Kyle’s life was filled with chaos. But then he was put in touch with Connect to Community, and his life started to change.
Growing up my lifestyle was chaotic. Our Mum cared for us but our Dad was a drug dealer with no desire to discipline. My brother and I did whatever it was we wanted, and I quickly fell into the dangerous habit of smoking at the young age of 12 just to try and fit in. This led to drinking, and I was addicted to drugs by the time I was just 14. At 16 I went to prison for 18 months for a stabbing at school. There I felt extremely isolated and I became more violent than ever before. Shortly after I was released, I starting dealing drugs and found myself locked up again for 3 and half years. It was rough, I was not sent to juvenile jail this time. When I was released, I went back to dealing drugs because it was the only thing I knew. Not long after, I was back in jail once again.
My third stint was at Glenochil prison. I started attending the Chaplain’s service to pass drugs to other prisoners. The Chaplain finally gave me an ultimatum and said, “Stay and listen or don’t come.” For some reason, I stayed. That’s where I met David McAdam from Connect to Community and my life really started to change. I’d been let down so many times before that I could not help but take everything at first with a pinch of salt. However, Connect to Community was persistent, reliable, and trustworthy. Dave was always at the foot of my bed ready to get me going each day, ready to help. Connect to Community helped me interview for Teen Challenge and escape the never-ending cycle of drug dealing. There I met Anthony Gielty who connected with me because he knew how I felt and had done some of the things I have done; but Anthony’s life was changed when he found Jesus.
Anthony’s story allowed me to trust Jesus myself, and eventually I gave my heart to the Lord too. After 18 months at Connect to Community, my mind-set was completely transformed, and I’ve since moved out to one of the flats run by Street Connect (a partner charity of Bethany) flats. From here, I want to tell folks that have no hope, that there is real hope. I want to make my family proud by joining the Navy and becoming a chaplain one day. Thanks to Connect to Community, I know grace and hope like never before.