Born in Ethiopia, Blaize was adopted at 11-years-old and welcomed into a loving home. At 18, he graduated high school and moved out of his parent’s house with what little money he had saved up from working two jobs. However, he quickly learned that living on your own isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Within a few months, Blaize lost both jobs, was unable to pay rent, and became homeless. He spent the next six months living out of his car refusing to ask his parents for help. Blaize spent his time using marijuana and trying to scrape together money for food.

He knew “if something didn’t change it would lead to harder drugs.”

Hopeless and penniless Blaize reached out to his parents in a last ditch effort to turn his life around. His parents eagerly welcomed their son back into their lives and connected him with Youth-Reach Gulf Coast (YRGC) at their pastor’s recommendation.

Blaize was hesitant at first. He went to church as a pre-teen to please his parents but turned away from his faith in high school. Having lost everything, Blaize was willing to give Jesus another chance.

The first six months Blaize kept to himself. He put up barriers and did everything he could not to draw attention to himself and fit in. Then – he had a breakthrough; all of the walls he built came tumbling down. His faith in God and trust in others was renewed. His bitterness was replaced with new hope and kindness.

The next few months, Blaize opened up about past traumas and began the process of healing. Youth-Reach helped him come to terms with who he was and who he wanted to be – for himself and God. His YRGC family helped him reach beyond a life of despair and isolation into one of purpose and faith.

Having found his place in God, Blaize will soon start a new chapter of healing, repentance, and growth as a transitional resident at YRGC. There, he’ll work towards full-time employment and learn to connect with the Lord in new and exciting ways. Blaize looks forward to living independently and discovering God’s calling for his life.

Blaize has one piece of advice for young men struggling like he did:

“Give it a shot, be open to a change and God. You won’t be able to make it without God.”

Your generosity helps young men like Blaize on the hopeless path to destruction start a new life grounded in Christ. Because of you, we’re able to raise arrows in the hand of God that become productive members of society.

Baize’s story is just beginning. Will you join him on his journey?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11