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Making a Living From Anger

Mitch tried to escape the pain of childhood abuse, but drugs, alcohol, and fighting didn't make it disappear. Then the fear hit—if he didn't change, he would face a penalty worse than death. Read Transcript

I made a living from anger--

paid bodyguard, paid fighter, paid strong arm.

NARRATOR: There were few who would cross Mitch Zajac, who

now stands at six feet, seven inches, a much

different picture than his grade school days

when he was one of the smallest kids in school.

People got bullied, and I was one of them.

I got bullied a lot.

I got smacked around, beat around.

It wasn't right, wasn't fair, upset me,

and there wasn't much I could do.

NARRATOR: At home, it was his stepfather

who dished out the abuse.

There was a closeness between him and my sister

and I was more on the outside and I didn't like it.

There was some times that I got beat pretty bad.

NARRATOR: Mitch became angry and bitter,

feeling like he didn't belong anywhere.

I was pretty lonely in life, just

wondering what's it all about.

NARRATOR: At 13, Mitch found drinking and smoking

pot helped take the edge off his growing anger.

MITCH ZAJAC: I liked it.

It just took me in a kind of a fuzzy good feeling place.

It was a good time.

In high school, the tables turned.

The small, defenseless kid had grown into a towering,

imposing figure with a score to settle.

MITCH ZAJAC: I lived to fight.

I could tell the difference how people looked at me.

It was different when they used to look down at me

compared to now when they looked up at me.

And I could see something and I liked that.

NARRATOR: After high school, he found other ways

to vent his anger.

MITCH ZAJAC: The anger got to a point where

the life that I had now started, I was

able to make a living with it--

anger, hate, wrath.

Ended up becoming a paid fighter, paid strong arm,

traveled the strip bar circuit--

dark, dark life.

NARRATOR: Then Mitch started making, using,

and selling crack cocaine.

His dealings with everyone from neighborhood gangs

to Colombian drug Lord's earned him a reputation as someone

not to cross.

MITCH ZAJAC: Ended up running drugs for Dominicans,

dealing with Colombians, Jamaicans

of the posse, Mongolians, blacks, Latinos.

I carried big guns.

I carried nasty bullets.

I lived in cultures that most people only ever read about.

MITCH ZAJAC: He was also caught in the cycle

of drug and alcohol addiction.

I had lost most everything probably a couple of times.

You have things, material things,

even things of necessity.

But once those drugs really start to take over,

you start losing everything.

NARRATOR: But this time Mitch lost everything for good.

After several arrests and squandering all his money,

he wound up homeless, living on the streets

of Redding, Pennsylvania.

It was then he began examining his life.

MITCH ZAJAC: Just aimlessly wandering, just

going just the routine, it's a horrible lifestyle--

misery, torture, fear, darkness, nothing good.

You never know what's going to happen,

always looking over your shoulder.

Just a lost life.

NARRATOR: One afternoon Mitch stumbled into a phone booth

to call a friend.

MITCH ZAJAC: There was a gospel tract in it.

I didn't know it was a gospel tract.

It said "Heaven and Hell" on it, and I picked it up.

Heaven certainly sounds nice, that's a no-brainer,

but Hell's the reality for anybody

that doesn't know the Lord, Jesus Christ,

and I didn't, and it bothered me, bothered me greatly.

I probably had it for a year.

I could not throw it away.

Just seems God started dealing with me

and any time I saw flames or fire, it just bothered me.

I could not think about Hell.

The penalty of Hell--

I just knew it was bad.

For the first time in my life, I was getting scared,

and I wasn't one to get scared.

I was crazier than crazy.

NARRATOR: Mitch filled out the form on the back of the tract

and mailed it in, using his mother's address

after moving in with her.

Mitch got a call from a local pastor.

MITCH ZAJAC: He came right over and he told me

about the Lord, Jesus Christ and what

he did on the cross of Calvary.

He took my place, He paid for my sins

with His own flesh and blood.

And he let me know that if I surrender,

if I repent and turn to Him, call out,

believing in Him that He'll save me from my sins,

and I can avoid the penalty of a devil's hell, which I knew

was coming, and be adopted in the family of God

and receive a home in heaven one day.

And oh, I liked that.

That's what I was looking for.

And he led me to the Lord.

NARRATOR: Mitch still struggled for several months

to kick his drug addictions, but on Christmas day,

while holed up in a hotel room ready to use cocaine,

God spoke to him.

MITCH ZAJAC: I had all the drug paraphernalia.

I just had a lot of dark stuff from my old life,

and I thought this is December 25th.

I thought this is the Lord, Jesus Christ's birthday.

My Savior, what am I doing?

I felt horribly ashamed.

I said I gotta come back.

I left the motel room.

I threw everything away.

And I have been clean and sober, safe and happy,

walking with the Lord, Jesus Christ now ever since.

And that's over 13 1/2 years ago.

NARRATOR: Today Mitch an evangelist,

spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

I don't ever want to go back there,

and I know how much I need the Lord, Jesus Christ.

He will keep me clean and sober.

The satisfying and content in my heart is amazing,

and I live for that.

I crave that.

I love that.

The Lord filled the void that I could--

that I could never fill.

Jesus Christ is the only one that did it.

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