Marvin's Story

Marvin knows that he was not the sort of person that could be trusted. He had an incredibly dark past. For 30 years he was a drug dealer, an addict and worse. He would stay high for days at a time and was often in trouble with the law. Still, during a time of incarceration, he knew that something had to change.

He could never have anticipated the way that it would happen.

“I walked outside ready to make a drug deal and the sun hit me and I just heard a voice and it said `It’s time.’ I went into the house and came back out, and I heard it again. I knew it was God. I called my niece and she brought me to The Salvation Army.”

After completing a drug rehabilitation program, The Salvation Army helped him to get his life back on track. He was given an opportunity to serve others who were struggling with their own issues.  The Salvation Army gave him a job helping with other programs that ministered to those who found themselves in situations much like his own. The Salvation Army saw the change in Marvin’s life and trusted him to help others. That’s when he knew that his life had been changed.

“After four months working the night shift they gave me the keys to the doors. They respected me, and for them to give me the opportunity to do things and not judge me because of my past and what I used to do, they became my family. It’s very rare for someone who doesn’t know you, to trust you like that.”

Incredibly, as a new man, Marvin discovered a passion for mentoring young people. He teaches lessons on teamwork, attentiveness and good values. He makes himself available to listen to stories about their home and school lives, and he encourages the young people to hold each other accountable and reach for a higher standard. 

Marvin credits The Salvation Army with teaching him about Jesus Christ, about forgiveness and how to be a man of integrity.  He discovered that his life was not defined by his past. Thanks to the love of God and The Salvation Army, Marvin has experienced a complete and total transformation.

“On my 47th birthday I played basketball by myself in the rain, and just cried. For the first time in 30 years I was celebrating my birthday clean. If it weren’t for The Salvation Army, I wouldn’t have known my purpose. I have found my passion.”

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