OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – On the very streets where Lorenzo ‘Slim’ Stanback used to sleep, he now preaches, prays and serves food to the homeless.
“I used to sleep right there,” Lorenzo said, pointing to a building on the corner of Northwest 4th and Kentucky.
At 6’9,” he’s a big man with a big testimony – preached from a karaoke machine.
“I no longer have anger problems, I no longer have stress problems, I’m no longer am homeless, I’m no longer on drugs, I’m no longer hungry no more,” Lorenzo spoke into the microphone. “You need a Bible, brother?” he asked a passerby.
Lorenzo has gone from big city gang violence, drugs, multiple prison incarcerations, and homelessness, to now full restoration thanks to a year-long discipleship program he completed with My Brother’s Keeper Ministry, through Word of God Church in Oklahoma City.
Lorenzo is now employed by the ministry to lead others to follow in his footsteps.
Men and women in the ministry are put to work and given housing, food, clothing, stability, and a sense of renewed purpose.
The ministry is funded only on donations and by the sale of tamales and hundreds of loaves of banana nut bread that residents bake and sell themselves.
Tori Hanback lives with her husband, whom she calls ‘Slim’, at one of the ministry’s onsite homes.
Tori, too, has quite a testimony. She says she was sold as a young child into the sex trafficking industry for $45,000.
“I try to tell young women and girls that we’re not property, we’re people. So, I go out and I minister to young people about their self-worth and not their net worth.”
When Tori and Slim aren’t feeding the homeless or working, they are filling care packages for the homeless with items purchased on their own dime.
“Deodorant, never leave home without it,” Slim said. “Hand sanitizer, very much needed.”
“I also got them a washcloth,” Tori said.
The couple’s drastic transformation is the reason Word of God Pastors Melba and Phillip Castillo nominated Slim for a $400 Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank.
“It’s wonderful what he’s doing. We’re so proud of him,” Melba said. “Lorenzo walked into our church close to two years ago, and he was hopeless, he was hurting,” she said.
But not anymore – quite the opposite, in fact.
Lorenzo beams when he talks about his transformation, his wife, and especially God.
But his smile got even bigger the day that Melba and Phillip surprised Slim with the award, while he was standing outside at his weekly spot, feeding the less fortunate.
“We are so proud of what you’re doing, and the man that you’re becoming, and we wanted to present you with this on behalf of First Fidelity Bank.”
“Well, look at God! Hallelujah,” Slim said.
With tears rolling down his face, Slim told News 4, “At least once a week I come out here because I used to live this lifestyle. I used to be out here, homeless but now God blessed me to be able to off the street. It’s good, it’s good.”
This isn’t Lorenzo’s second chance, he’s had many in the past. But this one stuck – a permanent change in a man, now paying it forward by changing others.
“God is good. I changed my life out here from this lifestyle and you can too. If He can deliver me, I know He can deliver you.”
If you would like to donate to My Brother’s Keeper Ministry through Word of God Church, or if you would like to purchase tamales or banana nut bread to keep their organization going, click on the link above or call (405)286-5303.
Pay It Forward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.