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CBN.com Jaeson Ma was a wild California teenager from a broken home. He lived fast and loose on the streets of San Jose.
“I just did everything that was out there on the streets,” says Jaeson Ma. “So whether it was drugs, partying, fightin’, whatever it was, I was involved with it. And I thought it was cool. I thought it would gain me respect.”
Jason’s mother was a Christian, but he just wasn’t interested.
“For me growing up, church was a bunch of rules and rituals. ‘Don’t do this and don’t do that.’ So I kind of felt trapped like I couldn’t be myself.
But he didn’t write God off completely.
“I really just had this idea in my mind, ‘God, I’m gonna go and have fun and party hard and make a lot of money and get rich and get famous or somethin’. When I am 99 years old, I’m gonna repent and give my life back to Jesus.”
But Jaeson’s fantasy life turned into harsh reality…
“I went into the streets and tried to find acceptance there,” he says. “I’m actually Chinese but most of my friends that I grew up with were Vietnamese. All my friends from junior high to high school were involved in Vietnamese gangs.
“I came to a point when I was in high school where I was dealing a lot of drugs. I was dealing a lot of marijuana.”
And of course, there were consequences…
Jaeson says, “I had been arrested a few different times for theft -- other times for other different, various reasons. So I already had a record. I was already on probation.”
Still, Jaeson got a good job in a high end clothing store….
“While I was working there, this store sold Armani and Valentino suits. These were the real deal suits. So they would cost, $2,000 to $3,000, and I would do the inventory. I would basically steal them. Sell them to my friends. Under the counter, out the back.”
With the money from the suits and his drug sales, jason thought he would be happy. Instead…
“I had everything but inside of my heart I had nothing,” he says. “It was empty. I didn’t know how to answer that question. I just thought to myself, Jaeson, what are you doing with your life?”
Jaeson ’s lucrative “business” came to an abrupt halt when the police showed up with a warrant for his arrest…
Before facing the police, Jaeson wanted to talk to his mother.
“I was like, ‘Mom, really, what do you think Jesus would do? Really, what do you think Jesus would do?’ My mom just said, ‘Jesus would probably turn Himself in, to get rid of His sin so He could start His life over again.’ I didn’t say anything. It’s like the conviction of God hit my heart like I was cut to the heart. I was convicted like a two ton brick hit my heart.”
Jaeson got his heart right with god.
“I say, ‘Mom, even if I go to jail, I’m gonna turn my life back to God right now. I’m gonna get my life right. I’m gonna do what God wants me to do even if it means I gotta face the consequence of what I’ve done wrong.’ Right then and there I repented. I just said, ‘God, I’m sorry. Mom, I’m sorry. I’m gonna turn myself into the police.’”
Not only did Jaeson turn himself in that day, he also came clean of all his wrongdoing. He loaded up trash bags with all the suits he had left and took them to the police.
Over the next six months, after several court appearances, the judge was amazed at his honesty and evident change of heart. Jaeson was set free.
As a free man he was determined to seek and know God.
“I just kept on saying, ‘God, Hebrews 11:6 says that You’re a rewarder of those who diligently seek You. God, I’m gonna seek You until I find You -- until I get You, until I capture Your presence and Your heart in my life.” And I did. I was 19 years old.
He worked hard and graduated with degrees in Bible theology, youth ministry and business management.
Now Jaeson ministers to college students on over 20 campuses including San Jose State and UCLA.
His family is restored, and Jaeson believes in the power of a praying mom.
“My mom’s the most incredible mother in the whole entire world,” Jaeson says. “My father’s just as great. I love them both with all my heart.”
Jaeson says his mission in life is clear…
“If you wanna have passion for Jesus, you have to study His passion for you. How much He loves you. How much He suffered, and He died for you. Because I John 4 says, ‘We love Him because He first loved us.’”
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