As a young boy, I grew up in a household with a loving mother who truly loved God and cared for her children. The only problem beyond that is the rest of the family was what some may call broken. Father was verbally and physically abusive. Brother was heavily affected by this, and escaped into the world of gang related activities. Sister fell into a world of simple defiance as far as hanging out with the wrong people, and things such as skipping school.
Besides my mother, I felt completely alone and abandoned by the very family God gave me. As a very young child I loved Jesus because I had the example of a mother who loved Jesus. If she could go through all she had been through and witness while still loving and being thankful to God, then so could I.
The only problem was my mother tried to do it on her on, and take care of us kids working long hours. Well, when she wasn’t around I witnessed all the alcohol, gang activity, listening to gangster rap, smoking weed, and the list goes on. Although I was already accepted and approved by God, I was on the search to be accepted in the world.
Television and music were key players into what I thought could get me acceptance. There was the flashy jewelry, women, cars, and clothes. It was as if this stuff was spoon fed to my mind slowly distorting every good Christian thing my mother had given to me as a child. The thought of it was, “You mean to tell me that if I can become this I will be happy and popular?” “Maybe my father and brother will want to be around me.”
Quickly, the world had me sucked in and going down a road I had no clue on how to get out of. This continued all the way through my teens and into adulthood. Acceptance was important and God simply was not an option in my play book. I sank further and further into a depressed state that had a strong hold on my life
I joined the Marines in 2006 thinking maybe this could get the approval of the men I wanted in my life. In a sense it did work when it came to respect, but the absence of that brotherly and fatherly love still had me feeling empty. This led to extensive drinking, and the need to feel like I always had to be the life of the party. On top of that, I was thinking “there is no need for a God to be my father when the men he gave me were never there.”
The fact is that God was the answer. On November 21, 2010, just three days after my wife accepted Jesus, I went into a church with no real vision of what was bound to happen. At the end of church and after the altar call a lady came up to me with a simple question, “Are you saved”? “No” was my reply.
My heart was heavy, my thoughts were broken, and yet the power of a loving God came in to fill all my emptiness.
A few years later God laid it on me to build and establish a brand that puts a focus on youth and young adults in an industry that it is greatly needed: Extreme sports!
The creation of Way Out Apparel Co. came into existence. We use this not only to evangelize to our youth, but to also reach out to the needy. 1 John 3:17 says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” This is why 50% of all profits go towards ministry work that helps those in need.
Way Out Apparel Co. intends to do whatever it takes to reach today’s youth, show them love, and inspire them before the world can!