I was not always a man of God. I had quite a colorful past, being involved in illegal street activity. A former drug addict, I had a $1500 per day drug habit. It didn’t matter what kind of drugs either, I used any and all kinds. My choices got me into a lot of serious trouble, which alternately led me to a few prison sentences.
I had previously been told about Jesus Christ, but I did not know him for myself. My life was in shambles because of my own actions. It got to the point where I was going to harm myself or someone else, but then I remembered what my mother had told me about Jesus. So I called on Him and He came into my life.
Instantly, I felt at peace.
I didn’t start by asking Him to fix things. Instead, I asked for Him to fix me. I had been broken and without clarity. Chaos had been my best friend. But I could not live like that anymore. Jesus Christ came into my heart, freed me from myself and made me feel calm and at peace, even though I continued to face many difficulties. With Jesus, I felt it would be okay.
With the help of other Christians, I began to walk right. I learned about God, His love for mankind, and His love for me personally. I started to take classes like “Helping Others Heal” and I stopped using drugs. Jesus removed my obsession and He also placed upon my heart, a desire to help those who were suffering. I took the “Wellness Recovery Action Plan Class” and then facilitated it for others. I went to Bible studies and had them in my home. The way I was living before I met Christ was wrong.
In the book of Proverbs it says, “follow my instruction and live,” and that is what I wanted. I began to believe that Jesus had my best interests in mind. I knew He would help me get better and then things would also get better. This would help me to become an asset instead of a liability.
My wife, Jackie, and I began to feed the homeless and give encouragement to those who were lost. We started, “Gray’s House of Hope,” a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Over time, we fed, clothed, and gave personal hygiene products to the homeless and those people in transition. We have helped so many though the years, and just this year alone, we baptized 35 individuals in the homeless community. Some have gotten jobs, got married, and found housing. We have been incorporated for nearly seven years but we have been active for nine.
Recently, I began school at “Advance Center for Ministry” and currently, I am an outreach minister. Really though, I’m just Mark Gray. It’s not about me. This is what I do.
I also lead a prison ministry. We go into the jail and teach a class called “Truth and Freedom to the Men” and my wife teaches a class called “Abundant Life” to the women in prison. We pray for all of them.
We are continuing to feed the homeless with “Take it to the Streets Tuesday” and we also do “Fellowship Friday.” We take donations to keep things going but it’s really all about Jesus. We meet with people and try to help them make a decision to serve God.