A few months prior to my release from prison, I was called to the Classification Office. There began the process of what I was going to do and where I was going to live once I was released. During the process I was interviewed by officials from Restoration Destination. I knew right then and there that God had blessed me. The compassion and kindness that I felt when I spoke to these gentlemen convince me this is where I wanted to live.
On May 26, 2019 I was picked up by members of Restoration Destination. A couple of hours later we arrived at Pahokee. I was impressed how organized and clean the transition house was, everything up to that moment was a blessing. I was thanking God over and over again. This community feels more like a sanctuary than just a place to live I feel the peace of God everywhere. I would be safe here with good, God fearing people. After a couple of weeks I started to adapt to life in peaceful Pahokee.
Friday night is “Game Night”, where between 6 and 8:30pm we play cards and other simple games and just have a good time socializing with members of the community. [ed. Game Night and other community activities have been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak and health care officials recommendations against gathering.] Unfortunately, I made a mistake one Game Night when I went to the Fellowship Hall with my roommate – I left without “the box” (part of the GPS tracking system) that always has to be carried with me whenever I go outside.
A warrant for my arrest was issued and I turned myself in. I had my court date about 30 days later and my probation was reinstated. I was released with jail issued black shorts, white t-shirt, white socks, a pair of shower slides, a Metro-Rail pass, and instructions to report to the probation office on 79th Street to have a new GPS system issued. I had never been on the Metro-Rail before and I was given bad directions – I ended up somewhere in a commercial district, a long way from the probation office.
I didn’t know where I was. I had no ID, no money and no phone. Instead of putting my head down and feeling sorry for myself, I looked up where the light and the truth are, where the hope, the strength and peace are. God fortified me with the will and strength to make it to the probation office.
So I continued my journey, but after a while I started to cramp up. Every time I stopped to catch my breath the muscles on my legs cramped up. I was dehydrated and couldn’t find any water. I started to doubt and panic. Then the words of our loving God came to mind: “I will never forsake you.” I made it to the probation office just in time.
I woke up in a Fire & Rescue truck, spent 3 nights in the hospital, and then Ted was there to bring home. Our loving God got me home to Restoration Destination safely.