Luis Delgado‘s eyes redden and well up with tears when he talks about the bottom. It’s as if he’s gone back–back to being homeless on the streets of Birmingham for more than eight months, back to being exiled by his wife because of his addiction to marijuana (yes, marijuana), back to finding sporadic shelter in the homes of friend after friend, in abandoned building after building, beneath bridge after bridge.
Delgado told AL.com, the situation “took me to the depths of the deep” emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Every night, Delgado would try to secure a place to sleep: under a bridge, a friend’s sofa or in a shelter.
Eight months into living on the street, Delgado found Christ for the second time in his life — and he credits his faith for helping him get clean after a 20 plus year marijuana addiction and get to a place where he could start his life again.
Through it all,”[I realized] God doesn’t want religion; he wants you to have a relationship with Him.”
“No matter how deep the valley, it you stay faithful to Him, He will get you up. And when you get up, you will see the same God,” he said.
“I found that out in the valley. [God is] a friend that never leaves you.”
And the situation also helped me to see, “[the] hopes and plans God had for me.”
After Delgado participated in a rehab program a year after he first hit the streets, he realized a few truths, like “[Addiction] is really a separation from God” and in this season of his life, its time to give back.
So to help others, he started 3-in-1 Ministries, a program devoted to sharing the word of God with the Birmingham, Alabama homeless population.
In addition to that, Delgado realized he’s meant to be in the restaurant business.
The former chef had previously walked away from his family’s business because of his own personal battle with drugs. But he was determined to get back into it after his step-father asked him to start a new place with him.
Now he serves up food at Miami Fusion Cafe, a Puerto Rican establishment open for breakfast and lunch in downtown Alabama.