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Hi, my name is Emmanuel, and this is My World.

At the age of 14, I became part of one of the most respected and feared gangs in the Greater Toronto Area. I had to play my part, so I sold drugs and carried guns. I engaged in a lot of violent acts against fellow criminals. Because of the life I was living, I got bored with school. So, I dropped out when I was 16. I moved out on my own and got a job selling popcorn and ice cream, but my main income was off drug money.

I ended up moving to England where I could work with the ďolder heads.Ē After a holiday in Canada, police raided a house I was sleeping in and arrested all of us in the house on suspicion of possessing drugs. When police entered the premises and asked for a name and address I didnít know what I was saying, so I mentioned my own address which in fact had enough in it to put me away for 10 years.

After being booked at the police station I was led to my cell, as soon as I took off my shoes and had the door shut behind me something inside me told me to call on the name of Jesus. I was so desperate. I just dropped down on the mattress and told Jesus that if He got me out of there I would follow Him and said amen. I fell asleep and after a couple of hours an officer told me I just made bail and was free to go. I thought they made a mistake and signed the papers quickly and ran out. But I realized that Jesus had set me free. It took me months to really acknowledge what happened, I didnít want to change. I was under serious scrutiny by the police. I was losing it mentally and so I decided to go low at my momís house in Belgium. I had been feeling the desire to go to church and one Sunday, I went to church with my sister. After the service I got offered to come along to this Winterfest, youth convention in Maastricht, Netherlands and I accepted the offer. After seeing all those young people, jump, rejoice, cry, and praise God things just changed in me, I gave up smoking there and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Since then, my life hasnít been the same.

Today Iím a Sunday school teacher and actively involved in the Church. Outside of Church Iím a core team member of Serve the City, a social organization whoís aim is to show kindness in practical ways to people in need. We speak with the homeless, immigrants, refugees, abused women, victims of human trafficking, kids from poor families, and we clean up the city. I want to do everything I can to honor God for what heís done for me. Itíonly by His mercy that Iím here today.

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