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Joey Rios

A Christmas gift

     Where do you go when you have nothing left?  Who do you turn to?  Often Joey had to ask himself this question.
      When he was four his older brother was murdered, shot in the back. This devastated his family, other brothers left, mom and dad left, leaving Joey and his younger brother to the east side Fresno streets.
      A gang member named Jap showed them how to survive.  For Joie childhood was a myth. The reality was this older "homie" became his mother and father.
      A dropout by 7th grade, he started selling drugs. He ran the streets and consequently was in and out of California Youth Authority.  He closed himself down emotionally. The only thing he knew was to fight.
     As a young man he struggled with a dual life; that of a hardworking

Joey Rios 4

husband and on the other side a drug dealer”.  The shadow of his past lurked around his good intentions.
     The death of his mother brought him to the end. By that time he'd lost his family, friends, his gang, everything. He just sat in a cell, drained of feeling.
    On Christmas Eve, 2012, Joey gave his life to Jesus inside the Fresno County Jail. He was released back on to those dark, cold streets he'd roamed since childhood.  But 

this time, instead of going back to his 'hood',  he walked two blocks north to Hope Now.
    Today Joey is rebuilding his life. He is working, and one day hopes to minister to kids in Juvenile Hall about the love of Christ.
    His choices cost him everything, but one Christmas……the answer came to him telling Joey where to turn when you have nothing left.