Former Drug Dealer Turns Life Around with Help of S.O.S. Ministries

By: Alex Lotz Email
By: Alex Lotz Email

A local Christian organization dedicated to turning lives around is celebrating 20 years in the Brazos Valley, but what's unique about Save Our Streets Ministries is that they focus on those who are less fortunate; from drug abusers to those suffering from depression. One Hearne man said the ministry helped awaken his life.

Life wasn't always pleasant for Johnny Alvarado. He tried to stay out of trouble by going to Save Our Streets Ministries in Bryan when he was 14, but it was just for a short time.

"Getting caught up in drugs and the street life," Alvarado said. "I didn't have anyone to look to or turn to. I was looking to all the guys in the street."

He turned to drugs and then started dealing, then using. That's when Alvarado's life turned for the worse. "I became a drug addict and wound up in several rehabs in my life," Alvarado said.

It wasn't until he was going through his fifth rehab stint that his life changed dramatically. He found Jesus Christ.

"When every door has shut in my face and there was nothing left for me to turn to except the Lord, because He was the only thing I hadn't tried," Alvarado said.

After losing nearly all hope in life, Johnny returned back here to the S.O.S. Ministries nearly 15 years after he first arrived. He said he looked for any help he could to restore his life.

With the help of people like Carmen at the Ministry, he has grown in his faith. Carmen Maxwell helped start Save Our Streets Ministries and first met Johnny when he was 17 years-old.

"He was doing drugs, he was running the streets, he was just out of control," Maxwell said.

She's seen how far he's come in life.

"When he came to the ministry he had just given his life to the Lord coming out of rehab, but you could tell there was a real change in his real change in his heart," Maxwell said.

"S.O.S. Ministries has helped me become a man, to be able to endure hardship, has helped me become faithful and above all, how to impart those things to other men," Alvarado said.

Today, Alvarado drives a ministry bus, is a mentor to young kids and preaches his story of how Christ saved him.

"A lot of times in the streets, there is no hope," Alvarado said. "The only hope is Jesus."

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