Crashing from the High of Drug Dealing

“I started growing weed and I started selling weed,” says Darrick. “And I can remember in high school I’d make like $220 a day just going to school and selling bags of weed.”

Darrick Nakata of Honolulu Hawaii started smoking marijuana in the sixth grade. By the time he was in high school he had turned his recreational drug use into a profitable business. In his twenties he realized he could make even more money distributing cocaine. Darrick remembers, “The pro surfers that was coming from Brazil, Peru, all those guys, they was bringing in coke and I would supply all the nightclubs with coke. I’d drive in twice a night selling ounces of coke, maybe –maybe eight ounces in one night. I was making about $35,000 a week just selling coke.”

Darrick soon became dependent on the very drug he was selling. He says, “That’s when I realized I wasn’t in control. When I started using my product and when I started actually smoking coke. All the money I had made, I just started just spending it all on drugs. The drug was controlling me.”

Eventually he dropped his crack addiction for heroin. “And I could see the desperation that I was going through because of this drug. Every waking moment you’re thinking who to call, how can I get it, where can I get it from? I felt there was a little darkness in my soul. Like –like I was not the same person I was. Because I would do any means to get money to support my heroin habit.”

When he tried to stop using—Darrick says he felt powerless. “I remember telling myself, it’d be better if I just died. It’d be a lot easier if I just died. Because the pain was so great. You couldn’t sleep. I was throwing up. My eyes was tearing. It was just—I was just suffering. And I thought if I died that’d be a lot easier.”

Desperate to be free from heroin, Darrick tried something he’d never done before, he prayed to the only one he believed could help. “I just cried out to God and I said God, if –if You could break my chain of addiction, I’ll serve You the rest of my life. I don't know what that meant. I didn’t have a relationship with God. But I was pleading with God that—I was making a deal. Hey, if You could take this away, man, I’d be, you know, I would serve You the rest of my life.”

The beginning of the answer to his prayer came three days later when he was arrested while buying heroin. Darrick spent the next two months in jail. He says, “It detoxed me. They gave me—they gave me medication to take the –take a little bit of the withdrawals. But you still –you still have effects, but it’s not as bad.”

When he was released, Darrick was broke, homeless, and living in a park in Hawaii.  A local pastor, who often brought food to homeless, told Darrick about the love of Jesus. “I remember one day the pastor didn’t bring food. And this is when God came so real to me. I cried out to God, I said, ‘God, if You’re real, bring us some food.’ And lo and behold, 10 minutes after that this couple was walking towards us with foil pans I didn’t know what it was. So five of us sitting there, and then this young lady and this guy said, ‘hey, we just got married. And we had all this extra food. And we thought we’d bring it to you guys.’ And that’s when I thought, ‘Oh wow. God, God, You’re real.’ I mean, I had no doubt right there. God, You answered me. And that’s when my relationship with Him became real.”

Darrick gave his life to Jesus. He soon realized that God had answered all of his prayers. “It was early morning and you have to take down your tent because the police say hey, you can sleep here, but take down your tent in the morning. And I remember it was the sun just rising, I stepped out, the birds were chirping, life was just beginning. The sun was coming up. And I remember—I realized I didn’t have to hustle to get well anymore because God had made me well. He’d broken my chains. And that’s when I realized, God kept His promise. And He delivered me from bondage to my addiction. And that’s when I realized okay, God, I’ll serve You.”

He began ministering to the homeless community in Hawaii with the pastor, and was eventually asked to join the church staff. He says he’s thankful that the Lord heard his prayer and changed his life. “He’s a God of restoration; He’s a God of redemption. He’s a God that wants you to have a relationship with Him. I never felt so much satisfaction in my soul, that, you know, it’s so rewarding in my soul. Once you have experienced –experienced the hand of God and be touched by Him, it’s just something you can’t explain. It’s amazing, God is amazing.”

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