April Newsletter 2018

APRIL 2018

Volume 25 Issue 4


Joe Campos’ Testimony

As we celebrate our 25th year of ministry, we will be remembering God’s faithfulness throughout the years through testimonies from years past. Joe Campos was one of the first few men in our Men’s Home in 1995. God has written an incredible story in his life displaying His transformative power and grace!

My parents divorced when I was a toddler and when I was 5 I went to live with my real dad who had married again by then. For some reason his new wife did not like me and physically abused me for a year, so Child Protective Services had to get involved. My dad chose to sign his rights over as a father so his wife would not go to prison. I went back to living with my mom which was okay but I never really felt loved.

I hated life and felt no love from anyone and therefore gave no love in return. I found love and respect in the streets and left home when I was 14. Being lost in a dying world, I turned to violence, drugs and gangs. It felt great doing bad! I had 5 felonies in middle school alone. I was always trying to make money, looking for cars to steal, houses to break into and drugs to take. I had to always watch my back so that I wouldn’t get jumped or even killed.

Being incarcerated at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center the second time was where I tried to use God! Not really knowing if God was real or not, I tried to make a deal with Him to get out of kiddy jail but it didn’t work. With so much anger, hatred and bitterness inside, I attempted suicide in my cell. I just did not want to live anymore!

Later, I got some bad news from my probation officer. They were going to send me to TYC (Texas Youth Commission) until I turned 18 and then to prison. The day before my court hearing, all I said to God was, “If you’re for real, then show me!” JJ Ramirez was asked to go to my court hearing on November 4th, 1995 to see if I could be sent to the SOS Ministries Boys home. God turned the impossible to possible! God showed me He was real that day and I was sent to Bryan on a one year probation sentence!

Since God answered my prayer in the court room, my life has not been the same! At 15 years old, I accepted Christ into my life in December of ‘95. My passion became soul winning. After being told I was not allowed in any schools in Bryan ISD, I was at the alternative school from November of ‘95 till the next school year ended in June of ‘96. I went from straight F’s to straight A’s, from hating school to loving school! After the one year probation was over, I decided to stay until I graduated. I passed to the 10th grade and made straight A’s again and even received an academic excellence award my sophomore year. In 2000, I was the first one in my family to graduate from high school. I tried to join the Navy in 2001 but it took 3 months to get a waiver because of a gun possession case I had in the sixth grade where I had a loaded 25 automatic pistol in my locker. I finally was able to get in the Navy and eventually went on 4 tours in 7 years of active service.

I am blessed with two beautiful daughters, Desirae who is 16 and Anabel, almost 11. God has given me the responsibility to teach, lead and train them according to God’s word. In November, 2010, Desirae accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.
My mind and outlook on life was transformed! I went from hate, to love! Without Jesus, I’d be dead or locked up. My childhood friend that I lived with in the streets is currently doing a life sentence for murder. If I had gone back after completing the one year probation, I’m sure I’d have gone back to jail or ended up in a coffin. Instead, God changed my life and changed the life of the next generation. God is good!
-Joe Campos (Men’s Home Resident 1995)

DID YOU KNOW: On March 10th we are hosting our 2nd annual Sweets for the Soul Pastor Cook-Off. Join us for an evening of supporting local pastors and enjoying sweet treats!

Let Love Lead

2018 marks 25 years since SOS was birthed into existence. From a tent revival in the middle of the hood on the west side of Bryan, we have seen God do things only He could do. We continue to be humbled and honored to join God in what He is doing in our city.

A lot has changed in 25 years, but the message has not. The Gospel message of God’s undying love and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ still has true transformational power. The transformational power of God’s love is the only message that can change the heart. The Gospel has to be seen and not just heard. As we look to the next 25 years, how do we continue to reach the needy, poor, and hurting? How do we reach a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings? If they are going to see it, we have to live it.

We must let love lead. Throughout the history of SOS, God has shown His faithfulness as we follow Him. Strategic plans, timelines, and planning sessions are all helpful things, but God moves our ministry. God moves the ministry He has for all of us. It is His love working through us that drives us to compassion and enables us to see the needs of those who are hurting. Love looks around to see who is in need. Love looks around to see who is unsaved. If we have God’s love, He gives us His face and His eyes to see them.

As we look to the future, the world needs to see us leading with love. The world needs to see our unity and love for one another. The world is attracted to love, and it is our love for one another and our ability to serve others in love that allows the world to see God. Join us this year as we celebrate our 25th year of ministry. Join us, as we let love lead.

JJ Ramirez
Founder and Director

Hit N’ Runs

During our April Awareness Month, we host Hit N’ Run Block Party Outreaches in neighborhoods throughout Bryan. We provide free food, music from a live Christian rapper, testimonies, and a message from JJ Ramirez. Our purpose in these outreaches is to share the hope of the Gospel with residents of Bryan, and get them plugged into the SOS community and ongoing ministry opportunities we have throughout the year. Prior to each “Hit”, we have a prayer and evangelism night where we go door-to-door throughout the neighborhood inviting residents to attend the Block Party, and strike up spiritual conversation and offer prayer. Over the years, we have seen God work in incredible ways and bear fruit through these Block Parties and we are expectant that this year He will be on the move. Join us in His work this month! Below are the locations and times for the Hit N’ Run Outreaches:

Friday, April 6th at 6:00:
Saddlewood Prayer & Evangelism

Friday, April 13th at 6:30:
Saddlewood Block Party

Friday, April 20th at 6:00:
Canyon Village Prayer & Evangelism

Friday, April 27th at 6:30:
Canyon Village Block Party