“I just woke up one day and knew it all had to stop.” Keshon said when I asked what made him give up drug dealing. Coming to Christ, for him, is about more than changing his mind, saying a few words, and getting dunked—it’s a new life at a high cost.
“You can’t just walk away from the drug game—it follows you. I knew I couldn’t live for God and stay in it, so I walked away. That meant no income, no rent money—so no home—but that wasn’t the worst of it. I stayed in the shelters ‘cause I knew I didn’t need to be around my old friends and their bad ways. When I went out looking for work, I got jumped by one of the other dealers and his guys. I told them I was done, I didn’t want any trouble, I just wanted to live for God. They thought I was a snitch, so they beat the tar out of me and told me that if they ever saw me again they would kill me.”
“I went to the hospital and as I was checking in, I saw someone I knew, but I didn’t think anything of it. I guess they made phone calls, ‘cause when I walked out of the ER, the waiting room was full of people who were mad that I left my old life. I sat down so there would be witnesses around, but one of the other dealers told me ‘you gotta walk back at some point.’”
Keshon feels like there is a target on his back wherever he goes now, but he knows what he has to do. “It’s hard to hang on sometimes. I know I can’t turn my back on God, but it is hard when it’s been days since your last meal, you have no money in your pocket, you’re sleeping under a broke-down truck and you know that in a matter of hours you could have several thousand dollars by dealing.”
“I learned something though, every time I’m put to the test, when I’m not sure how much longer I can make it, and I choose trusting God, He comes through. Someone will offer me some food, or a place to sleep, or I get a call, like today, telling me I got a job! It’s not the kinda money I was making, but God is showing me that He’s enough.”
Keshon was even able to help his uncle to leave his old ways and draw closer to God. I haven’t seen Keshon in a month. I pray he’s just busy working, but I don’t know. Sometimes discipleship comes at a greater cost than we would imagine. Levi walked away from his tax booth and left everything to follow Christ. James and John left their father and the family business. Keshon left friends, family, home, wealth, and puts his life on the line every day.
People like Keshon are why I’m at RCM. God’s message changes lives and is making a real difference here in North Little Rock.
In the 11 months of my RCM apprenticeship, I have helped to lead 140 people to be restored and 47 baptized. I look forward to the opportunities that God allows me in the second year of this apprenticeship.God bless you all.
“After this, Jesus left the house. He saw a tax collector sitting at the tax booth. The man’s name was Levi. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. Levi got up, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:27-28).