FACES OF HOPE: From Drug Addict to Evangelist


My name is Jhonny Alexander Villa, and five years ago God rescued me from a life of drugs, alcohol, gangs, and hopelessness. I was born to a young single mother whose humble family kicked her out when she became pregnant. Having never met my father, I was left to raise myself while my mother worked to make ends meet. 

Tell us about your life before Christ: 

I was raised alone with no God and no rules, and nobody ever asked, “Hey, how are you? Tell me about your problems.” At the tender age of 8 I became involved with drugs, and by age 10 I was in gangs, drugs, and rebellion. I was stabbed at age 14 while doing bad things, using many different drugs, and robbing people to get easy money. 

I dropped out of school, and when my mother finally noticed how badly I was doing at age 18, she sent me to the Marine Infantry. I finished my two years there, but left still totally addicted to drugs.

I gained and lost jobs, and got my young girlfriend pregnant. I was depressed, alone, and empty, with no plan or project for my life and a giant hole in my heart, After trying medical professionals and psychiatric meds to get over my depression, I tried to kill myself twice (and others were also trying to kill me).

How did God change your life?

I was at the END OF MYSELF, and that is where JESUS CAME IN AND SAVED ME! One day my aunt was approached by two youths from Alcance Victoria who spoke to her about Jesus and shared about their ministry of restoration for drug addicts. She came home and told me, “You have no other options. Your mom is ready to throw you out into the street to eat garbage. These kids just introduced me to Jesus, and He is the only One who can help you now. You need to try this ministry!” That was 5 years ago.

At the Alcance Victoria home I met Jesus and fell in love with Him. The process wasn’t easy, but God has been faithful. On March 26, 2016, I prayed and accepted Jesus in my heart, and thus began a marvelous adventure with God. I owe everything to Him. He brought light back into my life, took me out of darkness and set me free from addiction! 

How did you become an evangelist?

The men in the home sell candy on buses to help support the ministry, and I began to not only sell candy but also preach to the people on the buses about Jesus. I learned the Word better and began to truly delight in the Lord. 

The leaders at the home started to give me more responsibility, first as Sales Leader, then Lead Counselor, then sub-Director, and eventually Director! In these five years I have experienced marvelous things with God. He’s given me a passion and an ache in my heart for the lost who are in the streets or under bridges. 

Tell us about your experience leaving Alcance Victoria:

After three years in the home, God finally released me to return to my family, where I’ve been living for two years with my mother and younger brother. I’ve also had the privilege of becoming the Evangelism Leader in my church. Even with all of my errors and defects, God has protected me from falling into drugs again.

Isn’t it marvelous? After being so depressed that I wanted to kill myself, God came and gave me abundant life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 

How has the process been?

God has given me promises, and I’ve seen Him fulfill them, but it hasn’t been easy. Jesus told His disciples that if anyone wants to follow him, they must deny themselves the desires of the flesh and of this world, and take up their cross and follow him. We have to take up our cross daily and follow Him because if Christ was willing to die for us, why would we not be willing to suffer for Him? 

All of this has taught me so much, and it’s why I love the Gospel and have passion for lost souls. God is a God of power and miracles, and He rescued me so that through my testimony, many would arrive at His feet. Getting to know Jesus at Alcance Victoria was the most marvelous thing that’s happened in my life. 

Tell us about one time in which God used you to bring someone out of addiction: 

God has been faithful. I give glory to Him because He is so beautiful. One specific fruit was Luis, a friend from my past life who was totally lost in drugs. It hurt my heart, but I continued to speak to him about Jesus. Fortunately, the Word of God never returns void. One day when he was feeling totally defeated he sought me out and I brought him to Alcance Victoria. He graduated and is now a deacon in the church! Every time I see him my heart fills with joy. 

Through the Holy Spirit, God gives each of us gifts and talents. God has given me the gift of evangelism, and I delight in sharing the Gospel with others and seeing how God’s love impacts them. That’s why I keep going to the streets to search out those who will come with me to try a better life with Jesus. To God be the glory!

Do you have a word of encouragement for those in ministry? 

I want to tell those of you who may be discouraged because you haven’t seen much fruit, the Word says in 1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Remember, nothing we do for the Lord is in vain! We’ll have moments of affliction, sadness, frustration, and feelings of impotence, but God’s work is never in vain. Sooner or later you will see the victory!

About Alcance Victoria: 

The ministry houses about 120 in their three homes. The process to graduate is one year long, but they can stay longer if they want.