Homeless, but Grateful

Posted on by Vince Sarfraz

The following story was written for Youth For Christ USA. These are real YFC Stories showing how God is using YFC USA as a vehicle in raising up life-long followers of Jesus all across the nation.

I remember the banging on the door as we hid in the attic.

I remember my mom covering our mouths so we wouldn’t make a noise. I remember being in the cop car while my mom tried to distract us by asking us if we loved our dad… I said, “No.”

That is one of the few memories I have of my biological father—a drug bust.

My father was a drug dealer. He was abusive to my mother and even tried to kill my baby sister when she was still in my mother’s womb. To this day, my father doesn’t even know that my sister is alive.

After the drug bust, we moved to Kansas and my mom met and married my stepdad. He was also a drug dealer and physically abusive, just like my father. Even though I loved my stepdad, our family was very unstable. I often was forced to intervene when my parents fought.

My mom tried to be a stable force in my life. When I was little, I remember her giving me a blue Precious Moments Bible. My mom even let my sister and I attend a bus ministry, which would drive around our neighborhood. The pastor and church leaders would pick my sister and I up and tell us about Jesus. I remember listening to the stories, but I did not truly understand what they meant. The stories did, however, make me want to read my Bible more and to pray more.

I wanted my parents to be calm. I wanted my mom to be more stable. And I wanted my parents to stop selling and using drugs.

When I was 12, I reached my breaking point. I no longer had the energy or the will to jump in the middle of my parents’ fights. I felt like I had prayed as much as I could. I remember saying, “I’m done. I’m leaving forever.” As I reached the back door, I told God, “If You’re real, I’m stepping out of this door, and You’re going to have to take care of me.”

Just then, I heard my older sister’s voice behind me say, “Wait, Laura, what about me?”

Because of her, I decided not to leave. Instead, I prayed, “I’m going to trust You. I’m going to pray and believe that You’re going to get us out of this situation. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but I’m going to trust You.”

Two years later, God did rescue us. It didn’t look anything like what we thought it would, but God answered. My stepdad was caught selling drugs and sent to prison.

We were homeless, but I was grateful. You could not have met a happier homeless kid.

No more cops, no more fighting parents, and no more drug deals. I finally felt free of the lies, my fear, and the overwhelming uncertainty.

Years later, I was accepted into college! During that time, I grew in my relationship with the Lord; I started to grasp how much He loves us. Because of my upbringing and my difficult relationship with my biological father, I struggled with self-worth and felt that I was not worthy of love. But to discover a father, my heavenly Father, who loves me, no matter what? There are no words to describe the joy I have found in this Father.

I currently have the honor of working with Youth For Christ. I get to invest in young people who feel unloved. I get to be the earthly, loving voice I always wanted in my own life. And ultimately, I get to tell them about an even greater love: God’s love!   


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