March 10, 2017
Up until a few years ago this neighborhood was more known for its crack addicts and homeless population. In a changing area, money and power was a means of survival. The cost of living was on the rise, and Jen’s family was not immune to these rising costs.
With her family needing help paying the bills, Jen looked to the streets for guidance. She wouldn’t have to look far; her good friend had become one of the biggest drug dealers in the neighborhood. He had the money and power necessary for surviving in their “hood”. Out of necessity to help her family survive, Jen made the decision to follow in her friend’s footsteps.
Jen’s road to money and power lead to a dangerous place.
One night, Jen had a misunderstanding with her good friend. He thought she was stealing his clients. On these streets, selling drugs to the wrong clients can get you killed or thrown in jail. Jen was on the verge of the former. Her “friend” threatened to kill her, saying, “I know where you lay your head at night!” Out of pride and “heart” she gained from the streets, she responded, “I’ll be ready!” Deep down, she was really scared.
Another one of Jen’s friends heard what was going on and was worried about her, so she invited her to Youth For Christ’s Unified Underground/Catalyst Hip Hop event that hosted monthly rap battles in the city.
Jen had gone to a church before, but her impression was she couldn't listen to hip-hop and be a Christian. No one had really ever explained to her what it really looked like to be in relationship with God. She believed that God was only capable of judging her. But, at YFC, Jen felt accepted, she saw people who loved God and hip-hop but weren't violent or chasing money and power.
Over time, Jen started attending Bible study and had tons of questions. On her journey to find answers, she realized that she could love God, love others, and also love hip-hop! She stopped selling drugs and left the risky situations the business was putting her in.
Now, Jen attends YFC regularly, she is a volunteer, and she invites other girls. She is also in the process of becoming a YFC Core leader. One the coolest parts of Jen’s story is she has started writing her own music and had the confidence to perform one of her songs at the YFC event that her friend invited her to over two years ago.
In a dangerous place, Jen was broken. God’s work in her life has made her whole in Him.
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