Today I have three meals, a full-time job, some balance in my life and the future’s looking exciting. If you’d told me that three years ago, I’d have laughed you off. I was living absolutely outrageously on London’s Streets – out of control and wild all day long and into the early hours. I was lost, very angry and struggling to find my way through. I didn’t see much point in life, and I didn’t think I had many options. All that wrapped up in one man. I’d never given any thought to religion – I didn’t come from that kind of background. My family was abusive and full of addiction. Whenever I’d spent time in jail there had been a Bible in my cell. But to be honest, the pages got used as rizlas. I came to Webber Street because I needed somewhere else to eat and freshen up. The last place I’d been at, I’d got drunk and passed out in Trafalgar Square. Some joker had nicked my trousers, so I was standing there in my boxers shouting, drunk and raging. They could see I needed help, but I got banned for a month.
A smaller place
Webber Street is smaller than a lot of other centres. People make time for you, sit down and talk. Everybody is in one room; other places, you can get lost in. At first, I didn’t understand that it was a Christian centre, just that people were working hard to move things forward. They never lost patience, though they had more than enough reason to ban me. I proper disrespected people there. Emotionally, physically, chemically, I was a mess. Webber Street always let me through the door. Sometimes they would say that I should leave for the day, but I was always able to come back in the morning. I’ve come from a place where I’ve suffered a lot of rejection and this made an impact. One of the staff there – Paul – sat me down and told me a lot about himself and about the gospel. We’d come from similar places and similar lifestyles. Seeing that someone like him can come through intrigued me from the beginning. He later told me that he’d observed me for some time. Sometimes I was alright, other times I was a mess. He told me about Teen Challenge rehab. I knew I had to go to rehab, but I wouldn’t have chosen a Christian place – in fact it was very low down on my list. But I now see it as all part of God’s plan of people and moments he was putting in my path.
God met me where I was at. Paul was put there – I trusted what he said to me. As soon as I got to rehab, I knew I was in a good place. Lots of people say that there’s a certain kind of peace in this place. On Sunday 22nd April 2018 I was in church. An American was preaching – I can’t remember his name. He gave an altar call. Even though I didn’t understand the whole God thing, I knew this was the right time. I knew I’d messed up, so I said to God, ‘Let’s try to see how we can do it your way.’ I am spending so much time in the Word of God. It takes me to a place where I see a lot, and conviction of sin is a massive part of what I’m working through. When things start to change, conviction begins to come in. I’m working for Teen Challenge now in furniture collections and distribution and I’m going for a health and social work diploma. I’m by no means the finished article, but every morning I am thankful that where I am is God’s work and that I am still being supported by London City Missionaries such as Jean-Louis Kassis and others. Everything I’ve been through is now going to be used for good.