“I Don’t Want to Die a Nothing”

This year Freedom Fire is celebrating 20 years of ministry.  During this time we hope to send out some testimonies and wonderful stories of what God has done and is doing!  I hope you enjoy the following story:

“I Don’t Want to Die a Nothing” 

There was a knock on the door.  Surprised that there was an early morning visitor, I made my way to the front door of our office house.  Standing on the porch was a young man that I recognized from the neighborhood.  Having worked with hundreds of kids for years in the heart of federal housing, I had met lots of people, but standing on the porch was a young man that I recognized from the neighborhood.  This person, Alan, was the older brother of a young teenager who had attended our Freedom Fire outreaches.  Alan had watched our work with youth for years and had appreciated the positive influence that was evident in many of the lives who attended our programs. 

This particular day, Alan needed help.  He felt the ministry of Freedom Fire might be of some assistance with what was bothering him.  As he sat down at the table in my office, he began to tell me an amazing story.  Several months prior to this visit, he was having a party at his house.  The hour was late and everyone had congregated in the yard drinking and listening to music.  During this time a mini-van slowly approached the house.  Just as it pulled up, a van door slid open, muzzle flashes could be seen, and gun fire was heard.  Everyone instinctively dove for cover; some ran into the house.  Alan dove into some bushes near the front of the house. 

Eventually, the gun fire subsided and Alan remained still for a period of time to make sure the coast was clear.  As he lay on the ground behind the bushes, he could feel some sharp pains in his abdomen.  Eventually, his friends found him and dragged him into the house.  After stripping him down, they discovered two massive bullet wounds in his lower torso.  An ambulance was called to take him to the emergency room. 

At the hospital, the surgeons worked diligently to remove the bullets and stem the bleeding.  Alan had lost a lot of blood and almost died.  While in recovery, his sister sat by his bedside and prayed for him.  When he regained consciousness, his sister hugged him and told him that God had saved his life.  Alan proclaimed with a defiant attitude that God did not save him; the doctors did.  Alan’s heart was hardened toward the idea of God.  Due to his rough upbringing and being part of a family notorious for drug trafficking, Alan had developed a jaded view of God.  Even with his sister’s appeal for Alan to change his ways and get right with God, his heart remained hard.

Fast forward to the night before Alan came to visit me.  Alan was partying again at his house.   There was drinking and carousing outside much like months before.  Astonishingly, a van came by and strafed the front yard once again.  Like the previous time, Alan dove into the bushes.  One might think he would have dove behind something that could have offered a little bit more protection – especially after the last event.   When the gun fire ceased, Alan felt the same sharp pains as the last time.  Knowing that he had been hit again, he decided to pray.  He asked God, “If you spare my life, I will surrender my life to you.” Again, his friends found him and dragged him in the house and stripped him down.  Amazingly, there were no bullet wounds to be found.  Alan knew God had saved him.  It was this miraculous event that propelled him to the offices of Freedom Fire. 

As Alan finished telling me this story, tears began to run down his cheeks.  “I don’t want to die a nothing,” he stated.  “If I keep on the same path that I am on now, that is exactly what is going to happen.  Can you help me?” 

What an open door!  I proceed to tell him about our God in heaven who knows his needs, pains and hopes.  This God we know as Jesus certainly can help.  After a heart felt discussion, Alan prayed that Jesus would forgive him of all his sins and evil ways.  He also asked God to take over his life and be the one who controls the rest of his days left here on earth, expressing gratitude for God’s sacrificial and unconditional love.  When the prayer was over, Alan exclaimed, “That was amazing!  I felt a warm tingling sensation all over me.” For Alan, this was a clear sign that God was hearing his prayer and receiving him unconditionally. 

Although many people’s lives do not include such dramatic events, we all have the same heart’s cry.  We all want to be significant. In Alan’s words, “we don’t want to die a nothing.”  Many try to find significance in their work, some by social status at school.  For parents, it might even be in the achievements of their children.  As Alan found out, there is only one way to find the ultimate significance in life.  That is by yielding to the Creator of all life, Jesus Christ.  It’s a step of faith, but one that brings great meaning. 

For Alan, he left the drug trafficking business and became a home renovator.  He also led other members out of a life of crime and into some legitimate means of work.  This type of transformation takes place just as the apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is ja new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  For Alan and many others like him, by looking to Jesus, they found the pathway of significance.

How you can help us reach more people like Alan:

Below are a few ways you can support one or more children from the inner city:

$60 will provide breakfast for scores of people in need on a Sunday morning.

$170 will help send a kid to summer camp.

$700 will sponsor a young adult from the community for a quarter of college accredited courses in our School of Urban Leadership.

$1,144 will sponsor a youth for an entire year’s worth of tutoring, mentoring and a variety of fun activities.

You can mail a check to Freedom Fire, PO Box 270061, KCMO 64127 or make a payment through PayPal on our website, freedomfire.org.


This is one of our youth outreaches, like the one Alan’s brother attended.

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