Darryl Strawberry is known for his success in Major League Baseball. Almost 20 years ago, the All-Star outfielder helped the New York Mets capture the 1986 World Series. That season, he recorded 27 home runs and 93 RBI.
He was voted to the All-Star game eight consecutive years, and in the late 90s, was a member of the New York Yankees, which won three World Series titles. Strawberry’s life also was marred by addiction, but on Fri., Aug. 15, he shared how he became an overcomer, addressing hundreds of people at Night of Hope at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.
“Only God can change you and transform you. He loves you right where you are,” Strawberry said, proclaiming a powerful message of God’s grace, the hope he has in Him, and the need to persevere.
This was the second consecutive year Quail Springs hosted Night of Hope OKC, hosted by Lance Lang, founder of Hope is Alive Ministries. Lang’s team spent many hours preparing for this event that is designed to give hope to those who struggle with addiction, have overcome addiction or know someone struggling with addiction. Lang challenged the audience by exclaiming “Tonight is all about you,” emphasizing life change and encouragement.
“Night of Hope OKC was a night many people will never forget,” Lang said. “God showed up and showed off in a big way. More than 700 people poured into QSBC, and were greeted with love and enthusiasm by more than 50 volunteers.”
During Strawberry’s talk, the baseball star made a generous $5,000 donation to Hope is Alive Ministries from the stage.
Annie Lobert, founder of Hookers for Jesus Ministries, also shared her powerful story at Night of Hope. A former prostitute, overcomer of addiction, and now a “hope dealer,” Lobert shared her story of grace, forgiveness and redemption.
She spoke about how “the Devil would lie and tell me I had to be like the girls in the magazines” and how “money and cars would never satisfy.” But as she went on, she concluded with the powerful message that “God was speaking to me the whole time . . . He restores what the Devil has stolen.
“Most of the time, recovery is like a walk to the cross; you have to die to yourself daily to make it to the other side,” Lobert said.
We Were Fiction led the large crowd in worship as the night began, and as people began to engage, stories of life change were shared.
The main event concluded with more than 200 people coming forward to receive special Night of Hope coins, signifying what God had done in their lives throughout the evening.
The night did not end when the service was over. The crowds poured into QSBC’s Fellowship Hall for an After Party with music by Will Gaines, cupcakes, and tables set up to connect with local ministries focused on overcoming addiction. People from all over gathered together to provide each other with strength, encouragement and hope.
“Watching as people flooded the altar to pick up their Night of Hope coins was a moment I will never forget,” said Lang. “The Spirit of God was all over the room, and lives were changing! At that moment, I thought, ‘Mission accomplished!’”
For more information about Hope is Alive and future Night of Hope activities, visit HopeisAlive.net and NightofHopeOKC.com.