Behind The Brand
It's never easy being different when growing up in poverty. We later come to find that life has a whole new meaning then what our eyes can see. And that trying to fit in so that we feel accepted, can often hurt us more than we know.
In elementary I've had some classmates who's parents were pilots and some were lawyers. To be honest, mine were on drugs and struggling just to get by and put food on our table. Feeling out of place was something I've dealt with from a young age and went on throughout my teens. A lot of kids where I grew up didn't associate with me because I was poor and living in a upper-middle class area. There were nights I went to bed hungry, and mornings I woke up not having anything to wear to school. I remember there were a few times we had no home of our own and had to go stay with family for a while. When it came to playing sports, I knew my parents didn't have the money to pay for it, but that didn't stop me. I had to fundraise and make the money on my own. I was only 7 years old, and I did it. Now I knew that if I ever wanted something, I could get it myself.
A new school year was coming up and summer break was about to end. My brothers and I had no new clothes for the coming school year. So on Sunday mornings I would go to a local Salvation Army and wait for people to drop off their donations, so that I could go through them looking for clothes. I was 8 years old. Every time I went, I ended up coming home with a bags full of second hand name brand clothes and a bunch of school supplies, which I was very happy about doing, because I know that we got what we needed. Several years down the road, my family was still in the same financial situation. I was now in middle school and with no new clothes for the year. So I started cleaning people's yards and washing their cars just so I could have a few decent outfits for school. I was now 12 years old and tired of being called poor all my life, and I knew things had to change.
High school came and things were a little different, although I was not so focused on my education and was more focused on other worldly things that were not important. Those things ended up consuming my life and I started heading for a path I never saw coming. Years went by and I've graduated from a community adult school program in 2007, but I was still not concerned about my future. I've never really had the right role models and people to look up to. So I just did my own thing. I then ended up becoming a father at the age of 19, and I was still a kid myself, living childish ways and being lost in the world. I never knew how to really act or be in a committed relationship, let alone being a father because I've never had one to teach me how to be a man. For years I've made mistakes after mistakes not learning from the past. It got to the point where I was now in court losing full custody of my son who was about to leave the state. Not knowing how to deal with the pain, I turned to what I thought was best. Suicide. I was then 22 years old. At 2:30 am I drove my car to the cliff, and for a while I sat there crying and screaming to myself, building up anger inside so that I could just end it all and drive off the cliff. Then I started yelling to God "Why me? "Why did I have to go through all of this? "I'm done, I just want to end it" But He wouldn't let me.
And at that moment was the first time I ever heard God's voice. And He said to me " Don't take your life, just give it to me" I argued back and said "No, I'm done" and He said it again. "Give it to me, I have a better plan for you". Being that I heard Him, now showed me that He was real. It opened my eyes and made me rethink my situation. It was so real that I ended up surrendering to Him and His promise. I thought, if God says That He has a better plan for me, then I want to live to see it. I then started seeking who God really is and what He does for those who know they need Him. I started attending Word of Life Christian Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i and I totally fell in love with God. Just knowing that He Is Real and that He was there for me when I needed Him, was beyond anything I could explain.
Everyday I would pray and Worship Him. My life felt brand new, no matter the things that I was dealing with in my personal life, I know God was dealing with them for me.
It was not long after, that I became really interested in helping people and inspiring them to live a more happy and healthier lifestyle through God. This was in November 2011, I prayed to God that He would help guide me in a direction that will not only better my life and the lives of others, but in a way that will Glorify Him. And on November 11, 2011 an idea came to me and He Above All was born.
Now I had a name and a logo, but still no plan on what to really do with the brand, so I prayed. And the answer I got from God was, " Remember all of those hardships you've been through? "There are many children and people still going through it. Strive to help them in those areas" Now the brand had a mission. Which is to feed, clothe and shelter children and people around the world, while inspiring them to see how God helps us rise above our circumstances and really live the life that He designed for us.
One thing I've learned is that, when we put our trust and hope in God, He is faithful to give us the strength we need to overcome any challenge or adversity we may face in our lives.
My life will never be the same with God by my side. He has blessed me in a way I would of never thought possible. And He has given me dreams and plans that I know will impact the world in a positive way for future generations to come.
HE ABOVE ALL