After being delivered from a life of drugs and gang life, Pastor Zico John is on an unstoppable mission to win souls for Christ.
The Junior-Youth pastor of Rhema Apostolic Deliverance Ministries International told Barbados TODAY that his goal as a person is to be the role model that he was looking for when he was younger.
“It is also to help empower people to have a voice of action, to show people that despite having a troubled past filled with gangs, violence and drugs, there is always a way out and you can use your failures in life to fertilize your future.
“My goal is to help the broken, rejected, outcast and misunderstood because I once was one of those people,” he explained.
The past student of Grantley Adams Secondary School said he was a part of a few gangs, “which names I rather not mention, but I will say I was the infamous gang leader of Blue Street Crips and Street Souljaz.”
Life was completely different for the 27-year-old hotel worker back in his teen years.
“I was delivered after having numerous encounters with the police, rival gangs, losing close friends through gang violence and being stabbed multiple times. I felt empty, and I knew death was around the corner waiting for me or jail. I had never wanted this life for myself but the road to hell is always disguised in good intentions cause at first I thought I was just looking out for my people who I called family. Even if it meant hurting someone else.”
He said he then asked God if He is real, to reveal Himself to him.
“I asked him to help me by delivering me from the hands of my enemies who were about to come and kill me as they had spotted me alone walking in town. As soon as the men got close to me, an unknown car and person told me get in and drove me to a Christian event without even speaking to me while in the car.
“After [that incident], I had given my life to God, but it was not easy. I backslid a few years after until someone introduced me to a church called Rhema and that church nurtured me in the things of God with love, patience and forgiveness even when I continued to stumble.”
He continued that his parents had no idea or the slightest clue of how much trouble he was in. His mother stood at his bedside at the hospital while he was nursing stab wounds.
“With water in her eyes, she asked me to come away from that life and seeing the pain I was putting her through did something to me.”
Pastor John now has lots of advice for his younger counterparts. “My advice is that it is never too late. As long as God woke you up this morning you can do better than you did yesterday and if you want to change, first change the people around you and the environment. Then, only then, can the process of change begin.”
John now hosts a digital show called Voices Up. He said the goal as an organization is to empower young people to have a voice of positive expression and to highlight the good people within the nation and beyond.
“We focus on educating, motivating, directing and showcasing the good of our people. We seek to give back to the poor and the less fortunate through charity and community work. Also, Voices Up has a YouTube podcast that is a spiritual youth-based program governed by the inspiration of God and His Word. We also focus on the voices of Truth which empower our young people in their everyday life. It’s not limited by traditional religion or legalism. We also express this by showcasing the gifts given to them. This is the vision God has loaned to me.” (MR)