BOOK TESTIMONIES OF CHANGED LIVES:
Below are just a few of the powerful testimonies of changed lives for Christ through the book, I Lived to Tell About It.
1) Brian's Story
My name is Brian. I just wanted to say thank you, because you sir, have given me so much motivation and inspiration towards so much hope to change my life completely. I’m from Indiana and now I’m in Clearwater FL. I’m locked up again facing a sufficient amount of time. But anyway I never picked up a book in my life with the intention to read it completely until last week, October 8, 2008. When I was coming back from the shower, I spotted a book placed in the giveaway pile outside of my cell that caught my attention. The name of the Book was called I Lived to Tell About It, by Joey Perez. So I picked up the book and decided to read it. It was so interesting that I just couldn’t place it down, because it was like reading about my personal life. It gave me more hope for myself, because if you could change after all that you been through, and if God can forgive you then maybe he can forgive me.
I have always wanted to change but I couldn’t. And now I’ve lost everything and everyone that I loved so dearly. So now I’m by myself, going through all this hectic time in my life. I am a 27 year old man, who feels like a lost kid and don’t know where to start to change or even if I can. So I feel that I needed to contact you to say thank you for publishing your book. Sir you have helped me and many others I’m quite sure of. Sir you don’t know me but you are my friend.
Sincerely Your Friend Indeed,
2) Raymond's Story
Dear Mr. Perez,
My name is Raymond. I’m 22 years old… I’m sitting in jail, waiting to go to trial. I have a fiancée, Tiffany, and we have a beautiful daughter named Brianna. I’ve been in this jail for six months. I was recently given your book, I Lived to Tell About It. I received your book two days ago, and I haven’t been able to put it down. There are many things that you and I have been through. Your book has touched my heart. I also grew up with my mother who lost me, my older sister Cindy and my younger brother Jason, due to drugs. I was sent to a foster home at age 9. There I became a person I would never thought to have become. I would sneak out, go do drugs and steal… I only could do wrong things. I would be moved from one home to another. Once every year I was placed in shelters.
I joined a gang at age 13. I did pretty much the same things you did. I’ve done things I’m truly sorry for. I stayed in foster homes until I was 18, at which I found my mother. I moved in with her and finished high school. Nobody would have imagined me graduating. After I graduated high school, I decided to join the Army, maybe that would straighten me out, it did. While in the Army, I did things I was told to do. I was sent to Iraq. I did a year over there, came back and couldn’t stand myself. I asked God to come into my life, as I accepted him as my Savior.
I met my fiancée in late 2005. Then I was slipping. I did cocaine at a party one night, and I paid a major price. I was drug tested the next day. I was kicked out of the Army… I moved home to Texas and started working with my step-dad. He owned a brick company. I did that for awhile…, but thenTiffany and I moved to Florida… My daughter Brianna was born January 17th, 2007. While having problems with my fiancée. The state of Florida took my daughter from me in July 2007. I was arrested in February 2008. I’m having a hard time mentally and spiritually. This is the only time I have really been in jail. I’ve been arrested before, but never spent time in jail. I haven’t gotten any clue as to when I’m getting out. I haven’t held my daughter in almost a year because of this.
I just finished your book this morning. I wanted to write to you and tell you Thank You. Your book has showed me how much I have been turning my back on God. There were parts in your book, like when you accepted God, that June 7th, 1979 night. I cried because I need to start letting God show me the way. I wanted to thank you, and ask you to pray for me. Pray for my family, Tiffany and Brianna. Your book touched my heart. Thank you very much. It had to be God who placed your book in my hands.
Thank you and God Bless!
Pinelles County Jail
3) LILLIAN'S STORY
Dear Mr. Joey Perez,
I wanted to say thanks so much; I went to a concert where you were preaching almost eight years ago. I remember you standing in front of the crowd explaining your story so amazingly. I was shocked that someone could go through all of that and still not believe that Christ existed.
When you did a call for all of the people who wanted to accept Christ into their life, I remember this burning passion in my soul telling me to stand up and go towards you. I know normally I would be so nervous to go in front of so many people, but I was led up there and was the first one up there. I didn't realize that till my mom told me that I was. All I looked at was your face and your eyes and how much they glowed as I walked forward followed by so many people.
After accepting Christ into my life, you handed out your book, I Lived to Tell About It. I didn't really know what to do with it, so I handed it to my mom who put it on my book shelf when we got home. Then about a year later again I was there again where you were speaking in front of a lot of people and I ran up to you thanking you and saying you led me to Christ. Again your eyes lit up and you seemed to recognize me from the year before. You went in front of everyone calling me up, and you asked me to tell them what I told you, but I was nervous and unable to do that.
So you told them, saying, "This young girl came running up to me a minute ago thanking me with all of her heart for talking at a Jesus Fest (Now LifeThirst) right here about a year ago where she accepted Christ." As you spoke, all I could remember was how excited you were when I told you that you helped me realize Christ. The reason I am writing you is because I really for the first time read through your book that I got almost eight years ago. I read it through and it surprised me how much your story inspired me. It was amazing because when I first heard your story I didn't realized how much your story inspired me. I just wanted to say thanks so much! You inspired me to talk to people about my religion. You are a hero in my life, and I couldn't ask you to do anymore for me. You turned around my life. Thanks again!
I know I am going to remember you for the rest of my life, you were the one who helped me be born again, that is so much more than I could ask ANYONE for. You are an amazing guy, and I understand you went through a lot in your past, but I think the thing about you that inspires me the most is how you aren't letting your past stop you from telling other people about Christ, and how you were able to overcome your past. I'm fighting through that battle now, trying to let my past to remain behind me. (But I know I can do it with God.) So thanks again, for EVERYTHING... (Everything you have done for me and for countless others.) I will pray for you, and I know God will continue to use you to talk to many others through your amazing story. You truly are my hero and I couldn’t ask for a better hero in the world.
Love a grateful girl,
4) Rachel's Story
Dear Pastor Joey,
My name's Rachel and I'm 17. I read the book, I Lived to Tell About It, in my English class. It was the last book I had to read to pass my class and when I read on the back cover what it was about, I didn't want to read it anymore because I completely lost my faith and I thought that God would never save me. I went back to my teacher to ask her if there was any other book that I could read but she said no. As I read the book it began to touch my heart and after I finished it, it gave me some hope that maybe God could save me. My heart still needs a lot of work, but please keep me in your prayers.
It really brings me hope again to know that I can be saved. I was raised in a Christian home for most of my life but it started to kind of slip away from me when my mom left my dad and my brother started doing drugs. About 3 years ago I overdosed on drugs and died in the hospital. I saw hell and realized it wasn't where I wanted to go. Through time I forgot about God and my heart became hard, but somewhere in my heart there was still some soft spots. Your book really touched my heart and God does work in some very mysterious ways. Thank you very much for putting me in your prayers.
5) Colonel Chris Baker
During the academic school year of 2007/2008 I was an administrator at West Philadelphia High School, an urban school. I had heard of Rev. Perez and his ministry, and the work that they had done. I helped to sponsor Rev. Perez’s program where he spoke to six large groups of students at “West” within a three day time frame. Each session lasted 50 minutes. During these sessions Rev. Perez spoke about his personal story. The program and the story was something to which many students could relate. Through the many tragedies of the stories there was a beacon of hope and encouragement.
What made Rev. Perez’s program the most impelling was that Rev. Perez actually lived the stories and was from the same types of neighborhoods and environment as his audience and the students. Students identified with the experiences, the violence and the obstacles of daily life. Below is feedback from one of the many students that expressed their feeling about the program, and how Reverend Perez book impacted their lives. Students were extremely enthusiastic, rushing home to read the book, especially after his very fine program.
The student’s name is Naketa, a student at West Philadelphia High School:
“I really like the book, I Lived to Tell About It. It had me not wanting to put it down. I read it in school, on the bus, in my room and outside while hanging with my friends. I am only sixteen years old and the book made me cry, because just seeing all the things he did and went though with his family, then he began to see things and hear things. He came to my school and told us about his life, I have to tell you it made me cry. Thanks Mr. Perez, I really look up to you.”
I highly recommend Reverend Perez’s program and book for every high school and middle school student, especially those students in urban areas. The impact this story had on these students is tremendous.
Colonel Chris Baker
West Philadelphia High School
6) China's Story
Dear Mr. Perez
Hello! My name is China…and I’m 14 yrs. Old at Mast Community Charter School. About two years ago, I met you through Pastor Eustace. I have just finished reading your extended version of I Lived to Tell About It. This book was immensely enjoyable, even for someone my age. You also mentioned turning book into a movie, it would be one I would certainly watch.
Your book is completely detail oriented. You make it seem like I’m there to witness everything. When you gave your account of the Attabury Job Corps, I felt as though I saw and did everything you did. Repeatedly, I experienced this feeling. Everything I read was exactly like that.
There are multiple events in the book that stick out the most to me. Such as the time you got saved. When the devil tried to tempt you multiple times, you resisted. You pushed the thoughts from your mind. You also rebuked the people who tried to lead you away from God. Another time was then you saw the screen of your entire life. It played the times you were shot, but never hurt. When you were stabbed, but not wounded. That has got to be impeccable. These are two favorite parts.
Though I never really experienced what you have, I am a little like you. I have things built up in me that I have to release. Sometimes I hate random things, just as you did. Unfortunately, when you were younger you didn’t have a Bible like I do. Also like you, I struggle to forgive. People in my life have also done me wrong. I try and try, but sometimes it never goes away.
Mr. Perez, I would like to say that you are an amazing author! You draw the readers into your life story. It opens their eyes and gives them a new perspective and outlook on life. By sharing what you been through, it helps people to see what is out there. (Specifically for someone who lives in Philadelphia.) Mr. Perez, you are one of my heroes. You navigated your way out of such a street life. And I hope to meet you again one day.