Transformed by Christ

Local Partner Hope Community Development Association (Hope CDA) faithfully serves men in our community as they work to break the chains of poverty, helplessness, and hopelessness. Hope CDA has seen over and over how men's lives can be transformed by Christ's love and by learning skills for living and employment. Read Eric's incredible story of how God is changing lives through the ministry of Hope CDA. 


For 20 years, Eric Mullenix was caught in a cycle of using drugs, going to prison, getting out, and using again. He had been raised in a Christian home but he turned away from God. Eric says, “God showed me He loved me…I chose the wrong path.” On August 29, 2020, alone in his prison cell, he was miserable. Life was “chaos, hell,” he says. He didn’t know where to turn. So he got down on his knees and prayed: “Take this away. I can’t do this anymore. Show me the way.”

Eric contacted Mike Cervantes, of Living Beyond the Bars, who helps ex-felons find resources to turn their lives around. Eric told Mike that he was a Christian and he’d like to find a Christ-based program. Mike pointed him to Hope CDA.

Eric came into the program scared, but he was immediately overwhelmed by the genuine love of the staff, mentors, and participants. His fear was taken away by Christ. “He knows me,” Eric says. “He knew I could do better things with His help. I tried to do it by myself for so long. I tried to quit using, but I continually had the urge to use. God literally took that away. It’s another sign—one of many in my life—that He is real.”

Eric recounts the changes in his life as a result of being at Hope: After being without a driver’s license for 20 years, he now has one. He has a restored relationship with his sons and his wife. And he is a Hope CDA house leader, where he strives to be an example in all that he does. Through the program, Eric says he has discovered that he loves helping people; previously, he would help only strangers, but for the wrong reason: he was looking for something in return. Now he knows he’s doing God’s work. He says, “We are representatives of Christ. How we act has a big impact. We [program participants] are building the reputation of Hope CDA in the community. Most of the guys take that really seriously, and I love to see that.”

Although Eric came into the program with construction experience, he says he’s learned more skills at Hope, but also, importantly, how to manage his time. “Time is a gift,” he says. “I’m supposed to be a steward of it. I wasted a lot of time over the years. Now I’m a lot better at managing it.”

Eric will graduate from the program this spring. He plans to continue working with Hope as a full-time construction foreman and as a house leader. His wife, who is currently incarcerated, is looking for a program similar to Hope, and once she completes that, they will look for a place together.

“Hope is a life-changing program,” Eric says. “Get in, sit down, and buckle up! It’s fun! I never thought that there could be fun in sobriety.” But he’s finding there is fun in sobriety, and also love and peace.