“It helped me build a solid foundation with Jesus Christ.”
“The Victory Home helped me when no one else could or would, when everyone else had given up on me.”
“Victory Home has taken me in when every other door in my life was closed – I had nowhere else to go.”
“If it wasn’t for the victory home I would have either gotten shot, OD’d or gone to the penitentiary.”
“I would be dead or in prison for sure – I was really close to physically dying.”
“My character, my views, values, belief system, my family, my marriage, the way I raise my children, everything has done a 180.”
“If it wasn’t for a place like the victory home, I wouldn’t be here today.”
“Even if you don’t think you can change, you can…through Jesus.”
Testimonies from the many individuals who have been impacted by the ministry of Victory Home throughout the years – what a powerful witness to what God can do through those who are faithful to what He has called them to do.
Victory Home is unique in that it offers a free 6-month recovery program for substance abusers desiring to change their lifestyles. The program involves establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, first and foremost. The next steps incorporate forming a solid foundation based on Biblical principles, imparting vision, and building character.
For the past 23 years, Victory Home members have participated in an outreach on Thanksgiving in which they go out into the Dallas/Fort Worth area and bring homeless men and women off the streets, providing them with food and clothing, and sharing the love of Christ with them in a tangible way.
This year, Daystar has provided Victory Home with 3, 15 passenger vans to use in their outreach. Daystar has been working with Victory Home –part of Victory Temple Ministries in Fort Worth, Texas – for 15 years, and feels honored to participate in such a life-changing, impactful ministry. This will be Daystar’s 6th year participating in Victory Home’s Thanksgiving Outreach.
The outreach has grown substantially throughout the years. What started as a small Thanksgiving celebration out of the founders’ home – with just over 90 guests and 10 turkeys, has turned into an eagerly anticipated event, serving upwards of 110 turkeys to over 1400 guests. And the people who are involved in the outreach wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There’s no other place I’d rather be,” says Clay Carballo, a participant in the Thanksgiving outreach since 2008, “there’s no other way I’d rather spend my Thanksgiving than here serving at Victory Home.”
Members of Victory Home drive around in vans on Thanksgiving Day, looking for anyone who is homeless or struggling. Once they arrive back at Victory Home, each guest is treated to an all-you-can-eat hot meal, a shower, a haircut – full makeovers for the ladies, new clothes, blankets, shoes, essential hygiene items, and of course, the love of Christ.
And it’s the love of Christ and provision of God that carries the ministry through its ups and downs. “We have a prayer list, not a supply list,” says Nick Panzera, Executive Director of Victory Temple. One year in particular, they weren’t sure they would have enough turkeys to feed everyone – in fact, up until the very last day before the turkeys had to be cooked, they still didn’t have what they needed. But, God intervened. At the very last moment, an 18-wheeler pulled up from a church in McKinney, Texas to deliver the 100 turkeys that they needed for the meal. It truly was God’s mighty provision.
The provision of God has been a constant theme throughout the life of Victory Temple Ministries. “Each year gets better and better,” says Ana Salomon, wife of Victory’s Founding Pastor, Gerald Salomon. “We are so grateful for what God is doing through us, and we are thankful for his continued provision. We’ve come so far because we chose to surrender and follow God’s will for our lives.”
The guys who are involved in the Thanksgiving outreach have similar stories to tell of God’s mighty provision and blessing in the lives of all who are involved. “I love seeing their expressions,” says Stephen Miller, a driver during the outreach. “It’s great to be able to encourage them, and to see their expressions after they’ve just received everything is amazing.”
For Douglas Brown, another driver during the outreach, the expressions on the faces of the people they pick up are also very memorable. “At first they seem scared, not really sure what to expect,” he says. “But eventually they start realizing that this is a good thing, and by the time they leave on Thanksgiving night they are so incredibly happy – it’s so awesome to see that change take place. It goes to show what sharing the love of Christ can do for a person.”
Sometime the people who come from the streets actually join Victory Home, choosing to redirect and change the course of their lives. “At least five or six people come into the program each year through this outreach,” says Nick Panzera. One person in particular actually became good friends with one of the guys who brought him off the streets. “I remember when he came in for the outreach,” says Ryan Griffin, another outreach participant, “we fed him, he accepted Jesus into his heart, and now he lives with me. He actually helps us witness to the homeless and bring more people off the streets each year. The experience for him was literally life changing.”
But there are times when people refuse the blessing, and the result is always heartbreaking. “I remember one time,” says Jose Gonzalez, another outreach participant, “there was a particular guy who would not come with me. I kept asking him, trying to convince him to come to the Thanksgiving celebration, but he refused. As I was driving away, I saw him rummaging in a dumpster for food. It broke my heart because of the blessing he could have received if he had just come with me.”
And then, of course, there are also fun and humorous stories. “One guy, he only gets his hair cut during the outreach – so just once each year,” says Nick Panzera. “I’ve seen him come the past 7 years, and each year he gets a fresh haircut. He only wants the Victory Home people to cut his hair – he refuses to let anyone else do it.”
The work that Victory Home does each Thanksgiving is not only admirable, kind and compassionate, but it truly does show the love of Christ to people in tangible ways – people who otherwise might not have been able to witness it. It provides them with an opportunity to feel loved and accepted for who they are, and to just know that they are not alone in this life.
“Any time is the season for giving but Thanksgiving is an especially good time to bless those in need,” says Marcus Lamb, President and CEO of Daystar Television Network. “We at Daystar, in conjunction with Victory House, have the opportunity to bring men and women off the streets in order to care for their needs and show them the love of Christ. What a privilege we have to be able to share with others.”
Partners, thank you for generously partnering with Daystar – because of you, not only are we making an international impact, but we are also impacting communities close to home. Thank you for everything that you do!
We pray that you would have a very blessed Thanksgiving with friends and family. If you would like more information about Victory Home and their various outreaches, visit victorytempleministries.com, and if you would like to donate towards Daystar’s ministry efforts around the world – and even those close to home – click on the “Give Now” button below to be taken to our secure giving page.
And please share this story among your friends and family this Thanksgiving – let it inspire you to make a difference in your own community today!