Isaiah 40: 29-31
Hi, my name is Adolfo Sandoval, but my friends usually call me “Dolf”. I grew up in the Hayward/San Lorenzo areas of the SF Bay Area and was born June 7, 1993 in Hayward California. My family when I was growing up had a real good “look good” and behind those doors there was love, chaos, a broken understanding of God, Worldly leadership, confusion, and heartbreak. I’m the youngest of Three and was Raised by my Mother after my Dad went to prison. My childhood home was full of sin, secrets, deception, drugs, and addicts as well as many other things that a young boy should never be exposed to. I was loved and protected to the best of my family’s ability but usually things that happen in secret usually surface without notice and it left me desperately wanting to be a part of it because as a child I couldn’t understand the concept of my isolation. Eventually what felt like empty words from my family fell on deaf ears and as the life around me became exceedingly wicked somewhere in between my spirit broke and let the evil around me become what I would think of as normal life and couldn’t understand why the actions of my family never matched their words, why the more I pushed forward they pushed back, why I couldn’t just stay home and be the man of the house my Dad told me to be when he was arrested and I let the hurt little boy that lives in my spirit be the justification for why I became the way a was. Eventually my family completely broke apart because my Mom had been incarcerated as well which led to a whole new nightmare. At my abelita’s house I never felt like I belonged, they honestly made me feel absolutely terrible about being alive, constantly being locked out and never aware of their schedule, I started to believe that I was nothing but a burden they had to deal with. I started to give up on life and any faith I had in God had begun to die. By the time I got settled into High school my Mom had been released and told me we were moving to Stockton and honestly I hated the thought of leaving the only home I’ve ever known behind and going to a place where I didn’t no anyone, had no idea how to get around and to be frank Stockton was exactly winning a nobel prize anytime soon. Not long after moving I had no motivation to continue in an attempt to make a better life for myself, I had let the spirit of depression win. The streetlife I had lived around
slowly tainted my life and I thought being on all types of drugs, hanging out with the local gangs and junkies was a good idea, I returned to my normal, I was comfortable with the promises that came with the lies of the enemy. My addiction had started at the age of sixteen continuing into my adulthood. Doing and selling
drugs was my life, I dropped out of a failing school system I believed to have failed me, hoping the drugs or the streets would assist in my self-righteous suicide. Moving forward I became my best customer because eventually the reality I constantly ran from caught up with me, I became a no good junkie breaking every rule, burning every bridge I could. In the mist of mental institutions, drunk tanks, and a little bit of fight left in me I eventually went to a continuation school and got my diploma; I was still getting high but something in my wanted to change, wanted to live, little did I know serving the enemy was catching up to me leaving my back against the wall and so I tried to run. Some can compare this to the story of Jonah, the more I tried to run the deeper into the belly of the beast I went. Here My false surrender started in calling my sister and telling her she was right I need Jesus, honestly the only other choice was death and destruction. At this time I was 21 years old and had checked into the Bay Area Rescue Mission, a 12-step faith based program we were required to attend church and in a final attempt to run I tried to foolishly exercise a constitutional right of separation of church and state so they told me I have to go or bounce, I even tried to press the fact I was a non practicing catholic and still tried to refuse attend christian church services. It was this wonderful place a seed of faith was planted and although I pimped my program and continued in my addiction after a year spent there I was changed and just didn’t know it, I learned of Jesus Christ, His loving mercy, His Grace, To Pray in His name, was baptized, and yet I returned to the thorns of the world for about 7 more years. I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t have to change people, places, and things; that if I just quit doing meth and other hard drugs I was going to be okay. Eventually living in my iniquity I got in an accident that halted the direction I was once again leading my life into once again. The Pride and Ego that I’d swear weren’t there stood in my way of asking for help until the only other option was miserable homeless or asking for help yet again. Moving back to Stockton felt like a nightmare, moving in with my Mom and having to ask for help was the start to the ultimate blessing. I was just blind to it because I was still smoking weed/drinking. Driving past all the places I would go to get spun out, party, participate in crime, regain consciousness from blackouts, and old relationships were haunting my every thought, I was twisted in agony of the thought of returning to the very thing I tried to run from. On March 27, 2023 I finally listened to the Holy Spirit, I got clean. In the process of my recovery journey I was led to His Way Church. My first visit to His Way was a relieving experience, I was crying like a baby trying to be what I thought was a “good christian” and someone heard me as I wept asking me what was wrong I replied to him that I was just so damn happy it was then he prayed for me and hugged me, I felt home, I had found a body of Christ that loved me right where I was, I felt the love of Jesus Christ sweep over me and I instantly fell in love making sure that I was up front for the alter call I was ready to give him my will and my life, no longer did I want control of my life, no longer did I want to be part of the world, no longer did I want to be ashamed of loving Jesus as a part of the world that wanted nothing to do with him. I talked with people my first couple weeks getting to know some of the folks that go there, my car breaking down suddenly helped, imagine that. I prayed to get closer to the people in church and God gave me a way, and I wanted it badly enough to ask for help from strangers and they loved me enough to help a complete stranger who wanted to change. One of them was a women of God, she told me about Soldiers of The Cross and introduced me to a Pastor member of SOTC. They both had suggested that I go to a men’s Bible study hosted by SOTC and without hesitation I agreed. So me being me I decided to read up on SOTC finding many of the men’s testimony here prior to attending, I read and watched them all, desperate to leave everything of my past alone and establish relationships with the people of God I stated adding them on social media if they had one and if they’re testimony stood out to me. Attending SOTC’s Bible study I found myself in complete awe never having met a group of people who are just on fire for Jesus Christ and I wanted in, I read I didn’t need a bike to join and a small seed of hope was planted, I was praying for a way to become like this amazing men of God, I wanted to be just like them hoping they can show me how to be a man of God. This is the part where God moved mighty in my life, a member reached out to me his name was Eddie Costa, my dear friend and sponsor had messaged me asking me if I wanted to be in SOTC, I almost missed my blessing here because I didn’t believe I knew how to be a man of God and wheelchair-bound member told me not to worry he would show me. I was in awe. I almost couldn’t believe the Lord had heard me, like me of all people. Since then my spiritual father Eddie has passed on and the Lord Jesus Christ showed me how many lives one person can touch if you just believe in Him and He’ll make you a big part of His plan if you’ll just let Him lead your life in victory, if you accept Him and turn from your wicked ways and follow him. Today I will continue to be His hands and feet, I’ll gratefully accept the life He has blessed me with and look for the one because I remember when I was that one lost and desperate for a change. I pray that my small testimony will reach anyone who needs it like I once did, that the Lord can use this testimony for those desperate for some healing and just doesn’t feel there is a way out. The answer is JESUS CHRIST.