The Ripple Effect…

In the craziness of life, we need to remember the good things that have taken place.  It’s so easy to forget and become preoccupied with life’s daily struggles.  Below you will find a wonderful Freedom Fire story of how God changes lives.

Andre grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Kansas City.  During his early years, he ended up getting involved with Freedom Fire Ministries. Andre would attend the Friday night outreaches, mentoring, and went to numerous camps. His connection with Freedom Fire brought stability and a source of love that he desperately needed. Later, as he became a teenager, he drifted away. The world of drugs presented a relentless pull and Andre became a very successful drug dealer.  His gift for leadership was evident even in these illegal activities. It wasn’t easy though, for there were turf wars and shootings. His brother was shot during this time. At the height of his drug dealing business, he started meeting with Freedom Fire staff again. The relationship was rekindled, and he was inspired to make some big, life-changing decisions. Andre decided to live a life of faith and leave the world of crime behind. Andre is now taking college accredited classes through Freedom Fire and is on staff with the ministry.

One day both Andre and his cousin were riding together to church.  Stopping at a red light, they invited a homeless man who was flying a sign (another way of saying panhandling) to come to church.  Gary was more than happy to get in the car and go with Andre. Just minutes prior to Andre stopping, Gary had prayed to the Lord saying, “Lord, I am so down and depressed.  If you don’t show me a sign that you still love me, I’m going to end it all.”  Moments later, the guys showed up. At church, Gary instantly found that he was part of the family, and thoroughly enjoyed the hot meal that was served afterwards.  From that time on, Gary considered himself an official member of the church.

Gary’s faith was stirred and his gift for evangelism emerged amongst the other homeless folks in the downtown area.  He helped many over the years. During that time, he still would fly a sign, which he considered to be his job. One particular day while working, he looked down the road and saw a young man straddling the bridge over the highway.  Instantly recognizing that this guy was planning to commit suicide, Gary began a dialogue that eventually led the man off the bridge, to a hot meal, and spending the night with Gary at his camp by the Missouri River.  The next day Gary brought the young man, named Josh, to Freedom Covenant.  They sat on the back row, and Josh listened intently to the message.  At the end of the sermon, the pastor, without knowing any of the story, felt compelled to call this young man forward for prayer.  With tears in his eyes, Josh came forward and prayed for Christ to take control of his life.  Josh later joined the men’s group at Freedom Fire and found great encouragement and counsel there. He grew in his faith and later was reunited with his family.

There are several lessons to be learned from this story.  First, we should never underestimate the power of the Gospel.  Paul states it well in Romans 1:16 when he says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”  Second, when we do share the Gospel, it can have a profound ripple effect.  Our homegrown leaders such as Andre and Gary are certainly examples of this.

God Bless,

Bruce McGregor

P.S. If you would like to support the ministry, you can make a contribution on our website (freedomfire.org) using PayPal.  You may also mail checks to Freedom Fire, PO Box 270061, KC MO 64127.  Please make checks payable to Freedom Fire.   To find out about volunteer opportunities please contact us via the website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *