From one phone call, everything changed.
My life had been marked by insecurity. Relationships, identity and possessions never seemed to bring security.
I grew up living with my mom and her siblings. A positive to this was my uncle taking me to church from the ages of 6 to 9. But when my mom married my step-dad, that all changed.
My relationship with my step-dad started off well but went downhill quickly. I started to witness domestic abuse between him and my mom, and he started to treat me differently than his other kids.
My step-dad also struggled to hold a job. Eviction was a common occurrence for my family because of our financial issues. It was normal for our belongings to be auctioned off by landlords to help pay the rent we owed.
All of this left a void in my heart. I wanted to feel loved and accepted. I looked to family, peers, anyone. But nothing filled me.
I was desperate for acceptance. I was desperate for security.
My drug use was rooted in this desperation. I wanted to find community, and the drug community in my neighborhood was willing to accept me. I started using as a teenager and got hooked.
What promised community actually brought more division. My drug abuse led me to get expelled from school, get arrested a couple of times, and drove an even bigger wedge between my family and me.
Then my uncle called and invited me back to church.
When I got there, I had this feeling that God was beginning something new in my life. I was reminded of God’s faithful, secure, never-ending love.
I loved being at church, but the drug usage didn’t stop immediately. I was so dependent on drugs that I wouldn’t go into a public setting without getting high.
One day I was headed to a church event, and I had to take a hit before going. I ended up being arrested on my way to the event and spent 2 nights in jail.
At this point, my family felt that it was getting out of hand and took me to rehab. I spent three months in rehab and came out clean. It’s been 12 years, and I’ve never looked back or relapsed!
It was also in this time that the gospel took root in my heart. I believed that God loved me, and I was secure in His love. I believed the gospel and was saved!
I went back to high school and started to be more involved with the local church. It was during this time that I encountered breakdancing. I met a couple of bboys who taught me to dance.
I fell in love with breaking and the Hip-Hop community. I knew this is where God wanted me. But how could I follow Him and be involved in Hip-Hop?
I finished high school and went on to Bible school. God was doing a lot in my life, but I still struggled with how to connect my faith with my passion for the Hip-Hop culture.
One day, feeling alone again as a Christian, I decided to search online for other Christian breakdancers. I searched on YouTube and found a Break Free Ministries video. There was a link in the description for their website, and I contacted them immediately.
I connected with Michael and had never been more excited in my life! I was able to share my dream of ministry in the Hip-Hop community, and Break Free helped me realize that dream.
Michael and I have cultivated a relationship that is beyond just friendship. I feel like I’m part of a family.
I’ve seen other lives changed through the power of the gospel. There are so many who are hurting, much like I was, searching for a place to belong. This is my calling. Bringing the security and freedom found in the gospel to those hurting in the Hip-Hop community.
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