The Blind Years
Willie “Right” Charles was born and raised in the Bonton Turner Courts housing development in Dallas. He was raised by a mother that struggled with drugs and was unable to provide for him and his two sisters. These hardships drove him to the streets at age sixteen. Because he desired to help his family, he began selling drugs and hustling. With the death of his twin brother weighing heavily on his heart and the stress of being the only male in his household, Willie did everything better than most to make up for his loss. At eighteen Willie had a son of his own, and he began to hustle even harder to give him what he never had. After almost twenty years of surviving, and thriving on the streets, the Lord began the beautiful work of brokenness in Willie.
In 2006, when Willie was thirty-three, God put a stop to his worldly ways. Willie was charged with his first drug case and went to prison. Not only did the streets catch up with him but his health began to fail as well. After going to the doctor and finding out that he had type 2 diabetes, he knew then that he had to change his life. When he got out of jail in 2008, he thought that he could beat the disease on his own, but that didn’t work. In 2010 he noticed that he couldn’t see out of his out of his left eye and his right eye was beginning to fail. He now had two cataracts and it was going to cost him $1500 for a surgery he couldn’t afford. The fear of living in blindness brought him to his knees and he began begging God to give him something else to do before he went blind.
One day a good friend, Rodrick Yarborough, told him about God and how good He had been to him. He too once lived the street life but had given it up for Christ. He invited him to the neighborhood Bible study and Willie gladly attended. Although he didn’t say much he listened and heard Matthew 6:33 which told him ” seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all things will be added unto you.” Soon after, he started getting many blessings from the Lord. The first major blessing was that God restored his sight. Through the Parkland Plus program and faith in God he followed through with surgery and both cataracts were removed!
In March 2013 after graduating from HISBB job training class, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Mike Fechner led him through his decision and reiterated that his past was gone and He was made new. Willie was free for the first time in his life! His sins were gone and joy overwhelmed him. Willie helps coach Crossover sports teams. You will often find him loving on people in the community, meeting their physical needs, visiting his friends in jail and making disciples.