Former Gang Member Sends Message to Young People

Former Gang Member Sends Message to Young People
Communication Department, ATCU

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"Involved fathers are God’s antidote against youth rebellion."  This is the view expressed by Drexel Deal in his book entitled
The Fight of My Life is Wrapped Up in My Father. 

Deal, a former gang member, paid a courtesy call on the union administrators on Tuesday, October 15, 2015, to present copies of his book and to share his experience of God’s redemption in spite of his rebellion.
 
The book chronicles the life story of Deal who was a top general in one of the largest gangs in the Bahamas. It recounts how he was shot four times while attempting to commit a robbery and was presumed dead.   While God spared his life, he lost his sight because of the gunshot wound to his face.   According to the book’s blurb, Deal picked up the pieces of his mangled life and set out to retrace his steps and those of other gang members to find out where they all went wrong.   It took Deal ten years to research, document, and write the book about his experience.

Drexel Deal was baptized into the fellowship of the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Bahamas Conference on June 6, 2015.    Deal explained how this happened.   

"I was at home one day flipping through the radio channels on my phone. I stopped at a station and heard a gentleman preaching.  I cannot remember the name of the preacher," he said.  "But the message got my attention, and I sent an email to an address mentioned at the end of the program.” 
 
 According to Deal, the miracle of his conversion was that the signal for the radio station, Word SBC, did not reach the area where he lived, "but God used that radio station to reach me where I was,” said Deal.  

On Friday of that week, two elders from the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church knocked on his door in response to the email that he sent.  "The rest is history," Deal stated.  "I began Bible lessons and was baptized.”   

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He explained that he never received the radio signal again at his home after that day and described the time since his baptism as "a beautiful walk.”   

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church is everything I expected it to be.  It encompasses every aspect, from the Word, the Sabbath, to how we should eat and live,” he explained.  “I didn’t choose the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  God chose it for me."

Today, Deal has two passions: his new found faith as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and his desire to reach young people who are heading down a path of destruction like he was.  His ministry now is to share Christ's message of redemption to young people, to schools, and to churches.   

He has begun to write another book that will share how a small group of young males used fourteen principles to grow a gang of thirteen persons into the largest gang in the Bahamas with over 20,000 young males. 

"I was one of those gang members,” he said.  "Many of the gang members are dead today, including the person who was with me in the robbery.  We can use these Biblical principles in a negative way or positive way.”
  
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Deal firmly believes that the absence of a father in his life and in the lives of many of the gang members back then was a determining factor in the choices he made - from school, to the gang, to in and out of prison, to becoming disabled.   

When asked what advice he would give to the young people, Deal responded, "It is simple. It is found in Exodus chapter 20 verse 12, and it says ‘Honour your father and your mother that your days will be long upon the land which the lord your God has given to you."