The Center Changes Lives in Stockton, California

August 10, 2017

Kids growing up in south Stockton, California, don’t have many choices in life. Often raised in dysfunctional, generational gang families, their futures are mapped out from the time they are small children: the gang is your family, and no one else cares about you.

Marcos chose a different path. 

As a seventh grader, he started coming to The Center, an after-school drop-in center with the motto “Giving faith, hope, and love to inner-city kids and their families.” Through activities like Bible Club, recreation, crafts, snacks, camps, and the Learning Center (homework help), kids are assured of their value and worth. These programs teach kids the skills they’ll need to become productive members in their communities. More importantly, the kids are introduced to Jesus Christ, giving them a constant in their lives so they can make good decisions and live for Him.

Marcos is from a generational gang family. His father is dead, as are two of his brothers. Much of his family is still caught up in the gang lifestyle. A few years ago, missionaries Bob and Lisa Margaron led Marcos to the Lord. 

Since that time, Marcos had a goal to accomplish—he wanted to be the first high school graduate in his family. Center staff helped provide a Chromebook so he could do his homework on something other than a phone. They also encouraged him when his home environment became difficult. And on May 26, Bob had the privilege of attending Marcos’ high school graduation. 

“He’s doing great,” said Bob, proud as any father. “He just bought his first car and is on his way to college.”

Partner with The Center 

PrayPRAY: Pray for Marcos as he continues on his educational path and as he grows in his walk with the Lord. Pray also for Bob, Lisa, and The Center staff as they reach out to other kids like Marcos in Stockton.

More!MORE: Learn more about The Center


GoGO: Want to invest in the lives of children and youth? We’d love to talk to you about how and where your skills and abilities can be used in Stockton and beyond. Contact us at  

GiveGIVE: Bob and Lisa Margaron are currently on homeland ministry assignment, building their support team in order to return to their ministry in Stockton - and back to kids like Marcos. Will you partner with them, allowing them to return sooner? Donate securely online here.