If you ever wonder what partnership with Joyce Meyer Ministries accomplishes, I have a story to tell you. It’s my story. When I was 15, my mom gave me some news: “Your dad isn’t your biological father.” He adopted me when I was 3, so he was the only dad I knew. It hit me hard, and deep down I felt betrayed.

Things had already been pretty rough at home, and I was regularly getting into physical fights with my “adopted father.” I often ran away, and no one even came to look for me.

Well, hanging out with the wrong people led me to trying drugs…and I liked it. It was a magical way to cope with the pain, even if just for a little while. But soon I became addicted and completely lost control.

For three and a half years I lived on the streets, barely surviving. I ducked in and out of various rehabs, but nothing helped. My grandma said that she prayed for me every single day. I knew God existed, but I was too far gone to do anything about it. I frequently slept on church lots because they were safe. It was at one of those churches where I ran into an old buddy from rehab. He told me about the Genesis Men’s Home recovery program at the St. Louis Dream Center, an outreach of Joyce Meyer Ministries, and how it had changed his life. Without thinking, I said, “I need that program.”

The very next day, with my friend’s help, I stood at the front door of the Genesis home. Each day, we woke up at 6 a.m. sharp, ate breakfast, then began our morning devotions and classes. I didn’t know much about God, so I soaked up the teachings like a sponge. We also helped around the church—stocking the food pantry, cleaning the buildings and assisting people in any way we could.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I began to change. God used Genesis to give me back my strength, build my character and restore me to the way I was before I got into drugs.

The day I graduated from the one-year program was one of the greatest days of my life. Today, I am attending Bible college and hope to one day work at a place like Genesis, because I want to do for others what they did for me—find freedom through Jesus Christ.

This is also why I chose to partner with Joyce Meyer Ministries and, in turn, support the Genesis Men’s Home financially. I tried a million other programs and rehab facilities, but nothing ever worked. God is truly involved in this program, and His power to change people is real. I want to help other guys who are in the position I was in.

Meanwhile, God continues to restore my life, and He is healing my relationship with my adopted father. And my grandma—she never stopped praying, and she is so incredibly proud of what God has done in my life.

In fact, after graduation, she told me an amazing story of her own. Over 60 years ago, the Genesis buildings used to be Holy Rosary church—the very place she went to school and found her faith as a child. It’s amazing how it all came full circle. God pursues us, loves us and changes us…then allows us to be a part of His plan in helping someone else.