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New program manager focuses on ‘God’s restoration in men’

Oscar battled addiction himself when he was younger, and now inspires others.

Oscar battled addiction himself when he was younger, and now inspires others.

Oscar feels prepared to minister to Renewed Hope residents

As the new Program Manager of the men’s Life Recovery Program at Renewed Hope, Oscar said he’s feeling most fulfilled when he’s ministering to the men. “Restoring men is restoring families,” he said. “It’s not just about the man, it’s restoring his legacy and the generations to come.” And Oscar personally knows about God’s restoration.

Oscar grew up in the San Fernando Valley in a single-parent household, with a hardworking mother and a lot of “free time.” That’s where Oscar’s own story of addiction – and restoration –begins. “Being alone a lot led to chaotic and unhealthy behaviors,” he said. Oscar started smoking marijuana in fifth grade, and by eighth grade he was dabbling in “hard drugs” and alcohol was a constant.

“What started off as this journey of having a good time and partying, really turned into this monster addiction that ended up taking over my life.” Oscar knew he had “lost control of his life” when he was just 18 years old, but he had no idea what to do. His addiction continued to worsen. “It cost me everything. … If there was an MO to my addiction it’s that I never showed. If my name was called in a room, I was never there.”

At 25, Oscar went into rehab for the first time but did not complete the program. Five years later, Oscar returned to the same rehab, completed the program, and has been sober ever since.

Oscar and his new girlfriend began attending church, where he accepted Christ and was baptized. He began to minister to his old party friends, many of them joining Oscar at church.

They started their own ministry – Brewline Men’s Fellowship – which celebrated its 16-year anniversary in February.

“That was my first taste of what the Lord was preparing and calling me to do,” Oscar said.

Oscar and his girlfriend married and had two children. He knew God was calling him to  something greater, and in 2017, Oscar was called into full-time ministry as a men’s pastor at a church in West Los Angeles.

“Walking with men is my passion,” said Oscar, who added that God then called him to continue to impact the lives of men as a program manager at another organization.

Now, Oscar has returned back to the Valley to do ministry in the place he loves. “What a  blessing that I get to serve locally where I’ve done so much ministry,” he said. “I have so many ties to local ministries, churches, and organizations.

“I can use my own story—that I was dead in my sin, but God restored me and gave me new life!”

Oscar delights in God’s “sweet restoration” with his two eldest daughters. After 13 years of no contact, they now talk regularly, go to dinner and have family nights. Restoration is his prayer for the program.

“I pray people partner with us so we can be effective and lead with Christ first, so these men’s lives can be transformed for now and for eternity.”

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