From Rebellion to Redemption: a Teen’s Journey

william praying in el salvador detention centerWilliam’s involvement with gangs began when he was 13 years old.

He first started as a lookout man, watching who was coming in and out of the neighborhood. Later, he began extorting people and businesses. That’s what got him arrested and sentenced to five years in a juvenile detention center in El Salvador.

When he entered the center, he had a defiant attitude toward the staff and guards. Sometimes he ignored their instructions. Other times he would say things to offend them. Because of his rebellion and fighting with other boys, he was sent to extreme isolation more than 10 times.

Finally, a few months ago in May, he asked to see a teacher from Orphan Helpers – a teacher who works in the detention center thanks to your support. When the teacher arrived, William said he wanted to know more about the message the teacher had been sharing with the other boys.

As the teacher began talking about forgiveness and redemption, William was overcome with emotion. He said he wanted to accept Jesus as his Savior and become a new person.

William, now 17, is a young man that loves to be in the presence of God. He’s seen reading the Bible and talking with others about Christ every time he has an opportunity.

“Orphan Helpers shared with me the Good News that I couldn’t find anywhere on the streets: that God loves me,” William proclaims. “My desire when I get out of here is to serve in a church and dedicate time to God and let Him control my life.”