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March 17, 2022 6:00 am
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You feel called to serve God in your career. Check out some of the exciting job opportunities. We had Focus on the Family were looking to fill positions in marketing IT and marriage counseling work with other talented believers enjoy meaningful Christ centered work environment and use the skills God gave you to encourage others and help families thrive. To learn more visit focusonthefamily.com/careers that's Focus on the Family.com/careers today on Focus on the Family you'll hear how a man went from high-level drug dealer. Also known as Street God, to a pastor and evangelist made it down south and that's when I Had St., God status, and we started making money like never seen before.
We were in the middle of several drug laws. 30. My friends got killed and in between this timeframe and we just in this game announcing all this money, you hear a really vibrant testimony today. Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family your hostess pokes president Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John. I met the Marcella Berrios at a Salem radio that a couple years ago I was so impressed by his love for the Lord and once I hurt his back story and I was even more impressed. This is a man who has overcome incredible odds and I know our listeners are to be fascinated by his story, especially if you have a prodigal child as you hear the Demos is living proof that no one is beyond the reach of God, no one at Demos, pastored in New York City for many years and has share the gospel on every continent except Antarctica sure there some penguins there that might listen to the gospel, but there you go, you get an Internet nation from somebody down there to come see you never know. Pastor Demos is the author of the Book St., God, which tells his life story in more detail, and we had that book here at Focus on the Family.
The proceeds go right back into ministry. When you requested from us and we got the link in the show notes here now is Pastor Demos Cella Berrios speaking at harvest fields.
Community church in the Bronx on today's episode of Focus on the Family. So today I want to share with you my testimony and one the reasons why is the Bible says in Revelation chapter 12 and 11 that we can overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word about testimony, so I want to tell you a little bit of my story.
I always look to Outlook right now and I just want to walk you through some some really tough thing some hard things some very real things I experience now growing up. I grew up in Queens New York in the Hollis area of Queens. This area is called Cambridge Heights.
My mother was a principal. My father was a captain of correction and Air Force God. So I came out the house and those we like manicured lawn. You know would be a very beautiful surrounding but a couple blocks away is where a lot of the crazy stuff would go all and a member, you know, my mother got me to the best school district where my father is separated and he lived in Bayside Queens. My mother still stayed in the house by Cambridge Heights, so we got into this all white school district in Bayside. So the school took us on a trip to see the movie ETV member seeing that ET phone home. You know it I'm on my left father that was so happy.
I was like nine years old and I sit and I wish I could just ride my bike and just launch into the air, you know, when I was in my dream but then we came out of the theater. We started to walk and it was a big sign of the movie that's coming out called Scarface and I look at what's up with that many. You may remember this was Scarface was going to be rated X, not because of pornography anything like that but it was going to be rated X for the power of the content. The actual content of the movie was so intense, so it's 10 women there saw that movie and it had a real negative impact on my life. I left sided with the dream of becoming a Street God unless I would dream of becoming one of the largest drug dealers in New York City at age 10 and you know by age 11. I finally went back to middle school in Amaral's walking the halls and also one of my friends and this is not, you know, one of the stories like know that we think of a drug everything a semi would a black hoodie and Allie to come over him. A man you know I got the stuff you don't know was like that was a fellow classmate, pulled out this bag of these little dots of mescaline tabs which look like a tip of a number two pencils broke and he said no man.
He said you want to buy these some some for three dollars that you'll it will rock you hold that you be laughing all day and I remember I was like I believe models like that little dot you tell me could do something. He was like oh yeah estimate is $30. Managing front and that took us a what are you doing Lisa Goss Wallace Ostwald. It and you know back down off people still do this today, but we were big on writing these little notes. The girls that would say I like you you like me yes no I wrote this girl this know you don't have to. Now if I was like and feel of the site. 45 minutes about like great and the girl walked down as she looked at me. She said I like it in the drop kick start a crime will could not control my emotions and then walked in the principal witness man with whom and they said today would have a special assembly on drugs. I set my heart was pounding you just feel like pizza know everything because I combusted no member went into that assembly in the guy was talking in the goals just came over me and the guy just looked at me and I knew he knew, but then he kinda second-guessed himself like kids 11 know what it is, went on I was there and at that point out so my finesse that I never want to take it again. I'm good and my friends and wanted to help me sell it and then I said yeah could do that and then I became also a drug dealer, age 11, and we took it out into the streets and walk around selling the mass – then I kinda realize very quickly. I was going to become Tony Montana bus LMS – so then we found out that this girl the neighborhood had like a pound a week. I went to her side hustling. We did pretty good with that and then I member you know we sold out all the stuff that she did not get more than one day we were walking down a McDonald's and I went down to McDonald's.
I now forget this guy from my neighborhood.
Yet this beautiful Cadillac. He was only like 18 and I was like 10. Look at that call, my friend said yeah man, he's a crack dealer and then it went into my head crack. That's the way I could get a call. I was like this is the way I could really do this thing. So I went and started working for them hustling for them learning. You know the ropes.
Learning about JOA and how to not get busted his ass start to get arrested from time to time, but my father since he was the captain of correction. He knew a lot of judges so I was getting passes over and over again and also my mother had money, so she always kept me with a paid lawyer. So every time I went I did dismissal.
Did you know slap on the wrist brace another probation one year probation, a five year probation over and over again. I kept getting this break into one day the only day that I was really really sore. The innocent I came out the house and I'm walking. I was going down to check on some of the workers in all these cops pulled up surrounding me and I was like I'm good.
I'm not running I will have anything and then when they pulled up they took the drugs off this dealer that they had in the back of the call and they came and put it on me and they said, must rename daylight basic daylight. This one and I was like oh man. When I went to court and I have my lawyer became a say look, he said he said you been arrested nine times already be nine different drug cases were not beaten this use like this one is looking serious offset the Rikers Island. You know I went in there for year and Rikers. I was hot I got front, you know, I went in there everybody I knew from Queens said they were from Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx is on the only doom represented Queens like where you from Queens that all Queens softly next on not beautifying next job in another Fleming. It was horrible there found they put me into this thing called shock got out came out.
I was so excited I just shock was like awesome military thing we gotta do 100 push-ups and 1 miles a day and all the stuff I came out of my mindset like no going to like go straight to do the right thing in the only job that was available to me was why Cason and let me tell you all my manpower for four bucks an hour. It did not work and at the end of the week they gave me $75. I was like when I was used to. Sometimes clock in seeing our because this error that I'm talking about. There was one block in Queens that was owned by fatcat nickels that made hundred and $50,000 a day you're talking on the real money. So when I got the 75,000. I try for another week and I was like I can do and I went back into the drug world and then this one girl now forget she gave me what I call the kiss of death.
She was like yellow smoke this with me and I was there and this U-turn, this one around, put in the mouth and kneeled down to said not a data I disliked her and she said put your lips on mine and I will blow the smoke into God kneeled down and was she blew into me was marijuana and crack cocaine and I took a hit that and I was like wow and I remember I turned to like a free but me and my friend replied no.
We crack at reading it. Then we start getting smaller and smaller in the crack start getting bigger and better NMP was guy looking at me and I was all smoked out losing weight. I started stealing people's packages messing up people's money market pricing with zero and I had all these dues that was chasing me want to kill me, and I think, mother stepped in against the cinema send you down south to stay with your brother. I went down the I try to get there.
I couldn't find a thing on me. He was in the wallets you will have a car down there. It and I realize from those drugs lost all my self-esteem. I forgot who was then I started to find myself again. I saw the box close. I started to get dressed.
I started to remember. I like this and like that knowledge that I got myself together and then he sent me back to New York. My mother called upset. I got the money to pay off some of these people you all the most wild ones and went paid them all off and I'm about to turn my friend. I suggest we go to do so with the hustle crack in this town would not use it as some you know for real. I never used it again. I just hustled in that time I knew the mind of the addicts on like Joe, I know how to win this thing and I trained all my workers would. It was, like, I support the drunk man style, but we never drop what I did was I would chop the stuff up and put it in these smaller like bottles so people come I would tell them if they give you $10 bill act like you dizzy and you'll know what you're doing is giving five so everybody thought that we did not like this, too, can't count what I was doing was I was growing the market and actual goal.
This whole area and then one day I meet. I felt like I was on top of the world. I had a parole said a report to. I was did the GED program stuff going down and I'm about walk to see the parole officer and I was sitting there and she said want to talk to us.
It is a go.
Since going okay yes it's what's up. She said you're going back to jail. She got up and handcuffed us of what I'm in the GED program.
What's going all she said. You have turned in three dirty urines of cocaine back to back and I said I will even get and then I thought about it like the movie Breaking Bad I was cooking the drugs and the cocaine was going to my paws and I didn't even know what Paul's bar so then I'm sitting there and I'm having flashbacks of Rikers Island. Once on this June. You know he sliced my face with a razor. Thank God you know was a dull race all have the big you know buck 50 sonnets you see on some people and you know you sliced me want us to think about all the fights I had and I was just sitting there while I was sitting there. She got up and walked out and I just thought the slip.
The cuffs to my knees and then I put 1 foot over the other one was next. I know I'm sitting at the cuffs in front of me and him sitting there like you pull that off.
This she came in she sat in front now so she can see she was like okay to go to jail and maybe 90 days and maybe six months and I jump is not not grab the door and opened it and now Martin and I was on the fifth floor so I want to get this always had a lot of heart. So it hit the stuff and I just down the steps. I mean heading with my face forward playing it all hit the bottom of some of them I could hear all me of Cox coming down the steps after some running some old one is open now. I knew down at the bottom. It was always this officer there and I said I gotta get around this to so when I came around the corner. He wasn't. There was even a Christian by yelp. Praise God outside now on Jamaica Avenue. This is like 42nd St. to get out the way I'm knocking people down my little and I went to this all called the Gertz mall and dipped the side of this barbershop and nobody barbershop saw me, but I could hear them yelling chasing this dude in the mall chasing this dude then one of the managers open up a storm. You had become something you'll do as I call my friend please not told my friends name and I he was like I know this error got a member of the big chain. I mean if you have robust I was you flying that links you know you had nice links to the medallion and all that to my friend he was like when these links do you know we're doing that, Lisa Guillot, I got a place to stay right here. He went down to one the guys who bought the chains from and he got a metal collar so he came and clipped my costs and I said put me in the bobber. Seems like you crazy.
I said no message trusting.
I said if you put me in the barber's chair and you just give me a shirt.
They looking for somebody cuff. Then I look for some eye with a hand movement so I was they did not cut never town the cops came and I was like no matter next map data. Give a copy to the Council walk out one of the guys pulled the car around and I got up and I try to act like I was short walk got in the car and took off. Now where did I go the worse place to ever go the girlfriend's house as well you see on TV and the news is girls of winter. My girls house, but I knew I wasn't stupid. I said I got like 20 minutes it saw winning their stuff together real fast. I call it one of my drivers and he said you I just wanted to take off your compass to bring up is this going to cost us chaotic. Kim guy came in game $100. He took off my cuffs and then I'll know what came over me not to signal do what you do for living. He said I'm a parole officer. He went out the front door. We grab everything we went out the back door. 10 minutes later they rushed my girlfriends house but I was wrong. Then the next day was Halloween, so I told my grandson I got a plan. So what I said. Gotta give me a wig.
You give me address I said would all go down south will get this money so Halloween I was the tallest woman you've ever seen went through Amtrak got on the train went down made it down south and that's when I hit Street.status, and we started making money like never seen before.
We were in the middle of several drug wars 30 my friends got killed and in between this time frame me 30 of them were dead and we just in this game. Now I'm seeing all this money coming in. Then I get this crazy idea.
I was like Mama go to New York Guillot chocolate time. Whatnot, but you know I want to visit some people in all this, I came to New York and on my route, driving to New York. There was this other drug dealer whose girlfriend was well known as a witch coming. This was some stuff that happens down south and I know forget I was in this car, sleep, and we just heard the horns honking their bandages Honking I'm about woke up and looked and I saw the girl driving past me like looking at me like this. We also are we all like talking about the whole Ron hi CCS, how she funds when a call becomes black. Since this ain't even a call. We use and then we got all the way to New York and I was walking down the street and that girl popped out, grab my all I member I take my arm away from her and she did so my rear move and I just pulled it away and lo and behold when I got back down to North Carolina.
It was like I completely lost my mind. I started to see things in shades of red. I mean I was walking around the house trying to find a gun to kill myself but part of me was trying to stop myself. But I was still moving in one of my friends grabbed the gun and held not try to get a push me away. I got so angry I went over the kitchen sink and just started this smash all the dishes with my fist and that's all I got a lot of scars on my hands. The blood was flying everywhere I looked outside I saw someone had the door open only down so not New York with data door open and I went running to the house.
I don't know to this day who they are open their front door ran into their living room and ran out the back door. Could you imagine that you sit near some blood everywhere ran out in everywhere I went. From that point on, because news travels really fast in a town like Winston-Salem so everywhere I went.
Blocks with clear like I want to block it was someone that you go ahead and block B pack. I turn around, everybody was out was that was going on and then I said men I knew I needed help so I called up my mother and I said my son I'm struggling I need help.
This is hard since it was going on like I'm losing my mind and seen everything Greg can you help me to set want to go to church.
I said mom I need help and I hung up the phone.
Well, I know you want to tune in next time to hear how this story ends as we hear from Demos Cella Berrios on Focus on the Family John, what a cliffhanger. And remember, if you can't be with us next time get the CD or audio download so that you can hear the entire presentation, or you can get the Focus on the Family app for your smart phone your rental link over to those in the show notes or call one 800 K.
The word family, John. There's so much to reflect on from what Pastor Demos shared today, but I'd like to comment on just a couple points.
Demos said that it was seeing the movie Scarface, which was rated R is a 10-year-old boy that inspired him to become a drug dealer think that one of the taglines for that movie was. The world is yours and you can see how that would appeal to a young boy who had no power. And let me tell your parents movies have a huge impact on the hopes and dreams of your young people so you need to help them choose carefully and we can help you do that through plugged in Focus on the Family's media review website that we are here to help you make those good media decisions for your family. Yet, look for the link for plug-in online and if you really want to stay current on your media choices subscribe to the plug-in show podcast of the details are right there at the website and if you're the parent of teens plugged in is a must-have resource for you are staff covers the whole gamut, movies, TV shows, music, video games, to books and even reviews on YouTube channel. He had really is amazing what they do.
It sure is John at another point I'd like to make is that Demos said his parents helped him avoid punishment. In fact, he had an attorney who managed to get a dismissal or probation for Demos in 99 drug cases and it just makes me wonder what would've happened if Demos had really felt the full weight of the law. The first time around.
Or maybe the second and maybe he would have figured out that the consequences for dealing drugs were just too painful.
So parents as hard as it might be.
Don't shield your children from the penalties for their bad choices unless the punishment is truly unjust if they pay the price now, chances are they won't be paying a bigger price when they're older and obviously God had a plan to redeem Demos but he also allowed a lot of painful consequences like a full year at the notorious Rikers Island prison there. New York yeah that's a great point, Jim. And when your child is very young that can be as simple as taking them back into the store. If you discover they've stolen something and confessing to an authority figure. Like the store manager can have a big impact on a youngster and can help them really count the cost. The next time you're tempted to cross the line well you never had to do that, having only a few times we the kid or the parent. I was the parent.
Those are important lessons to learn, and I always didn't do it that well and Demos had to learn some lessons to on a much bigger scale. Obviously, even after he became a Christian and will hear more about that next time. But there's so much more to the story than were able to share on the broadcast.
So I highly recommend the book Demos Has Written Called St., God, the explosive true story of a former drug boss on the run from the hood and the courageous mission that drove him back. It really is a well-written account. One reviewer said easy entertaining and edifying. I especially recommend giving this book to young people who were living that lifestyle by degree and let me encourage you to get the book right here from Focus on the Family where the proceeds go right back in the ministry help us as we support and save marriages encourage parents protect the lives of unborn babies and so much more were nonprofit ministry and we need your partnership and if you can make a donation of any amount I'd like to send you a copy of the Book St., God by Demos Cella Berrios get in touch with us today and he can do that when you call 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459 or follow the link in the episode notes to donate to the work of focus and request your book. As Jim mentioned, when you're online for speaker look for resources from our plug-in team will keep you up-to-date on what's going on in popular media, and if you enjoyed today's program. Please tell a friend to tune in next time to hear how Demos got to this point in his life. I remember I got up at that moment I felt such peace, like now all cracked out of pocket that have gone on to sell crack again Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for this Focus on the Family podcast take a moment if you will.
We were waiting for us, while others define this great country and will say thanks. I'm John Fuller will see you next time is once again help your family thrive in Christ