7/11/11 Mario, 24
At the park I met a well-dressed young man named Mario who responded very positively to my questions about God. Though he really couldn't explain the Gospel, God has clearly been working in his life. He grew up with no father but with a godly and faithful mother who raised him and his brothers as best as she could. However Mario turned to the gangs and street life, dropping out of school and fathering five children by three separate women. He was on the road to destruction when suddenly his mother, only 38, died of a brain anuerism three years ago. That got Mario's attention, and Mario decided to live for God, dropping out of the gang and moving to another part of Chicago to avoid repercussions. He's been living "under cover" ever since, wearing nice clothes with long sleeves and full length pants to cover up his gang tatoos. He lost his apartment and is now on the street but is thankful for a new construction job he just started recently. He is anxious to get on his feet financially so that he can start to live responsibally and take care of his children. Our conversation served to verify these goals, assure him he is on the right path, encourage him to join a local church family, and help him articulate the gospel which I could tell has already given him a new heart with new desires for the things of God.