My name is Cindy Ericks. I own an inspection company in town, in Tallahassee. God’s entrusted me with a ministry in Frenchtown. We feed people twice a month.
I moved to Tallahassee in 1986. I grew up in New York, the suburbs of New York City.
In my early years, we were raised in a Lutheran Church. Went to church every Sunday. Knew the Lord as much as you can know the Lord at 7, 8 years old.
My father was a tavern owner. We lived over this tavern. My parents drank heavily. Both of them were alcoholics. There were four children in the family. I was third.
Got left alone a lot. Didn’t look at this until much later, but in those years I was sexually abused by many different people, friends of the family and so forth.
But as time went on, my mother took my younger brother and I and left and she became a tavern owner.
Early, early on, like from age 9 or 10, I had my cousins introducing me to sniffing glue and things, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes and stuff like that.
Back in those years where we lived above the tavern, my little brother and I used to walk up the street to the Baptist Church. We’d hear the church bells and we’d just go up there and we’d get some Sunday School lessons and stuff. Again, I believed in God. I believed God existed. I didn’t really get what Jesus was or anything like that.
Then I started watching my mother just go off, you know, on this thing with drinking and I went home and I basically saw my mother just dying. And I begged her to stop drinking, and I told her that I would not return if she didn’t stop drinking. And she just looked at me just said…nothing. And I got up and walked away. The next time I saw her was in a hospital bed in a coma.
She died, and I just gave up on God. I was like, “How could God do this to me?” if there was one. So I was like, “O.K. I’m an atheist. I don’t believe anything.”
Then two years later my father died. So that just kind of reconfirmed, you know. I was like, “O.K. There’s no God, and I’m just going to go on.”
And my sister basically saved me from a life of…I had been into a lot of drugs through those years. My sister rescued me one day. She convinced me I needed to go to college...that she would put me through college. So she took me in. And I did well. I graduated with a 3.4 grade point.
Then I left and moved to Florida. Married my ex-husband. Had a son, Michael.
Michael went to kindergarten. And I really didn’t like what was going on in the public school. I was a little blind actually. The kindergarten teacher wanted to keep him back – said he had A.D.D. I was like, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” And I put him in a private school. Well, we decided together that we would put him in a Christian school.
For many years, it had been nagging me that I needed to just take another look at God. But I wasn’t willing to, because I was afraid. But when we put Michael in Epiphany Lutheran, I was like, “Cindy, you have got to take a look at God. You have got to find your way back. He really…He wants you…He wants you back.”
I just started praying. I realized that God did exist, but it was like, “Whoa, wait a second.” I still drank pretty heavy on the weekends. I smoked pot five nights a week. I can’t let anybody get close to me, and I don’t want to know what the Bible has to say, because it’s going to tell me that what I’m doing is not right.
Months went on, and one morning I believe strongly the Lord spoke to me and said, “Cindy, you are going to go to Seven Hills,” which was the church that we had attended back years before that. “You’re going to go there tomorrow.” I was like, “O.K. I’m going to go there tomorrow.” And I called up and got a schedule.
And I went. And I was really received with open arms. Some people remembered me from years before.
There was a couple major things where God moved powerfully in me that totally changed my life, and my life is like totally different. And from that time forward, I really believe that I’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit.
God made me to be a servant, I mean, He really created me to serve underprivileged people. For 13 years I served the homeless. I had that desire in me, it was there. I just really didn’t recognize where it was coming from.
He then later on convicted me that I was to start a ministry in Frenchtown. We feed people. We meet people where they’re at. We pray with people. And I really feel the outpouring of God’s love through me in ways that they aren’t words to explain.
All those sacrifices I thought were going to be so horrible, to have to give up – I was afraid that I was going to have a boring life – I was going to have to give up all these things. Those sacrifices aren’t really sacrifices. They just look like they are.
I can’t imagine life without God.
Hey, I’m a totally changed person.