“I’ve been a really troubled person—since I was 16 years old,” Gerald says, his voice dropping to almost a whisper as he looks back on a life of turmoil and desperation.
“My father passed away from drinking,” he admits. “And my problem is mostly drinking—imagine,” he shakes his head. “I mean, it’s crazy, just to realize I was an alcoholic son.
“The alcohol plays tricks on you. You’re thinking you’re okay, then the next thing you know, you’re stumbling down the street.” Then Gerald looks up and says, “Alcohol also tells you that nobody cares.”
But with God’s grace, Gerald found caring, hope and freedom from his disease at the Rescue Mission.
“If I hadn’t, I don’t know where I’d be now,” he says. “Just . . . drinking.” This is why Gerald is so grateful for the new life he’s finally experienced, thanks to your Christ-centered support.
“It’s such a blessing, knowing I don’t have to worry about a drink. It gives me chills!” he says. And it is his newfound faith that has made that possible. “I got baptized and I was shedding tears—tears of joy! It’s a powerful, overwhelming feeling.”
And it’s a feeling that runs even deeper at this time of year filled with such hope and promise. “Here they have Thanksgiving, people come in, bringing families and kids, turkey is served and we’re helping!” he smiles.
And Christmas? “I was here at Christmas, sitting there enjoying myself like a kid all over again because when I was young, I didn’t.” Imagine: a childhood without Christmas—the holidays with no place to lay your head, no kind words to hear, no hot meals served . . . and no hope in anything.
But your help provides for all that and more this holiday season, and Gerald’s thanks go out to you for sharing God’s grace with hundreds just like him . . .
“God is so beautiful,” he says. “God is so powerful, God loves us and I like to draw, so I draw hearts like these . . . because He is so amazing!”
Anthony went from desperation and loss to total transformation thanks to your support for men like him, whom God loves and brings here to save and change!
“I was a complete disaster,” Anthony says, shaking his head at the memory of how far he’d fallen, how low he’d landed. “I lost everything. I lost my home, I lost my family.”
Drugs had replaced them all. “It was a nightmare,” he admits. “And it makes me feel disgusted. I didn’t realize how many people I affected while I was on drugs, until I saw my sister crying or my younger brother crying, or my stepfather, seeing him cry for me. I was like, ‘Wow. I really hurt people. Look what I’ve done,’” as tears spring into his eyes at the suffering he’d caused.
“But you don’t realize any of that when you’re caught up on the drugs,” Anthony says. “It was rough. It was hard.” and like so many others who hit rock bottom after burning all their bridges, there was nowhere left to turn for help but here.
“I was in a car accident, and my sister told me, your season is almost up. You have to get out of this.’ And my mother said she’d heard about this place—the Springfield Rescue Mission . . .”
“That was when I said, ‘I have nothing more to lose,’ so I came in,” and the Lord transformed him.
Amazed, Anthony says, “Through God’s grace and His love, I’ve had a life-changing experience!” That is the point and purpose of this ministry, especially at the holidays, when suffering and struggle are felt even more intensely—and hope is most longed for.
“The holidays here? It was so great!” Anthony smiles in gratitude. “They had a big dinner at Thanksgiving for everybody—for the homeless, and even for us in the Men’s New Life Program. For Christmas too!” he beams.
And it’s all thanks to the commitment and care you express through your gifts and prayers.
“My mom is so proud of me now,” Anthony says, wiping the tears away. “She never thought she’d see this day, and that can be a little overwhelming. I’ll say, “All right, mom?” and she’ll stare at me and say, ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe it.’” Today, Anthony smiles and praises God in his heart for making transformation possible through this ministry we share in Springfield.
I am no longer that Slave to alcohol and drugs, they always smiled with me and then at me.
The day the rest of Don’s life began, there was doubt he’d even survive until nightfall . . .
“I was downtown,” he recalls. “When the Springfield Rescue Mission food service coordinator, Damon, came with volunteers to give out something to eat and drink. They handed me a sandwich and a cup, which I tried to put up to my mouth and spilled, I was shaking so bad.
Adoption: is the word I have known from the beginning of my life, from the time I was 8months old when my mother decided she didn’t want me till the time when Jesus had found me at the age of 17.
Steve went through some really tough times. His wife was sick for a long time, and he numbed his pain with alcohol. Steve's wife passed away three days before their 15th anniversary, and he spiraled downhill fast, losing his job, becoming homeless and estranged from his children. But thanks to you, that's not the end of the story ...
Adam came from a broken family and tried to hide his pain and confusion by self-medicating with pot in his early 20's. As the years went by, he experimented with cocaine and prescription pills. By the age of 29 he found himself to be a full blown addict. Adam said, “At this point, I was waking up dope-sick and trying to make it through the day. I thought I was happy when I was high, but I was truly miserable. I was working two jobs, but I never had any money. The pills got too expensive so I tried heroin. I ended up with an incredible habit that was drowning me. I lost the jobs, I lost the place where I was staying and I became homeless.” Last Christmas, Adam was using cocaine heavily. He was ordered by a judge to get into a rehabilitation program. That’s when he found the Springfield Rescue Mission.
Life would be so much easier if accepting Christ as Savior instantly transformed all our thoughts and behaviors—but Jason knows it doesn’t work that way.
After giving his heart to Christ in April 2006, he knew he was up against a fierce battle with the “old man” in him, all the “garbage” in his soul and spirit left by his childhood.