In January of 2013, David Derieux took his first breath of fresh air outside the walls of prison. After being incarcerated for ten years, all he had was a few pairs of sweats, and not a dollar to his name.
“When I got out, I moved into a halfway house. People there suggested I check out the Rock Church because they might be able to help me get some new clothes.“
As David passed through the glass doors of the Rock Church lobby he made eye contact with a face of kindness at the Information Desk.
“I had these goals. I needed to get a California ID. I needed to get a job that I could take the bus to get to. I needed to save money in order to purchase a vehicle. I couldn’t start that process without some decent clothing.”
The first thing that face of kindness did after greeting David? Pray.
“In this lobby, I was totally received. I felt so loved. Then I was handed a voucher for clothing. It was the grace of God.”
The Rock Church wanted to help David make the transition into a new life. It was the generosity of Jesus Himself, in the most practical way.
“I headed down to the Rock Thrift Store. There were a lot of nice things in there. I was seriously overwhelmed because I didn’t expect that kind of quality in a thrift store.”
The Rock Thrift team was excited to love and encourage David. They knew that vouchers had gone out, and they were expecting him. Eagerly, they—and the countless people who generously donated gently used clothing, household articles, and more—helped give him the hand up he needed.
“I felt so happy. The people there were all so kind to me. It felt like God was doing something good in my life.”
David is a now a member of the Rock and a ministry leader, though he prefers people simply refer to him as a servant. God has blessed him with a good job making $32 an hour. He has since remarried a wonderful Christian woman, and has even reconciled with his children.
“I still have my struggles from time to time—but I sure do try. My life has turned around, and the way I fight my battles now is totally different.”
Nowadays, you might find David himself giving back on any given week, serving with the Most Excellent Way ministry, or handing out food with Second Chances, Bread of Life ministry. One of his favorite things to do, when time permits, is to serve on Sundays at the Rock Thrift Store Microsite.
“I have experienced God loving me generously, and I was able to get plugged in. I live the blessed life, and in my darkest places, God’s love has shone the brightest…I found a home. And now, I want to help others find that home, too.”
by Ali Kaun