When my Dad met the Father - Joey, a grateful son
“With Father's Day last month, I found myself reflecting on God's goodness, faithfulness, and grace, especially in my family. My dad would be the first one to tell you that he needed an extra dose of the grace of God. That power changed his life forever."
Raised in Spanish Harlem, Joey’s father, Danny, became submerged in a lifestyle of drugs and street life. He joined a powerful gang, "The Viceroys" and spent his younger years in and out of prison.
“My dad tells the story of sitting in the hospital room with a friend who passed away because of the same lifestyle. My grandfather was there. He looked my dad in the eyes and said, ‘if you don't change, you're next.’ My dad is here because of God’s grace and praying parents.
God's grace stepped in and led him to a man named Victor Torres, who was visiting from Virginia. My dad was desperate for a change, so he went back to Richmond with Pastor Victor and entered the New Life for Youth men’s program.”
The drive to New Life Ranch took Danny past trees, cows, and fields – “very foreign scenery for my dad.” Danny didn’t know it then, but the landscape of his life would be forever changed.
“In 1977, our caring Heavenly Father spoke to my dad – ‘humble yourself and trust me.’ And he has been in the arms of Jesus ever since. The fatherly love and grace of God rescued my family. Spiritual father, Pastor Victor Torres, and New Life for Adults & Youth mean everything to us. I get to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. I have the privilege of seeing him encourage the guys in the program as I’ve grown up. That is something he and I have in common. I regularly speak at the men’s homes and love to see the power of God working in their lives, knowing this is where transformation happened for my dad – through a Father in heaven who loves us and is worthy of our hope and trust.”
“As a father has compassion on his children , so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” -- Psalm 103:13