Eric's Story

Hello! My name is Eric T. Feliciano. I am 37 years old, a father of four and grandfather of one. After loosing everything I loved to drug addiction, I found Jesus as my Savior. Because of my addiction, I spent another 10 years in the bondage of drugs and everything that comes with it.

I spent about four month in the Freedom Gate Program and the truth is that Freedom Gate was and still is a blessing in my life. While in Freedom Gate I learned to discipline myself in prayer and meditation of the Word of God. I experienced all the blessings that came from that discipline. The Bible Studies as wonderful and OH, what a joy the Lord has placed in my heart!

Today, I'm on my own and WE still go to Freedom Gate for Bible Study almost everyday and the only reason I say WE is because I know today is not about me it's about the Lord Jesus and He and I together make it a WE.

Resident Story

The Bible, in Matthew 18:22, speaks of forgiveness in terms of not seven but seventy times seven. I have asked for forgiveness so many times that my shame level is exceptionally high. But it doesn't matter to the Father, what matters is repentance, and a pure heart full of desire to come home to Him, and that's why I am back at my temporary home, Freedom Gate. Seeking residency back into the Freedom Gate house again was the most sensible decision for me as my 11-year Federal term ended. Proverbs 24:16, For though a righteous man falls seven times he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity."

In my early years of life, my family regularly attended church and participated in church related activities. Although I did not have a strong connection to God, the combination of my faith life and the discipline at home was an inspiration to aspire to be a more effective follower of the Almighty. As I got into my late teens, my focus shifted. I began to strike out on my own. As I gained employment, got my own vehicle, and was exposed to a whole new group of people who were not living their lives in the manner I had been in the beginning of my life. All the things teens and the young love to do, things not of God, I came to love to do also. I became so distant from the Lord that there was barely a hint of his influence remaining, yet it manifested at times in my conscience as props to rein myself in, but I was deaf to the hints, blind to the facts of my self-destructive behavior and dumbed down by my self-deception and selfishness.

I maintained employment, but the only tithes I was making was to fund my continuing life of depravity which eventually led to two DUI's, more diverse methods and types of substance abuse, and eventually I descended into habitual criminal behavior. I was in an out of County prison for offenses of varying degrees of seriousness, unable to stay employed long at any one job, but still working fairly regularly and moving a lot with my fiancé who loved me and I loved deeply as well. But I loved the lifestyle and I was barely able to conceal this from her. And as for God, I never ceased to believe He existed but I was on Satan's payroll with undying devotion, choosing pleasure, hiding from reality in a haze of self-medication to hide from the pain, regret, loss, fear, hopelessness, and lack of confidence in myself to be anything more than what I have become.

My behavior eventually resulted in a County prison sentence for robbery. As my release date neared, I met Junior and moved to Freedom Gate. I lived at the house for a time after my release, and I enthusiastically looked forward to getting back to God, a process I had begun while I was incarcerated. The man I became acquainted with, as well as the nightly Bible studies and regular Sunday worship serve to help me cast off the vestiges of who I had been.

After about six months, I moved on from Freedom Gate as I had a good job and my own place but my loneliness resulted in me getting involved with someone from my former life. Two years of prosperity doing the right things, and now I was only 18 months away from an 11-year federal prison sentence.

Today, I am and shall remain a new child in Christ. I have been saved since the prison psychologist visited me my first night in County prison at my suicide watch cell. He asked me to pick a number from 1 to 100 and I chose 77. Then he pulled out his palm pilot, and begin to read Psalm 77 to me, from the first verse, "I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me." I knew that the Father was indeed reaching out to me through this man, by His word, and as he continued to read I began to cry. The tears were more than just that my soul was in the process of being purged of the toxins that have permeated every part of my being for innumerable years. I woke up the next morning restored, I don't mean feeling better about myself, or happier than ever, or a weight lifted off my shoulders, none of those clichés. The way I felt that morning and the way I feel today cannot be summarized or defined by any other term then this one word, restored.

Restoration for me is all about being forgiven!

Restoration for me is about my morals, the Lord's morals being established, embedded, and immersed into my core , this process has had 11 years to become so. My restoration is bound by a healthy fear of all I have been through on my way to where I am now, and that no matter the years of faithfulness to the Lord, sobriety, and rightthinking, Satan and everything I did while I served him is only one wrong decision away. But the Christ committed people who I have met and been inspired by have helped me conduct a daily searching moral inventory of my thoughts and actions, while living at Freedom gate, and this has been invaluable to me.

As the Bible says in 1 Chronicles 22:13, "Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

So be it.

Current Resident Story

I was born in Philadelphia. My mom raised two boys and as kids we always had just what we needed. However, much later I found out that our home did not worship the Lord. The only thing that I can remember about God was going to the corner Church on Sunday where a man in a black robe would give me candy if I was quiet. I also remember two Bibles in our house but never saw anyone read them.

As I got older, I began to think about how my mother was able to give me and my brother so much. I learned that my uncles were drug dealers and they gave my mother whatever she needed. Soon, I realized "that" was just a part of life. Gangs, stealing, selling drugs, hurting people, I learned it all.

Later, I committed a crime that led me to jail for eleven years. While in prison my daughter was born and the only time I could see her and touch her were on visiting days. During my incarceration, I noticed my mother was changing. She stopped drinking and smoking and was not using foul language anymore.

When I was released from prison, I was surprised to learn that she was baptized and received the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. At the time, I thought nothing of it as I myself did not yet know the Lord. As time went on, my brother told me that my Mom did not have long to live, and he said it would fill her heart with joy if I got baptized and started to go to church. So, I did and I became on fire for the Lord, and He began to bless me. A great new job, a new home, plants to get married, it seemed nothing could go wrong with me.

Then I stepped away from church, I stopped praying, I stopped associating myself with Christian people, and my life became hell. I started drinking a whole lot, missing days from work until I lost my job, and my fiance told me to leave the house. I went to stay with my brother in Chester, PA. He told me "little brother, you have an alcohol problem and I do not want to see you die." One day, he came home with information about a treatment program. I completed the whole program, and was told to step out and try it on my own, and that was what led me to Freedom Gate. Since arriving at Freedom Gate, I have felt a tremendous change in my thinking and my way of life. It is excellent to be in contact with my daughter again, and while I still stumble at times, I know the Lord has a firm, unchanging hand that I am holding on to.

Randy's Story

It is our pleasure to introduce to you Randy!

"Hi, my name is Randy Colon. When I first entered freedom Gate, I had a lot of anger and trusted no one. Adjusting to the program was difficult, but as my guard came down, I began to see that there was nothing but love in this house. Even though it had not been easy trusting God in everything, I know that with the Lord's help and the support of Freedom Gate I will be able to have victory over my shortcomings. Thank you Freedom Gate for the opportunity to become a changed man."

The first time I interviewed Randy, he handed me a stack of Anger Management Certificates! As I looked at them, I had "big doubts" whether or not to accept him into Freedom Gate. However, at the same time, there was no doubt that our Lord was nudging me to take Randy into the program.

I thought to myself, God has a great sense of humor! I believe he was telling me He transforms lives, even that of a very big Puerto Rican man with anger problems. I can now testify to you that Randy has really changed from a man who used to tear Bibles apart to a man who writes scripture on our bulletin board, and to a man who has become a real friend and brother in Christ.

Rob's Story

What has God done for me since I've been at Freedom Gate Ministries?

Before I came here, I thought I had an understanding of God, past/present and future, but I was wrong. God placed me here so that I could better understand what Jesus went through for us so that we could live a better life on this earth and in eternity.

By being at Freedom Gate, I have the tools available to me to increase my knowledge of the Bible, everything that was done for my sins, and what I need to do to ensure my spot in Heaven alongside of my fellow Christians.

Freedom Gate, with God, has made me more respectful of other people and myself. My attitude has changed, and I learned to love people even if I don't like them.

With God, and my acceptance of Him, my life is now slowly improving each day. I've learned that as long as I try to keep doing the things God wants me to do, I will never be alone or without.

Rob

Scott's Story

My story begins in 2013. I was living in Cape Cod, Mass. most of the year and Los Angeles California in the winter months. I was not into religion or God. I was a person who did drugs, broke the law, and did exactly what I wanted to do without a conscience. Well, two years later, to my surprise, I got baptized on February 22, 2015 by Pastor Wayne Rissmiller at Calvary Church in Sinking Spring, PA.

Those two years were spent in jail and a half-way house in Wernersville, PA due to an arrest in Pennsylvania for transporting Marijuana. It was there that I met Chaplain Paul Long from Freedom Gate and he suggested I go to the Freedom Gate house. It took a few weeks of prayer on my part until I was okayed to move in. That date was April 14, 2015 at 11:30am!

I met Junior Oriol, the Program Director, for the first time, and he told me what FG expected of me and I was happy to comply. Living at FG has been such a blessing! I had time to study and throughout the week from many different teachers, and every morning, Monday through Friday there were devotions with Junior. Then on Sunday's we all went to church.

God has put me right where I needed to be. Now I have been at FG for 5 months and I have a close brotherly relationship with Junior and Steve, our house manager. I can go to them with anything that is on my mind and I always get a loving response. I thank God everyday that Freedom Gate took me in when I needed it the most. I know God has plcaed me here at FG, and I now have another family thanks to our Lord and Savior!

Edwin Scott Smith, Jr.

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