Tony grew up in an abusive home with a violent, alcoholic father. In high school, he started using drugs and drinking, desperate to “fit in” somewhere. When he tried to stop, he realized he couldn’t. “It took me about 5-6 years to realize I had an addiction and 20 to overcome it.” Tony lived his life like a nomad. He never had a true home. Instead he moved from place to place, wondering aimlessly, never finding success no matter how hard he tried. Finally, Tony grew weary of trying to do things on his own. He had been to RO before and knew that he would find love, forgiveness and grace and when he entered the program this time, he was determined it would be different. The first 6 weeks were the hardest for Tony. It took everything in him to keep him from leaving in the middle of the night. He relied on the strength of the Lord and ministry leaders to hold him up when he felt like giving up.
Tony had always known deep down in his heart that God had a calling on his life. Looking back, he sees that although he gave up time and time again, God never gave up on him. That is why he decided to enter the MIP (Ministry Intern Program) and commit an additional two years of his life to serving the ministry. Tony has a beautiful family, and they have stuck by him even through the worst of times. “God kept me when I couldn’t keep myself. He kept my relationships even though I did everything in my power to break them down.”
Tony would like to encourage others who are struggling. He says “Even though things might not look like you want them to look and you might not be in a place they want to be, just ‘let go & let God’ and things will change.”