A drug dealer and the Christmas story

Posted on by Youth for Christ

Being a drug dealer in my small town wasn’t exactly where I thought I’d be at 20. I had envisioned myself on a scholarship at some college playing basketball or golf, but here I was making good money, owning lots of material possessions, and living what I thought was a good life.

Life. It had been difficult growing up. Abuse, alcohol, and strained relationships were what I grew up with and thought as normal family activities. Life was difficult for everyone around me, and I assumed this was just how life was...difficult. When I returned home the evening of my 18th birthday, my father had packed my bags with the few possessions I owned and kicked me out of the house. Alone, confused, and unsure of my future, I began working as a bartender at the local bar. This served as a great cover up to begin selling drugs to those seeking more than alcohol to bring a quick escape from life’s struggles.  

After some success in the drug trade, it became evident I was negatively impacting the community, specifically the teenagers who I was selling to (including my own brother). One evening, me and a couple of buddies were invited to a church softball game and picnic by a former high school coach I respected. We agreed to go to the game and get some free food...hey, even drug dealers got to eat!

Little did I know this church had been praying for and planning this evening for the past year. Though apprehensive about what was happening as they prayed and shared the Gospel, something resonated deep within my soul. They were offering hope, forgiveness, and love through the person of Jesus Christ and I desperately wanted to have those things. The “good” life I had was nothing compared to the life I was now being offered. I wanted to have life and have it to the fullest, and I now saw it came through Jesus and nothing else.

45 years later, as I reflect on my story and the Christmas story, I love the words the angel spoke to the shepherds, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Good news that caused great joy for a young drug dealer named Larry Lance. Good news that can bring great joy to the teenagers our Youth for Christ staff and volunteers work with. Good news that can bring great joy to you.

I want to thank you for the part you play in bringing this good news to the young people we work with every day! May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Give Life to Your Story,

Larry Lance, CEO

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