There’s nothing more central to who we are than where we place our trust. Scripture tells us it’s the very foundation our lives are built upon.
When Lorenzo was 13, that foundation was shaken to its core when his father left home. His grades slipped and participation in sports and other activities waned. But when he used that broken trust as an excuse to rebel, things went from bad to worse.
“I started hanging out with my cousins and getting involved with the side of my family that sold drugs. I dropped out of school my junior year and never went back. I couldn’t hold a job. Eventually, my family closed the door on me.”
Alone and homeless, Lorenzo felt like he had no one left to place his trust in but himself. Thankfully, there was one other option he hadn’t yet discovered – a solid place to put his trust that would change everything.
Early on, Lorenzo’s stepfather, a longtime detective for the Phoenix Police Department, recognized in his son the familiar patterns of a drug dealer and immediately put distance between Lorenzo and the family.
“My stepfather kicked me out when I was 23-years old. After that I never had a steady home; I was always jumping from place to place, in and out of jail, selling drugs and sleeping out of friends’ garages. I started stealing and even my friends in prison didn’t want to have anything to do with me. My addiction swallowed everything up.”
It wasn’t long before the emptiness inside Lorenzo began to manifest on the outside.
“I wasn’t maintaining good hygiene. My arms were torn up from IV usage. I stood out like a sore thumb. People wanted to stay away from me. The last 4 years were very rough. I just wanted a way out.”
After hearing about our recovery program in detox, Lorenzo came to Phoenix Rescue Mission in October of 2018. It was a step in the right direction. We helped him recognize the destructive patterns in his life and introduced him to Christ. But having been burned so many times in the past, Lorenzo wasn’t quite ready to put his trust in God. After 36 short days, he left the program and fell back into his addiction.
It’s a good thing for Lorenzo that God doesn’t give up that easily. Soon after leaving, Lorenzo was caught violating his probation. He was given the choice between prison time or building a solution pathway through recovery at the Mission. It was a no brainer.
“I’ve been to other places, but this was the only one I found where people were honest about trying to get clean. They taught me how to serve God and what it means to be a Christian, not in a judgmental way – they don’t do that here. We uplift each other and help each other out. It’s what I needed to finally buckle down and hit this head on.”
Here with his fellow graduate Orin, Lorenzo is another transformed live. He is sober, a recovery graduate and part of our Ministry Training program. His relationship with his family is restored and he says, “It feels so good!”
In other words, Lorenzo finally found a safe place to put his trust – and it’s changed everything.
“I’ve learned that you can’t rely on your own strength. Only God can help you persevere.“
With solid ground under his feet for the first time in his life, Lorenzo got to work correcting the mistakes of his past.
“Since I’ve been here, Phoenix Rescue Mission has helped me handle my legal issues, gave me the resources to pay back the restitution fees on my own and even helped restore the relationships with my family.”
All that time, God never let him down. Month after month, our counselors and staff helped him face his addiction and, more importantly, the roots that maintain a hold on his life. Through God’s grace and his diligence, he’s experienced true transformation.
His family, even his sharp-eyed stepfather, has seen the 180 degree change in Lorenzo over the past year – a revelation that has restored bonds broken for more than a decade.
“My family is starting to trust me again and it means the world to me. I’ve become a role model to my brothers. My stepfather and I are closer than ever now. They allow me to come over and spend the night, even drive their cars and use their bank cards! It feels so good.”
Today Lorenzo is sober, a recovery graduate and is currently helping others put their trust in God as part of our Ministry Training program. From rejected to role-model, he’s become a different man.
“The counselors and mentors here are all genuine. They’ve shown me that people do care. I have value and hope in my life now. They’ve instilled these values in me and now I’m working to help others.”
If there’s one thing to learn from this story, it’s that trust goes a long way. When you entrust Phoenix Rescue Mission with your time and treasure, you’re not only helping transform lives like Lorenzo’s, you’re reaching every person who sees that transformation and finds that it’s real. Your partnership is powerful.
Thank you for helping change our city life-by-life and day-by-day!