When Tha Smoke Clearz
Impact Youth Outreach was founded by Joseph and Jessica Giunta in February of 2004. Joe was locked up as a youth repetitively, for a lot of minor charges, and as he got further into his teen years, his charges got more serious. Joe knew what it was like to grow up in a broken home without a father around. He also experienced the life of someone growing up in the inner city. He was raised in Queens, N.Y. where his family struggled daily to get by. At the age of 11 Joe was learning to "hustle" the streets of Queens, doing whatever he had to do to help his mom feed his brothers and sisters. When Joe was a young teen-ager his family moved to Florida so they could get away from the city life and start over. By this time he had already learned how to "hustle", and he was getting drugs at a very inexpensive price and selling them for profits. He became known in the part of Florida he lived in for what he was doing. The only difference between N.Y. and Crystal River was that in the small town they wouldn't put up with anything. Joe was arrested for the first time at 13 years old, and it didn't stop there. Between selling drugs, getting high, running with gangs and going to jail he didn't have much time for school so he wound up getting kicked out in the 11th grade. His life was on a downward spiral and it was moving fast. While in jail he was faced with the biggest challenge that had ever been presented to him, the gospel of Jesus Christ. It didn't challenge him to fight for his life like before, but to let some one else fight for him. He was challenged to trust in Jesus, and he responded. Upon Joe's release from jail, he started and grew into relationships with people who taught him the word of God and helped in his discipleship. He joined a local church and later became the Youth Pastor. After four years of ministering under the training and supervision of other ministries, God birthed forth the Impact Youth Outreach. After working in collaboration with several churches and ministries during a great learning period, I.Y.O. finally branched out into the mission field for itself. There are missionaries to foreign countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. Our country has foreign land within itself when it comes to the mission field. Impact's mission field is within the community and culture of our urban youth. Wayward youth ministry is not easy as the ministers are not "preaching to the choir" like when they are at church, but in a sense it is also easier because they are dealing with kids who are locked up in jails, hurting from the disaster of broken homes and plagued by the generational curse upon this world, and because of this these juveniles are very receptive to any freedom they can get. The Impact team began praying for wisdom in doing that which God had for them to do. They began to realize that in this media driven generation that just "good old preaching" wasn't going to get the job done to it's fullest potential. There had to be another way to get through to kids who were un-churched. What is it that drives these kids to do what they do? Music, television and the internet are the gods of this generation, and it is where they get their knowledge and drive to do whatever they want to do. They are being taught self pleasure is the key to life, "life is short so live it up". Since the kids are so driven by what they hear why not insert some positive teaching into their music and maybe they will begin to hear the word of God for the first time in a way they can relate to, and also be accountable for. Being people who were into the whole "hip-hop" culture before Christ, the Impact team knew what it was that the kids were into so they formed the holy hip hop group called the "Impact Souljahz" and began to write lyrics to put some reality in the faces of this "in your face" generation. At first they used instrumentals from songs that the kids already knew so when they heard the beats from songs that were familiar to them it would spark an interest and form a comfortable listening stage for the gospel to be preached from. Maybe now the unreachable youth would listen to what was being said because they could understand and relate to it in "their own language". As Impact went God did what he always does for his people and he supplied all the resources they needed to do their own music production, and opened doors to partner with other ministry teams to collaborate and win souls for the kingdom. There are many great testimonies of salvation and deliverance through the ministries of I.Y.O... In it's inaugural year Impact was used to lead over 900 souls to the Lord. They have led anointed youth outreaches all over the State of Florida, in churches, juvenile detention and residential facilities and into the streets of our urban and suburban communities. Impact Youth Outreach's desire and passion is to lead the broken and hurting souls of today's generation of young people to their healer. Their goal is to communicate the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ in a creative and entertaining, yet serious and life changing manor. Never to be mistaken for pure entertainment, Impact is believing and expecting a great end time harvest of our young people.