Who was Ismael Mojarra, Jr., Santa Ana Teen Challenge Staff Member?

It’s with a heavy heart that I post this report on behalf of the Orange County Teen Challenge center located on Main Street in Santa Ana. “Staff Member Ismael Mojarra, Jr. 26 year old, went to be with the Lord May 16th at approximately 9 PM. He was involved in an auto accident as he was returning to the OC Teen Challenge Center after visiting his family.”

Having attended the Memorial Services for Gil Ferguson on Saturday, a much loved and respected high profile military veteran and political figure, it is worth noting that each of these giants had a common thread. They were connected through their love of Jesus Christ. We might not see any of the same crowd at Ismael’s Service in Santa Ana tomorrow but rest assured that each are now in the presence on our almighty God.

I respectfully post a portion of Ismael’s Testimony which he entitled “A life to be lived.”

“My name is Ismael Mojarra Jr. I’m the oldest of five boys and one girl. I was born in raised in Santa Ana, not the easiest of cities to grow up in, but nonetheless I called and still call it home. The world of gangs, violence and drugs was the first perspective of life I was exposed to. One of the hardest factors on in my life, was having to grow up with a father that was an alcoholic and drug addict. He saw violence as a form of expression. From childhood I looked for somebody to look up to but I never found anyone who fit the simple requirement of leading a loving life. A father who was selling and addicted to drugs, uncles who were in and out of prison, cousins who were graduating from tagging crews into gangs. Every morning waking up as the oldest child and realizing that I was left in charge of my younger siblings, simply because drugs were devouring my parents. I did not choose to live life that way. Something deep inside of me would always say there had to be something more that this. One of the greatest things that ever happened to me was finding my second home, Teen Challenge Orange County.

Twelve years ago old and hungry I arrived at the gate of Teen Challenge Orange County. My cousin a.k.a. my big brother had mentioned pizza and music. Little would I know that my second home would manifest itself as one of the most important factors of my life. Here I have met many teachers of my life, all the men that were trying to change their lives. The voices of my teachers and their accounts, I always took as lessons for daily life. As a child I was always shown that money, cars and girls where the riches of man, this all changed when I turned sixteen. I realized that humanity was the real treasure. Investment in people was the true fulfillment that brought genuine contentment and purpose. I immediately began to volunteer for Teen Challenge. I kept volunteering for Teen Challenge I soon realized that it was a natural gift…” Note: Retyped exactly as written.

Commenting on Ismael. “Although that life was a short one, he made a huge impact for the Kingdom and he will continue to be an inspiration. For such a young man he was a giant in faith and was an encouragement to all who knew him.” Dennis Griffin, Teen Challenge of Southern California Inc.

Note: Funeral services to be held at the Orange County Worship Center, 1440 E. Santa Clara Ave., Santa ana at 10 a.m. Monday May 21st.

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