Tryone, born and raised in Englewood, shares his experiences as a young man confronted by unimaginable violence. He found himself standing at a crossroad, and discovered a better way…
The violence and poverty this neighborhood of Chicago notoriously experienced had a big hand in Tyrone’s life, starting when he was just a child. He was passed through reform schools and juvenile detention; meanwhile gang members were recruiting young men of his age. Once Tyrone entered the gang life, violence became an unavoidable part of his day-to-day. And this wasn’t the same school age fighting as he once knew. This was the threat of death, for him and the people he loved.
Tyrone has wounds from his past. He’s blind in one eye from getting punched with a metal object. He has a deep scar on his side from getting stabbed by his own best friend. And after leaving the gang life, he lost his right leg in a retaliation shooting that wasn’t even meant for him. Tryone was in prison seven times throughout his life. What was it all for? The drug dealing, the crime, the fear; they only produce the threat of these inevitable tragedies.
Brian and Tyrone discuss the concept of how the world tends to offer you lifestyles that seem glamorous, powerful, or that there is simply no other choice. In communities that lack the resources to sustainably care for its’ residence, gang-life is promoted as the path to prosperity and security. By the Grace of God, Tryone was given an opportunity to see the emptiness of what the world has to offer. As well as the grace and joy that can only come with the life the Jesus offers.
At age 23, Tryone found himself accompanying his girlfriend to local church services. He admits that at first he didn’t want to be there. But Jesus began whispering in his ear. In fact, his increasing interest in the Bible that lead to him learning how to read at a proficient level!
Did you know that an estimated 882,000, or 30%, of adults in Chicago have low basic literacy skills?
As Tyrone drove deeper into his relationship with Christ he began asking the big questions. “What is my purpose?” “How can I bring my brothers and sisters closer to you God?” Tryone explains:
“Once I became acquainted with Christ, some of the decisions I thought I had to make, you learn you don’t have to make them.” This is the FREEDOM and CHANGE that a relationship with God offers. What a powerful story