LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Members of a ministry group, who themselves admit to a criminal past, hope to change the lives of others and bring love to the Hub City by reaching out to its streets.
"These brothers, we come from a whole bunch of nothing," Michael Ramos said. "We've been in a struggle. We've been in poverty. We've been to the point where we felt like we were worth nothing. But God called us to do great things. We don't do it for ourselves. We do it for others."
The group, "Da Real 300", meets for bible study at Ramos' business throughout the week and uses the opportunity to make its plans for making a difference in the lives of others.
"We just want to go share with other people that it is possible that men like us can change from gangs, from drugs, from drug dealing, from robbing people," Ramos said. "If you feel like you can't change, you can. All my brothers are living testimonies of that that it is possible."
Ramos said the idea to "reach the streets" comes as Lubbock deals with crime and killings, involving people he knows. He says the least they can do is spread love.
"A brother of mine saw me in the streets and saw me struggling on drugs and reached out to me through God," Mark Casias, member of Da Real 300, said. "Now, I'm living a better life. They showed me a better route, showed me that there is love out there."
As the group continues to share a positive message, it has new plans to bring joy to younger generations by giving out toys on Christmas.
"There is more out here than hate, crime, drugs," Casias said. "There is more to life than that. We want them happy and the way to do that is show them and do what we do for them for Christmas."
The idea "Blessed to be a Blessing," came about with the group and Empower Electric. A benefit concert will be held December 23 at 5 p.m. at Emmanuel Worship Center, 1102 70th Street. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for free entry to the performance by Kingdom Muzic.
"Some kids are waking up with nothing," Ramos said. "They aren't going to have Christmas, probably don't even have parents. We've got to continue to press forward and lift each other up. It's not the kids fault."
You can also attend the event for more information about volunteering with the ministry group in its efforts on Christmas and throughout the year.
"We're just letting you know there are people out here that have struggled before in life, who had a bad life and thanks to God have changed and have a new way of life," Ramos said. "We are just trying to share that with everyone and share that with the community and let you know you don't have to stay where you stand. The joy comes in the morning. After the rain comes the sunshine."
If you would like to make a monetary donation, call 806-745-1684.