almost is beyond what you can even listen to.
05:56 The Holy Spirit just takes us so slowly until we actually feel
06:02 like I can actually feel healed by that.
06:05 That's right, it is, it sounds horrible that music.
06:09 That is because the nature we have compared to what I
06:13 listened to before.
06:15 How did you do that because somebody is going to be watching
06:17 and say how do you fight through that, do you just stick with it?
06:20 I had to discard the rest of the music I was listening to because
06:25 the Bible, I would have kept listening to it and trying
06:27 to follow the Bible I would have kept feeding that nature
06:32 that was I was accustomed to already.
06:35 So you are already accustomed to the taste of it, and you
06:40 are trying to taste something new, the old one is going to
06:42 overlap the new one that you're taking.
06:43 capsule I completely took them all, they were all new CDs.
06:47 I bought them and threw them right in the garbage.
06:49 I had to make that decision to throw them in the garbage.
06:52 I knew I could not keep listening to them anymore.
06:54 That is when God really start working in my life.
06:58 Because my mind was clear now without those evil thoughts
07:02 that they were producing.
07:04 I had the opportunity, I made the decision to go and get
07:08 baptized in 2005.
07:10 I was so scared, I never understood Christians,
07:13 I never knew what a Christian person look like, what they were
07:15 And now you are one.
07:17 No not even yet, I'm going to visit them and I'm scared
07:20 because they do not know what they are like.
07:21 To me the one who was robbing people,
07:23 I'm scared of Christians.
07:24 I'm thinking they are strange, what do they like?
07:28 So I went up to Maine to get baptized because those were
07:31 When you said scared I just have to unfold that for somebody
07:34 Palm's sweating, heart pounding kind of scared?
07:38 Look I had some strange thoughts because of movies
07:41 they were a cult, I don't know what, I'm just talking
07:44 about a Christian in general I'm not talking about a
07:47 certain denomination, I didn't know what they were like so it
07:50 was very different for me.
07:52 I had wanted to go visit them by myself, in Maine
07:54 these are the people who studied with me,
07:55 they gave me the book actually,
07:57 and they even gave my brother-in-law.
07:59 I had got baptized in 2005 in a lake in New Hampshire.
08:04 That is where God got things moving for me because He had
08:08 given me the opportunity to visit a Christian college.
08:12 I was my third year high school I was about to go
08:16 to the next one.
08:17 I saw that Christian college, I did not want to go back
08:19 to finish high school because of all the influences of the
08:22 things I had just came from I did want to go back.
08:26 I felt that this was a refuge right here and I was safe here.
08:30 But I said let me pray about it that was something I had never
08:33 done really before.
08:34 Exactly check with someone else. Check with some one else.
08:36 I can't see, but God had been leading me thus far.
08:42 I just love the way you said that, I can even see, I mean
08:45 who am I checking with?
08:47 But his word was there and I knew it was certain because it
08:50 was coming from the past my life I wasn't just believing it by
08:53 I had no evidence, it was evidence, evidence, evidence
08:56 after evidence after evidence in my life.
08:58 the things that were happening I would ask for and they
09:01 would really happen, they were really happening.
09:03 I had prayed about it said Lord what do you want me to do?
09:07 He said, go back to the high school.
09:10 I said yeah, high school?
09:13 You know the influence.
09:16 Yeah I was like, am I really sure?
09:19 Be said go back.
09:21 I started thinking about it and said, He started to show
09:26 me, I'm not saying that people are not doing this, but they
09:30 was nobody ever came up to me and said, this is what God has
09:34 to offer, this is what the Bible has to offer.
09:35 They gave me a pamphlet here and there but you could tell
09:39 they weren't real serious about it.
09:40 They were just doing it for a job and I would take it
09:42 and throw it, but there was never nobody that took an
09:44 tell what is really going on.
09:45 There is nobody to interact with me, who was a Christian.
09:48 God was showing me that I have to do it.
09:51 I have to be the first one to do it.
09:53 There's nobody, there was plenty of people in that
09:56 Christian college in that area, but where I lived right here in
10:00 this dangerous place there was nobody doing these things,
10:03 showing people like me where we needed to go.
10:06 I mean there is a love that is really, real.
10:09 Then I said I will do it Lord.
10:11 If You will lead me I will do it
10:12 I went back to that high school and with the faith I had
10:17 at the time, it was small, but it was large though.
10:19 I started preaching, I never talked, I used to talk about rap
10:25 on the corners and things like that, but now I was using
10:30 that speech to reach people.
10:31 To reach people and people came out.
10:34 People came out.
10:35 Were you surprised that they wanted to hear it?
10:37 That they wanted to hear it?
10:38 I'm not surprised at all because I recognize, even though they
10:43 had not gone through exactly what I have been through,
10:47 the center of their desires was the same, it was to have a
10:50 belonging, of belonging somewhere.
10:52 Why have you chosen me? Why am I here in this life?
10:56 science tries to explain these things through evolution that
10:59 the survival of the fittest, which I strongly believed then
11:02 but it didn't fit, it didn't make sense.
11:05 It didn't make sense at all.
11:07 So in high school that is where you guys met?
11:09 Yeah! To me what is really interesting is that when he
11:14 came back you had know him prior so he was kind of a bad guy.
11:17 Yeah! So were you doing drugs, were
11:21 you doing the same thing?
11:22 Well actually it is funny, because I did drugs, I sold
11:26 drugs, but outside of school we never hung out.
11:29 So it was funny because we were like really in school friends
11:32 and oh you guys should go out because you look so cute
11:35 together, and we're like, whatever.
11:36 So we were like really good friends, but it was like we
11:40 never went any farther and now I thank God because we probably
11:42 would have never be in the situation we are right now.
11:44 Getting married and doing it the right way.
11:47 I like when you said the right way! Because in that lifestyle
11:54 nothing is the right way. No it is not.
11:55 So it would have been all jumbled up so God has a plan
11:59 for everything. So when he came back and was all converted I was
12:02 like okay, this is cool you know.
12:03 I had like Christian friends and all that?!?!?!
12:07 I was like, I didn't put it off, like Oh no God!
12:10 I was like Okay so. Did you have some of that
12:13 in your background? Yeah I was like quote unquote
12:16 Catholic when I grew up, but I would be in the clubs
12:19 on Saturday, go to church on Sunday.
12:21 So then he stated telling me about the Bible and stuff.
12:24 I was like yeah, I believed in the Bible because I believe
12:28 in God, I use to pray when I was deep in a hole and stuff
12:31 like that and then I asked questions.
12:35 Wait, wait, what was that prayer God if you can get me out of
12:36 this one... I'll never do it again.
12:38 I know that prayer.
12:40 Your back the same week doing the same thing. Exactly!
12:43 Then I asked some questions... You know what is funny?
12:46 That God even honors that.
12:47 I know! Because He loves us.
12:48 It is so beautiful and so messed up how we are, like I won't
12:51 do it again because God just got me out of this one.
12:53 So He can get me out of another one, but I just asked some
12:57 questions and tried to stump him all the time.
12:59 Like I am going to ask him more questions and he is not going
13:01 to know the answer.
13:02 Did you know she was doing that?
13:03 Yeah! but God prepared me, I had no prior experience with the
13:12 Bible, just one year.
13:14 I was able to answer thoroughly all those questions.
13:17 Praise God! I thought he was amazing.
13:19 I thought he had something up his sleeve and
13:20 just read something.
13:25 So in this high school it was like your first, like when you
13:30 talk about the demoniac, that Christ heals all of the demons
13:33 come out, and because I want you to go back and tell them.
13:36 So He is like I want you to tell them, go back and tell them
13:39 so that was your first evangelistic gig?
13:41 That was it!
13:42 That was in high school and just finish out with a bang.
13:46 Everybody who did not know me prior to the way I use to be
13:49 a lot of people knew what I did and how I handled myself,
13:53 everybody in that high school knew me afterwards for doing
13:56 the work of God.
13:59 I had a public speaking class open forum, my teacher was
14:04 blown away and she was just blown away.
14:06 She couldn't believe atheist, Muslims in that class
14:09 and the things that I would speak would just reach out
14:12 to everybody.
14:14 So when you say the atheist and Muslims it didn't matter to you
14:16 where somebody was coming from because what you were saying
14:19 was that the hole is the same? Exactly! it is not that, Oh this
14:23 is right and yours is wrong, that is not the case here.
14:26 But the case is, where is the real desire?
14:30 Where's the real love here found and that is what everybody
14:33 is looking for. Where my going to get the
14:35 the good from? I knew this was it because how it
14:40 worked in my life.
14:41 That's how I knew for a fact and she recognized it too.
14:44 Okay we are so, well I wish we had more time we're running
14:49 out of time so we will introduce a couple people, well I will
14:53 just open it up for questions.
14:54 We want to introduce a couple people on the set.
14:58 Let's start right over here. Well my name is Edwin Cotto
15:01 this brother was a prayer answered in my life.
15:05 In what way? Well I grew up in a similar
15:08 background and when time came in my life where I had to drop
15:13 everything, included dropping my friends and when I dropped
15:19 them I felt what now?
15:22 I'm all by myself doing this on my own I need some encouragement
15:26 I need some encouragement and God just worked the pieces.
15:30 What I used to do would go online in chat rooms and meet
15:34 friends there and that was all I had.
15:36 One friend of mine, I was explaining him my situation
15:40 and he ask me where do you live? I said I live in Jersey.
15:45 He said wait a minute and he got in contact with some other
15:48 people and all of a sudden I got a phone call.
15:51 Because you lived in New Jersey? That's right!
15:54 He lived in Jersey not too far for me maybe 8 or 9 miles
15:57 from me and when he called me I just thank God.
16:01 My prayer was answered.
16:05 Because there is, like when you were talking about going into
16:08 recovery and into Ministry, even though you are learning
16:12 all this you need friends around you.
16:15 That's right!
16:16 You had a lot of friends from the street when you were dealing
16:17 and hanging out on street corners and rapping
16:19 and that stuff and now you are a Christian, like now I'm lonely.
16:23 I'm by myself and so I just had the faithful and say, well, Lord
16:27 if You want me to do it You will provide the laborers.
16:30 I know the harvest is ripe and You are going to provide it.
16:34 I went back to high school, I had 3 other friends that
16:37 became converted because of me witnessing to them.
16:40 My wife was the fourth one.
16:42 now I met this brother over here, Edwin and we had a
16:47 whole group now.
16:49 That is too fun, so Edwin what you are saying to is that
16:53 he lifted you up as much as you lifted him up?
16:55 Yeah, because my hope was to convert my friends that I had
16:58 with me in the streets, and so I tried to witness to them
17:02 and they do not want to hear that.
17:04 Because it is foolishness to them.
17:06 It is, they did not want to hear anything and I would give them
17:10 books and talk to them or invite
17:12 them and it just wasn't going to happened so when
17:16 he came around and I met his friends, I had more friends
17:19 and it was incredible and that's when we started.
17:22 We got started. Actually from that point on
17:24 which was really fun, is that you guys started doing ministry
17:29 as a team, it started forming something.
17:32 That's right! Do you think God had a plan?
17:36 I mean I would have to say I could have been in that
17:39 Christian college training to be a missionary that I had planned
17:45 for me instead He sent me back to this high school and these
17:51 friends I met, that were converted, I did not know them
17:54 prior to that time.
17:57 So it is not like I knew them for years.
17:59 I've only known this man for about 3 years.
18:01 since I've been converted and yet we have become so close.
18:05 Close as a unit we became, we worked well together.
18:08 We have the same mindset and we just wanted to reach people
18:12 with what God had reached us with.
18:14 The same way He did it for us.
18:16 so we continued to do things like go to parks, set up
18:20 programs, cooking classes, food, and I invited all my old
18:24 friends from projects.
18:25 I think how funny is that, cooking classes and I am like
18:29 alright I am listening as you were listing those things and
18:33 thinking, cooking classes?
18:34 You would be surprised, surprised, they all came.
18:37 They were drugged up that same night I told them.
18:40 They were drugged up and I prayed, our health message is
18:46 so it draws, I mean it draws.
18:49 Because somebody left and they don't even know what health
18:51 message means.
18:52 What did he just say? What health message?
18:54 What you are saying is that it matters what you put in your
18:57 mind and your body and you were trying to teach that even?
19:00 Exactly and they all, that is exactly what we were teaching
19:04 because it... It killed me to learn to
19:06 drink water. Give me tequila but water has an awful taste.
19:10 can I mean I had to really train myself.
19:12 No, it was like that with a lot of my friends because they still
19:16 smoked and their taste was perverted and like you said with
19:20 the water they were supplying that with Hennessy.
19:23 So this was obviously there but I showed them, come to this
19:28 class at this park and see what we have to offer you.
19:32 So you are 20, 21 years old. 19! 19 I love that! 19!
19:35 How could I not love you?
19:38 How could you not love him?
19:40 I so understand why you do. You wouldn't love me if you
19:42 like me before I was converted.
19:44 I couldn't stand people like me the way I am now, but God
19:49 just completely flipped like a fraction He flipped it.
19:53 Now they all came and they asked me, when are you going
19:57 to do another one?
19:58 Cooking class? Cooking class!
20:00 Or anything because they are hurting inside, deep down
20:04 a lot of us knew what we were going through, even though it
20:08 seemed cool, it was in, this was our environment and we
20:12 didn't want to be like this. We saw that the only conclusion
20:14 did this with death or prison.
20:15 There's nothing out, there's nothing in his life for us.
20:20 So we took something that the Bible offered that was sure,
20:25 it was wonderful, I mean a crown in heaven?
20:28 We don't deserve a crown, I will take it and thank you
20:31 eternal life, I wanted that in the world.
20:33 But I wanted to have that in sin though.
20:35 But now he has given it to me in peace.
20:38 And actually love that you never experienced, it yours now.
20:42 It's mine, it's mine. To laugh out loud,
20:44 to feel good in your own skin.
20:46 To not be worried about somebody harming me.
20:49 Stabbing me, robbing me, it's the threat is still there, but
20:54 now the only difference is I have a refuge in Christ.
20:59 That is the difference now.
21:00 That's huge. That is huge because He is
21:02 bigger than all of us.
21:04 Somebody asked me one time are you afraid to go what ever
21:07 place, in prison or in with a gang infested area?
21:12 Are you afraid, and I am thinking I am walking in with
21:14 God himself and I don't feel afraid.
21:17 I think that if God wasn't working out with somebody
21:20 I wouldn't be walking in.
21:21 So you do have that sense of being, God has got my back
21:24 on this one. That's right!
21:25 I read that verse in the Bible where it says the Angels of the
21:29 Lord encamped around about them that belief and
21:32 trust in the Lord.
21:33 I'm like whoa that is serious, before I came walking through
21:37 these streets and I'm not afraid because I had a knife or gun
21:41 on me, but now I have nothing on me and I am not afraid.
21:46 I have no weapon.
21:48 During all that time, so you are meeting with Edwin and you
21:52 guys are doing ministry in the street together, cooking
21:57 classes, you have your friends, people around you, during
22:01 that time you guys fall in love and Marry?
22:02 Yeah! Right! Sounds so nice.
22:06 How's that, was that not so nice?
22:09 Yeah it was actually. Good! It was!
22:11 So give us a little bit, we love hearing that stuff.
22:17 So romantic. You want to share, Okay!
22:19 It was funny because neither of us was actually thinking this is
22:27 the guy for me, or the person I am going to marry.
22:28 I had just got out of a really bad relationship months ago,
22:34 so I wasn't going to be with anybody.
22:35 I got to a point where I was really happy being by myself.
22:38 Cause you always know how it is in the world, you need to
22:41 date somebody, you need to be with this person just to have
22:43 that comfort with the other person and it makes
22:46 you feel good.
22:47 When I make God it was like I feel that comfort.
22:52 So God fulfilled that for you? Yes! So I need that.
22:56 How am I going to be with some body who provides that comfort?
23:00 When it is still going to be empty, because I am still going
23:02 to be wanting for something.
23:04 That is what happens to a lot of people in relationship, their
23:06 still wanting it, that is why they keep moving on.
23:09 So when I got that with Christ, I was like so happy.
23:13 I don't need anybody, then my husband caught my eye.
23:17 Will you know what is incredible when you say that, because
23:20 a lot of women will never understand that until they
23:22 surrender to God.
23:23 It is like we constantly choose relationships out of need, and
23:26 God says don't do that.
23:28 Let me fill that need and I will bring your husband to you.
23:31 That's right! He did!
23:32 Yeah, He did it, because it was the farthest thing
23:35 from my mind that this guy I knew from high school
23:38 when we had English class together and we actually
23:41 did a play together and I was his wife
23:42 in the play we did.
23:43 No way! Oh how funny is that? In 9th grade.
23:45 I was Julius Caesar. Did anyone video that?
23:47 I would love to just keep that video.
23:49 Please, I would throw it away.
23:50 It was very cheesy, but we got the highest grade. We did!
23:56 It was real nice and I was like
24:01 we actually at first did not want to be together because
24:05 we had all these other people that we were with.
24:07 We didn't want to seem like, Okay now we're together would
24:10 separate the group like that and we didn't want to make
24:14 it feel awkward for people.
24:15 So for a long time we were not going to date, we are not
24:17 you know what I am saying?
24:19 Then it was just like, I think God really does want us to be
24:21 together and from there we started dating and stuff and
24:27 got married after awhile.
24:28 It was just strange in itself, because I was never planning
24:32 to get married, ever, ever, I had such a dislike for women
24:35 in the sense that I would not let them get to close because
24:39 the environment I grew up in they were very treacherous.
24:42 Everybody played everybody.
24:44 It wasn't just the women, the men, they had a good reason
24:47 because the men that they were with prior to them being
24:50 treacherous played them out so they were all like that.
24:53 So I never kept them too close to me, but He just brought it
24:58 together, because I did not plan that at all.
25:00 God heals all that.
25:02 You have a beautiful child. Yeah!
25:03 He's just delightful.
25:06 To me it is amazing when God says, not only will I bring
25:11 healing, and I want you to go
25:13 tell someone, and I want you to bless other people.
25:16 I also want to bless you and your home in your family.
25:20 I want to say we have to end this segment so I will say
25:23 thank you for being on the program, but before we end
25:26 I want you to introduce Jeffrey because I want Jeffrey to come
25:33 to come in and sing a song that really meant something to you.
25:35 so set up the song and introduce Jeff and we will take off.
25:40 Well Jeffrey is and amazing person because he, I met him
25:45 without actually meeting him until recently
25:47 When I was going through a hard time in my Christian walk,
25:51 I started to forget why I was doing what I was doing.
25:55 In reaching out to people hard times were coming, trials
25:59 and they were really testing me.
26:01 I had gotten a CD in the mail, from a friend of mine who knew
26:06 I was going through these issues
26:07 and she sent me $20 for my baby because my baby was born and
26:10 I had no job at the time.
26:12 That CD was there and I put it on, I don't know why I did it.
26:16 I just put it on.
26:17 The song I heard, the name of the CD was
26:21 Why Have You Chosen Me?
26:23 It brought back to my mind the very things that I had started
26:31 to do and why I started to do mission.
26:33 It's going to be cool so I half to say we are going to come back
26:36 and I want to start with that song just because it is amazing.
26:39 We will talk again we come back.
26:42 Stay with us!