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March 18, 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 have Focus on the Family 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. When I got back down to North Carolina. It was like I completely lost my mom. 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. There's a description of life spinning out of control, and as we heard on the last Focus on the Family Demos Cella Berrios was a drug dealer and a drug user and today will hear how his entire world dramatically changed your host is focused president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. This is an exciting story that were sharing and hey, if you miss part one of this presentation yesterday.
Please get in touch with us. You can get the Focus on the Family app for your smart phone and we can send the entire message on CD or audio download so that you can listen again or share with a friend or family member, especially, I would think older teenagers. This is a great story about the dark side of life, and how God reach this man, this is a redemption story so call us today for further details about getting this in its entirety or number is 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459 or find the details in the show notes as I said at the start of the show. Last time I met Demos at pastors breakfast sponsored by Salem radio in Philadelphia that yes, this former drug dealer became a pastor.
Gotta tell you I was just so impressed by his enthusiasm for the things of God and his desire to share Jesus Christ in urban areas around the world.
He's written a book about His Experiences 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 and that's the story that you're going to hear today is right and you can get the book from us when you get in touch.
Pastor Demos is a faith leader. He's a film producer after years of pastoring in New York City. He's turned to filmmaking to reveal the spiritual and the social needs of urban areas. He's married to Tiffany is the father of three girls in here now is pastor Demos Cella Berrios speaking at harvest fields. Community church in the Bronx on Focus on the Family and will share a brief recap to help you get caught up on history so the school took us on a trip to see the movie ETV member saying that ET phone home. You know what we came out of the theater. We started to walk and there was a big sign of the movie that's coming out called Scarface so it's 10 women there saw that movie and it had a real negative impact on my life.
I left thought it was a dream of becoming a street God. I left thought it 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 pulled out this bag of these little dots of mescaline tabs which look like a typical number two pencils broke any signal may want to bother you. Some sold for three dollars that you'll it will rock you hold that you be laughing all day estimate is $30 manager front and that took us a what are you doing Lisa Goss Wallace Ostwald. It in 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 I went down to McDonald's. Never forget this guy was from my neighborhood.
Yet this beautiful Cadillac. He was only like 18, 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 so I went and started working for them possibly for them learning. You know the ropes. Learning about jail and how to not get busted his ass thought to get arrested from time to time, but my father since he was a captain of correction. He knew a lot of judges so I was getting passes over and over again. When I went to court and I have my lawyer became Mason look, he said you said you been arrested nine times already be nine different drug cases will not be nestled 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 front the file they put me into this thing called shock got out came out. I was so excited I just shock was like awesome military thing that really came out with my mindset. I can see some I would be shocked if I came out of my mindset like no going to like most right to do the right thing in the only job that was available to me was why Cass and let me tell you all my man Powell 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 Siena. How does this error that I am 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 tried for another week and I was like I can do and I went back into the drug world and then this one girl never forget. She gave me what I call the kiss of death, not a data I disliked her. She said put your lips on mine and I will blow the smoke into and I kneeled down and was she belittling to me was marijuana and crack cocaine and I realize from those drugs.
I lost all my self-esteem. I'm about to turn them off when I suggested we going to do with the hustle crack in this town would not use it and then one day I meet. I felt like I was on top of the world. I had a parole status report to. I was getting a GED program stuff going down and I'm about 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 him in a GED program what's going on. 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 pause and I didn't even know what Paul's wire. This he was like okay go to jail, maybe 90 days maybe six months and I am not not grab the door and opened it and now and I was on the fifth floor so I want to get this always had a lot of heart.
So would hit the staff down the steps.
I mean heading with my face forward so I'm running something one is open now. I knew down at the bottom.
It was always this office and I said I gotta get around this. So when I came around the corner. He wasn't christened by yelp. Praise God outside and on my route drive into New York.
There was this other drug dealer whose girlfriend was well known as a witch. I'm about woke up and looked and I saw the girl's father passed me like looking at me like this.
We also are you all like talking about a whole lot hi CCS 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 take my arm away from her.
If she did some I read 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. So I called up my mother and I said my said I'm struggling I need help. This is hard as he said was going on like I'm losing my mind and seen everything red. Can you help me set want to go to church.
I said mom I help and I hung up the phone and God sent three women, three women walked over to me and said can we pray for you and I said why not. Nothing else but I do know what else didn't they took me into a rule one no matter oil they started saying I pray for me felt the power of God. I get the floor praying for me. I remember I got up at that moment I felt so much. He's like now crack out of my pocket. I looked up to heaven. I think I'm going to sell crack again just to sell me because not make you more money like no Bible so I was there enjoying all the stuff that was going on and one day I went to church and I started to type into the church. Amen. But I was typing drug money that Bible verse, the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous that Israel over the past got up and announced he said Todd has gone up by seven. He was like I'm on these charges taken all even realize it was all my drug money and then this one woman I never forget she got up she said I just want to tell you church. I had a light bill for $80 $80 and not opened up and it was a check for church was three minutes was like I said, pastor, I got a test member. I got my said to the Lord has blessed my business right outside in the parking lot, I got a 535 BMW somebody.
It was quiet and said somebody better talk to this man, like $80 like Bill Hayden or me.
I'm talking about real money. Not nobody, but I was going to my mind that in the next week the whole church change, they said to have all the young men 20 and under what have you meet downstairs and all the young ladies 20 and under and they started to talk about drugs and I asked the doctor was wrong. We said in Galatians chapter 5 is workable sorcery, sorcery, the Greek word is pharmacopeia which is pharmaceuticals. Liz got broke this down.
So when you build the witchcraft and drugs, it was being used during it's also drugs are not new. It was asked, he found the Bible and I was 20 dues on the I was in my heart not done something that I I gathered my whole team together out of the supplier for multiple drug dealers so I got them all together since a rat said is overly minimum and not a like no man this enclave might cause something from my credit all the stuff that you will do this, I quit so I left. Little did I know one of the guys in that meeting had planned to murder so I was in my apartment showing and I heard this knock on the door that I have ever just felt evil like you could just sit something is not right. I walked down open the door locked behind me and stepped out, and it was dude I knew his name was mental. And I said I'm out put together quickly. Old man they going to murder me take all my drugs and see Joe Miller talking, the side of the house when I walked in aside a house that was all the do job who hated me and I was like it's going to go down and I just said God. Gotta get me through his his job is mental asset always about to happen.
He just thrust at me with the gun. Take the click didn't think tank and by the power of God came by the fighter looked and I jotted down the constable looked up to heaven. I was like God. What ever you want me to go. What ever you want me to do, along not only at that syringe and I went to church. I started to learn about you have to obey the laws of the land. I split up in the church and I said listen, I gotta confess I said I'm on the run and the whole church broke out laughing.
I said I don't understand what's so funny don't you know we know every New Yorker down is usually on the run in the cops in the church started to stand up said a daylight watching your life will correctional suspend up like this were going to do the right letters for you.
I was there like what in the world. I drove back to New York. Went to my mother's house. My mother said to stay three days.
Let's get things together get the lawyer get all the stuff together and I said you know of Massimo my head out to get something from the stall. Be back when I went out.
I mean, Satan gave you one last temptation walking and I'll never forget this car pulled up and it was my connection that used to bring all the way from Texas. He rolled down his as I killed daylight like it was so is ideal. Take my number he's like is not the same music you want to kick it off again. Give me a call and remember I was looking at that Number Like Rikers St., God, Rikers Island trouble that described in the message to.
I went home to turn myself in case they gave me a courtly 56 days later.
During that time I minister the gospel as best I could. I didn't know how to preach. It was pretty good. I'm not going to sell sell all over the place and I'd be like him out Bible study. All will come out about stand there open the Bible and say this is says in Joelle Moses owns you know what that means everybody in, and then finally the day came, while went before the judge and the judge said tell me why you turn yourself in. I said I turn myself in.
Because I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and what I follow him in jail out of jail to follow him. She said they grabbed me and I will.
They put me in a sellout mascot print out what I do wrong house like God, no. I'm used to running off your list, I used drugs in jail. I don't look at any bad magazines on my God I need you this. You brought me back out and she said to do something I never did before.
She said I'm going to release 27 Rikers Island would make you back to the person that you were, but I want to release you and keep doing what you're doing and God allowed me to be released from that jail and I came out on fire season everything just total commitment to Jesus sought to bring all his people to church and then not plugged into a church in Queens started dating my wife Tiffany and she found a flight to China. She found this organization that could smuggle Bibles. I got hyped on the site will be about alcohol and I got a lot of Bibles through it in one down to the last trip. It was this one guy who was like a submission cycle.
That's all I can call you start to think you need to submit. You need to do it my way. He said to put it in the back.
I said I can get 66 Bibles on my body through in the bag. You can only do for you need to submit you know what I read first on humility yes okay I'll submit so were going through. We walked in. He gets through other person gets girl walk through this stop. I tag like I did next down on some roundabout Chinese people.
These cops and he said put the bag on the scan so I took off the little small base and not that back that saw put on skin unbelieving for miracle might let the hand. The God make Bibles disappear, heard all commissary stories. The thing with all your being, now more the cops came. They zipped it open. They said whose books on these I said all you know what my guy got me took the book and not in my face something trouble man. I was there and the guy look in the one the Massey said how tall you I got New York's slick mouth I said on the stall as Michael Jordan. He looked like I can deliver you from anything on the God don't make mild adjustment in your life. All everything for him in your life will never be the same. An example of how God can work in one person's life right notorious drug dealer to hold missionary for the Lord what raising testimony and the rest of the story is that God sent Demos back to New York City to work in ministry and to reach out to drug dealers and juvenile delinquents in his old neighborhood.
Demos was able to plant churches and conduct prayer walks in various areas the Bronx and even received a commendation from police Commissioner Ray Kelly for lowering crime in the Bronx River neighborhood and as you said at the top of the show. John Demos has recently turned to filmmaking to reach a wider audience and to reveal the heartfelt needs of urban community seems like the Lord really has him on kind of a new mission is so true, and I pray that this message from Pastor Demos has given hope to anyone who has a friend or family member who's living a life that's not pleasing to the Lord, and if that your situation I hope you call us. I think I can safely say we've heard everything. Here's just a few examples of the calls that we receive. Alex said our 30-year-old son has always been a responsible, godly person. Over the past year he has completely changed. He has stopped going to church and we just discovered that he's been using drugs. I want to intervene and give him some ultimatums but my wife is afraid that if we are too tough on them. He'll quit talking to us and then will lose any influence we might have with him.
My heart goes out to the couple. Here's another one. Julia call because she didn't know where else to go for help. She said we have neighbors who are doing drugs and their kids are trying to get my eight-year-old son take drugs to eight years old. That is awful. I just horrible and were seeing the results of a lot of different things including the opioid crisis is drugs are becoming so common, so accessible and so many are impacted by the fallout is taking place in families and marriages that are being torn apart right but you know what Focus on the Family offers hope to these families.
Our friendly staff is here every week day to take your calls, and to help you work through problems that are too big for you to handle alone, and if needed we can have one of our caring Christian counselors give you a call back so if there's someone in your life that you're concerned about please give us a call and will do what we can to help and let me encourage all of you to lend a hand to the work we do here Focus on the Family ministering to hurting families every day that were listener supported and we rely on your donations to make resources available to everyone who needs them. And if you can make a donation of any amount today I'd like to send you the Book St., God by Demos Cella Berrios as our way of saying thank you and remember when ever you are shopping for books by Christian authors and other Bible related resources, check our online store. We only stock items that have earned a seal of approval from focus a ministry you already know and trust.
We also offer top-notch customer service and you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that your hard earned dollars are benefiting a ministry you believe in, rather than going to a secular Corporation. I hope you'll shop with us first, and you can do that when you call 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or follow the link in the episode notes to donate to the work of Focus on the Family and request your book and will encourage you to visit the website where we have some free helpful resources for parents who have prodigal's kids who are wondering, have a great weekend with your family and your church family and then with us on Monday as we share one mom's experiences raising a child with down syndrome has enriched my life and the lives of others in wonderful ways like meaningful and full of purpose hundreds of other special needs parents.
I've met along the way they tell me they feel the same. The world is a better place because of our children. Please take a moment and leave awaiting your podcast at online and share about this episode with friend of behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for this Focus on the Family podcast.
I'm John Fuller invited back in your family thrive in Christ