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 Armando Franco came to understand that God was close at hand after he was buried by a Mexico City earthquake in 1986, nearly died in a motorcycle accident, and found himself hooked on drugs and eating out of garbage cans.

When Franco was ready to accept God, the Lord was there for him, he says. Last December he was one of 30 men who graduated from the Christian Rehab Center in Tijuana, Mexico, where James and Barbarita Lee, who serve with Christian Reformed World Missions, teach Scripture and counsel the men.

Franco now helps run the center and is studying at the Reformed Bible Institute in Tijuana. “My life took a drastic turn: I became a child of God,” he says. “Here I began to learn that God loves me and he has a plan for me. I am studying and learning from the Word of God, and my life has a purpose.”

The center is called “Forjando Nuevos Destinos,” which means “creating a new destiny.” James Lee says it exists to bring the hope of Jesus to men who have found themselves tangled in a web of drugs, alcohol, gangs, and family problems. Lee says the center hopes to open a halfway house where the men can reintegrate into society while keeping a focus on their new relationship with God.

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