Joe really has an amazing story to tell of how Jesus turned his life around.
For the majority of Joe's teenage life he was locked up, he said. He was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and fought all the time. When he was 19 he got in a fight that sent him to jail for 10 months. When he got out of his dad allowed him to stay at his house as long as he went to church every week. During this time he still had another court hearing of which he expected the outcome to be jailtime. The opposite happened; he didn't go to jail. Instead he was let go and on his way home from court his childhood pastor saw him and invited him out to lunch. It was during that time at lunch and following conversations that Joe found out about the Freedom House and decided to give it a shot.
He really didn't know what to expect during his time at the house. In fact, during the first three months he felt nothing...he felt no new change. But sometime after those 3 months something happened. He noticed that he had friends and relationship that he never had before...and that people respected him. This was all so new to him. He also noticed everyone's happiness and it was at that point that he decided to give "that faith thing a chance." Since then he's been growing in Christ and has felt purpose that he's never felt before.
I was really blown away by Joe's story and how he ultimately came to salvation. I really don't understand what he came from, because my testimony is so different. I had friends and respect and I at least knew what real happiness was. But it's so cool to see how God brought Joe to him.
Something that I can sympathize with Joe are his struggles he has now, chiefly his having a hard time to forgive himself when he messes up. This is hard for me too. Sometimes I don't think Christ's blood was enough, and that I have to do something to be forgiven. But that can't be further from the truth.