German Chocolate Cheesecake! If you attended this year’s Top Rescue Chef competition, you got to experience the baking talents of our friend, Harry. If not, take my word for it, his desserts are a treat worth showing up for.
I’m always amazed at the way God works to bring people to us who, not only are desperate for the help we offer, but are destined to become members of the family of God and of our Rescue Mission family.
Harry is someone we have cried with, prayed with, and celebrated with. He came to us desperate for someone to help him escape his addiction. The way he found us was a miracle orchestrated by God, and the fact that we were here when he was ready to seek help, was due to your faithfulness in supporting the Mission.
Harry tells me his alcohol and drug use started with the sudden death of his younger brother. “I don’t take death very well. My little brother, who was in the army, died suddenly during a PT exercise. It hit me hard and I just got angrier and angrier. I started drinking, then using marijuana, but when I started using crack cocaine, I knew that I was in trouble! I gave in to it and, from there, everything just spiraled out of control in my life.
“Every time I had a choice to make in my life, I made the wrong one and I would hit a brick wall. It would knock me down and I kept getting knocked down over and over again for almost 30 years until, one day, I physically broke down.
“I fell to the ground crying and begging God for help. Then, for some reason, it came to my mind to search online using the word ‘intervention’. That search took me to the website for the show Intervention.
“I called them out of desperation. I was in tears and I called and called and called until finally a lady named Susan responded. I sat on a bench outside the VA crying while I talked to her, and at first, I think she really thought that I was playing around, that I was just trying to get on the show. But I told her, ‘No, please, I just need someone to tell me where I can find help.'”
The staff of Intervention gave Harry the contact information for our River of Life (ROL) Rescue Mission, and he says, “I called the staff at ROL and everything just fell into place. I knew with all my heart that this was where I had to be.
“I remember they told me I needed to download an application. As I was filling it out, there was a question about whether or not I was willing to consider accepting God in my life. There was no hesitation; I was ready to get my life on the right path. I got on a bus to Boise from Florida three days later, and there has been no turning back since.
“Once I was here, everything started to fall into place and I finally realized Who had been picking me up all along. All those times I hit that wall and got knocked down, it was God who was helping me up. I had never read the Bible in my entire life, so it took me coming here to learn who He is and about the love that He has for me.
“After I graduated from the New Life Program at ROL this spring, I remember being asked what I wanted to do. I really love to cook for people, so that’s what I said. A few days later, I got a call, ‘Guess what? You are our new cook at River of Life!'”
Harry says it is a blessing to him to be able to cook for the people who come to the Mission for food. “I just want to give them a decent meal. They are all struggling, and when they come in here, it’s the only quiet time they have, instead of being out in the hustle and bustle of the streets. I want to make them feel loved and to help them know that there are some people in this world that do care for them.
“I am so grateful that God led me here. When you are trapped in addictions, it is such a dark place, just filled with despair. I was desperate, and I found hope that I could escape from that despair thanks to you. I am so blessed now, and I want so much to be a blessing. Thank you!”