From Dope Dealer to Hope Dealer

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_From_Dope-Dealer_to_Hope_DealerI recently had the privilege of being on an outreach team to help Pastor Pablo and Nicole Catala’s pioneer church in Bridgeport CT. I was struck by how laid down, how wide open and vulnerable their hearts and lives were for God and the people of their city. I watched them love people with the love of God. I watched the ease with which they outreached, their children alongside them—truly a team, like a machine in sync. I took note of their home. Everywhere I turned there were photographs of their family and decor that shouted in unison about God and family. I learned their story later and asked them to share it. Here it is.

The  Catala Story

IMG-4281Nicole Catala: One night my husband and I were fighting and basically done with our marriage. We both never had an example. We were only 6 months married and wanted to go for a divorce! That night my husband packed his clothes and left the house. The very next day I got a flyer from someone that there was going to be a healing crusade right across the street in Poe Park, put on by Victory Chapel in the Bronx, NY. As I was looking at the state of my life I knew I needed a miracle. I didn’t want my life to be just like the life of my family: Divorced, having multiple children from different men. I decided to go to the first night of the healing crusade. I was in a state of depression at only 18 years old and felt there was no hope for me and my eight month old son.

As I headed downstairs to the crusade, my husband headed back upstairs to get some more of his clothes. As he passed by me, he said was completely done with our marriage.That first night of the crusade, Pastor Mitchell preached on broken families and how God is a restorer of broken marriages. I knew at that point something supernatural was happening. All along my husband was upstairs and heard every word and knew there was a tug in his heart! He decided to come to the healing crusade and we both prayed that night and received Jesus into our hearts. We knew that we really had to surrender our lives to Jesus!

My husband was into the music industry and wanted to pursue a career in secular rap music. That night when he gave his life to Jesus, God began to place it in his heart that he wouldn’t be a successful Christian if he didn’t let go of that music! So thank God he answered the call and now he’s rapping for Jesus.

Pastor Pablo Catala: I sold kilos of  heroin across the states. Now instead  of selling drugs I’m serving hope to people—From dope dealer to hope dealer. Instead of fighting, I want to pray for the sick and ask God to heal our land and our family.

We didn’t fill the holes in the walls where we hold our church music night, called Hidden Treasure Cafe, because we all come broken. We are in need of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We filled the holes with gold paint, because when we tap into God, He makes treasure out of our wrecked lives. When I came to God I came to him broken, lost, and hopeless but when I gave it all to him he created a treasure out of this mess.

*For Victory Chapel Christian Church of Bridgeport Connecticut church service and IMG_4270Hidden Treasure Cafe concerts times and locations call Pastor Catala at: 203-522-9011

Next Interview Up: Pastor, Pastor’s Wife, What breaks Your Heart & What Keeps You Going?

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_UsPrior Posts in 2018 Series of Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives:

Part 3: Life as a Pastor’s Wife

Part 2: The Call: Why Did you Become a Pastor? 

Part 1: If My People

You can read Part 1 of my 2016 series Shepherd princes & Sarah’s Daughter’s HERE, and my 2017 series, Dragon Slayer, Disciple maker, HERE. 

**I will be continuing my series of interviews with pastors and pastors wives throughout November. The articles are many and varied in content. Don’t miss their stories and their wise counsel. It’s okay to be thankful for  pastors and wives in November too, right?

***It would bless these pastors and pastor’s wives, myself, and others, if you would please share these articles. 

Pray for Your Pastor Text Campaign

Text the word PASTOR to 74574 to sign up to receive either daily or weekly prayer reminders with suggestions for praying for your pastor and a matching scripture reference via text message.

Check out Energize Ministries 

A ministry dedicated to motivating and educating churches to care for and encourage their pastors and families. Energize ministries offers encouraging articles and podcasts for ministers and their families, resources to equip and opportunities for getaways so they can be refreshed. 

CLICK HERE to sign up for the TATTOO IT ON YOUR HEART NEWSLETTER to receive my blog posts, occasional notifications of special events, offers, and free downloads by email.

© 2018  Rachael M Colby                          Tattoo It On Your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaithChat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, in the compilation books Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry, The Courage to Write: 62 devotions to Encourage your Writing Journey, and Defining Moments: Memorable and Inspiring Stories from Outstanding Leaders, and the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate and a whole lot of "Help me, Jesus." Her WIPS include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website,—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

3 thoughts on “From Dope Dealer to Hope Dealer”

  1. My Dearest Nephew, I’ve Been Praying That You Are Well…You & Your Family! I Want You To Know That I Never Stop Thinking Of You And Your Family And I Pray That We Will All Meet Very Soon Once This Pestilence Has Passed..From This Daunting Time We Know We Can Hold Our Head Up High Because Our Deliverance Is Near..Rev.6:8. Luke 21:7-13 I Love You Never Forget That!! May Jehovah Bless Us In The Name Of Our King Jesus Christ Our Lord!


    1. Thank you for visiting my site and reading Pastor Catala’s and Nicole’s interview. It was an honor to interview them. (They are featured in several of my articles in this series.) I sent them your message above as well as your phone number. God bless you.


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