Change is Possible

We Are Living Proof

OUR STORIES

Joe-Joe Gonzalez

Pastor and Director of Ignite Center


People ask me why we do this.

I answer we do this because God has called us to do this

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples. That is the vision of Victory Chicago – to GO to the streets and make Jesus known to a lost world. To pray for others and lead them to Christ. When a man comes into our home, we DISCIPLE them and teach them how to live a new life with God. Once God says they are ready, we SEND them out to where God has destined them to go. Back to their family, to work, or even to another city to open up their own Home.

“It’s not our responsibility to convince men to do full-time ministry, but to lead them to God’s destiny for their life.”

My Story

My name is Jose Gonzalez. I was born in Aurora, IL to a good family, but I was always attracted to the streets. My addiction started with selling and smoking weed; when that wasn’t enough I graduated to taking pills and snorting cocaine. I tried numerous times to quit, but nothing seemed to work. No matter what I did – going to college, getting a better job, making more money – nothing seemed to work and my addiction only got worse.

Then my cousin told me about a men’s home in Fort Worth, Victory Temple Men’s Home, and how it had worked for him. He said if I really wanted to change Victory Temple Men’s Home was the answer. For several weeks I kept hearing this little voice in my head “If you want to change go to Victory Home.” After two weeks of fighting with the voice, I finally went … the rest is history.

I have been serving God at Victory Temple Ministries since 2006. God used this ministry to train me. I learned how to witness to people, to care for someone in withdrawal, to be a disciple, how to serve the church at every level, how to preach the Gospel and to run a Victory Home. All this God taught me under the discipleship of Victory Temple Men’s Home in Fort Worth, TX.

Launching Victory Chicago

A few years ago God placed in my heart the vision to launch Victory Center and to bring hope and God’s Word to the streets of Chicago. So, in March of 2017 after several years of planning and with the assistance of Victory Temple Ministries I came to Chicago with 5 other men to launch Victory Center. One year later, we opened our doors.  

Between March 2018 and January 2021 over 200 men have come through our doors. We just recently opened the women’s center and since September 2020, 6 women have come in. Our future vision is to purchase another building with God’s guidance so we can expand and help more men and women.

Senior Leaders of Ignite Center

Daniel Gonzalez

In high school, Daniel started drinking and doing drugs…

My name is Daniel and I’m 36 years old. I was born in Aurora, IL to a good family. I started using drugs in high school which lead to selling drugs and hanging out with gangs. I was in and out of jail and eventually in prison. When I got out it got worse. I began to lose everything and became depressed. I was lost with no hope. I knew I needed help and couldn’t quit using on my own. My brother was praying for me and told me about Ignite Center and what God did in his life. I came to the center and have seen such a transformation in my life. I have been here for 18 months and I am clean and sober thanks to the Grace of God. I’ve accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I continue to put Him first. I see the blessings and miracles and how God continues to move in the life of others here at Ignite Chicago. I thank God for Ignite Chicago. It has truly been a blessing.

 

Thomas Garcia

Severe depression left Thomas alone with a meth habit…

After the loss of my father and my child, my life spiraled into a maze of insecurity and loneliness. I fell captive to a destructive $300 a day methamphetamine addiction along with a drinking habit. I was drinking a liter of vodka every day. Through the rigorous efforts of the Ignite Center staff, my life has been redeemed. The staff has offered me more than a warm blanket and expertise counseling but they also offered me hope for a new life through the salvation of Jesus Christ. Now I have become a person of value, that adds value to others. Ignite Center has changed my life. 

Brandon Calhoun

Brandon was in his 20s when he fell into a life drugs and alcohol…

My name is Brandon and I am 30 years old. I was born and raised in Chicago, IL.

I grew up in a tough neighborhood with a lot of violence and drug trafficking, but luckily, I had parents who are God-fearing people and who kept me safe and focused on my education. In my early 20’s I slowly began slipping away into the fast life. I was eager to experience the things that the world promoted such as making lots of money, using drugs and alcohol, and being with many women. It didn’t take long before I was in and out of jail and living place to place – mostly on the streets. Eventually, I knew I had to seek help. I joined Ignite Center which helped me realize that my true identity is in Christ. Every day I learn to seek God who gives me joy and strength in times of trouble. Ignite Center has given me a new outlook on life and on who God truly is.

 

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