A Homeless Heart is Healed
By Renelle Roberts
The 700 Club
“I was in the house. And my uncle was saying come, lay down with me in the bed.
And I said, I’m going to tell mom. So he said to me, if you say anything to mom, you’re going to get a beating.”
Chatman Payne grew up in the projects of Philadelphia. He was one of 11 children born to alcoholic parents.
“My parents, my mother would be drunk, my father, he had left, he only comes back every now and then and they would lay together, they would have another baby. And then he would go away.”
The traumatic molestation that stole Chatman’s innocence happened when he was just 6 years old. Because of his uncle’s threats, Chatman never told anyone. The abuse continued for a year.
“Bitterness, angry, loneliness, mad, upset, outraged, I just wanted to scream some point.”
By then he was already stealing his mother’s wine to deaden the pain.
“It feels like somebody just walked into me and just ripped me apart. And I tried to put it back together, but it just won’t fit. Before I even got to 17 I tried to commit suicide, tried to hang myself, because I said no one loved me, no one cares about me, no one wanted me.”
Then, at 17, he had his first hit of speed.
He was immediately addicted. He financed his addiction by selling drugs. But no drug could numb his intense pain.
“It was unbearable for me to even face myself. Because not only fear was there, shame was there.”
Chatman joined the ranks of the homeless because he would rather live on the streets than with his abusive family.
“My first night on the streets was very frightening. I didn’t care. Because I was so hurt and violated that it didn’t make any difference to me or not.”
He was desperate for a warm place to spend the night, so he walked up to a group of Christians. They took him to a homeless mission.
“They said you’re coming into our prayer room. I says uh, okay, fine. All these people got around me and circled me, they started to pray. They started laying hands on me and I’m feeling something was happening to me. And they started to talking about God, you know, and this and that.”
“It was something that I have never experienced before. But I know it got a hold of me.”
During his stay at the mission he heard a sermon that changed his life.
“And when he called us down to the alter, I came down to the alter and he said, ‘repeat after me.’ And I repeat the sinner’s prayer. This was a new relationship in my life.”
Chatman realized how much he needed god’s love and forgiveness.
“I now live by faith. And I can love for real now with that unconditional love that God has given me and not take anything for granted anymore.”
Chatman worked at the mission for twelve years while attending seminary.
Today he is married and the pastor of house of worship international church.
“I found the love that I’ve been searching for my whole life. That love is Jesus Christ.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.