“You will tell everyone about Jesus and God will prepare you …” Former drug dealer forgives the rapist and becomes a pastor

At the age of 11, he experienced sexual abuse – in the park, on his way to school, he was attacked by a stranger. From that day on, the boy promised himself that no one else could harm him. He became a gangster, a drug dealer and kept the whole city at bay.

Pastor Mick Fleming has lived all his life in the town of Burnley (UK), with a population of just over 80 thousand people, this is one of the most depressed and poor places in the UK. Alcoholism and drug addiction are what the locals face on a daily basis. There are always people on the streets who have nowhere to live and nothing to eat.

Since 2018, Fleming has been serving the homeless and addicted. Everyone knows the pastor’s white car with a cross painted on the board.
The fact that he is a minister of the church can only be guessed by the traditional white collar: Mick is more like an action hero, on the street he is his own – his fall to the bottom began at the age of 11.

“I was born in Burnley on January 28, 1966,” the pastor says. – “I grew up in a normal and loving family, everything went well.

At eleven years old, I experienced sexual abuse by a man, and on the same day my sister also died. The pain of these experiences turned my world and life upside down.

My family was so hurt by the loss of my sister that I simply could not tell anyone about what had happened to me. These were the times when no one was told about such things. You just had to live with it.

All I really remember from that time is the need to numb this pain. And I started doing it with drugs and alcohol. I swore that no one else would harm me. I set out to show my worth, started selling drugs, got a gun, and hurt people.

I turned into a gangster who didn’t need anyone but controlled everyone. The people in Burnley had heard of me, and I made sure that they feared me. I made tons of money, owned houses and cars, and didn’t need anything.

One day I went to visit a man because of an unpaid debt. When I approached him, he was with his two young daughters, but as soon as I approached, something unimaginable happened.

From their hands into my eyes, like a laser beam, a powerful wave of light flashed.
For 15 seconds, I saw nothing. It was as if I was looking at the sun and it blinded me. I barely made it to my car.

I can’t tell you everything that happened at that moment, but I felt incredibly sick, I wanted to commit suicide immediately. I started shouting, “God, if You’re really there, you’d better do something!”

And in this car, God saved me. For the first time in decades, I cried. I was 44 years old, and I sat and poured out the pain of an 11-year-old boy and everything that had happened to me in the last 33 years. This day changed my life.

I was undergoing addiction treatment for 3 months and practically recovered. And then I saw the angel, he told me three things: first – “Go to Burnley, stand against the wall in the city center at 19:00 and wait.”

At 7 o’clock in the evening, when the town hall clock struck, I was standing against this wall, when suddenly a guy appeared from around the corner, took me to a hostel for the homeless and invited me to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was here in their 12-step program that I found God. There I met people who knew Jesus and decided that I wanted to be like them.

The second thing the angel said: “You must forgive the man who hurt you as a child.” I replied that I could never do it, but he said that God would give me the strength and the opportunity to do it.

One day I noticed this man on the street: he looked bad and clearly abused drugs. God gave me the opportunity to help him and his family and gave me the grace and strength to support them. He ended his life in sobriety.
Having forgiven him, I felt myself forgiven, this led me to a new freedom.

The third thing the Angel said: “You will tell everyone about Jesus, and God will prepare you and show you the way.”

In 2014, I met a friend who unexpectedly asked if I could give him a lift to a place called Nazarene Theological College (NTC). I took him there and ended up graduating it myself!

After graduating from college, I returned to the streets of Burnley, where I once wreaked havoc and caused so much pain, and began to tell people about how Jesus changed my life.

I went outside to distribute sandwiches, clothes and some other amenities to people living on the street. He sat down near McDonald’s in the city center, opened his suitcase and waited for what would happen.

“Then one person came and took something, I sat and ate with him and told my story. This is how what we now call “Church on the Street” began, and over time, thanks to word of mouth, more and more people come to talk to me.”

Pastor Mickk and his assistants – mostly from among the former wards who have already undergone rehabilitation – regularly feed the homeless who are quite a few in Burnley. They have two permanent points in the city where people come for hot meals.

Mick Fleming almost always has groceries in the trunk of his car and, seeing a person in need, he stops the car and offers help.

The pastor personally delivers food packages and clothes to his permanent wards – mostly low-income families, helps to solve their everyday problems, and arranges for treatment. If they die, they take care of the last journey of the deceased and pay for the funeral.

“There is only one important thing that underlines everything we do and goes back to that third message that I heard from an angel when my life changed,” says Pastor Meek. “An ardent desire to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone whom I meet. “

Based on materials from NTC and Mercy.ru

Source: https://inlight.news/2021/03/05/mick-fleming/