Jeff, our graduate speaker at the Mission’s New Life Discipleship and Recovery Program (NLP) graduation early this month, is also the first person you meet at the beginning of the video we made with our 2019 graduates.
Just one sentence describes the depth of his despair before he found this incredible refuge that donors like you have built at the Rescue Mission:
When I first got here, I was in a world of hurt. I wanted to die to be honest with you. I had nowhere to go, I was kicked out of basically everywhere, and I couldn’t stop drinking.
Our next graduate, Josh, shares:
I had hit rock bottom physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I was dead to everything, was taking advantage of everyone, and I needed help.
Still another, Matthew, tells us:
I was addicted to methamphetamines and I brought myself to the lowest [place] of my whole life . . . I may be young, but I brought myself to some dark times, some a scary times and, in all reality, I was dead.
I was homeless. I had lost everything that I loved and I’d pretty much given up. Then somebody gave me [the New Life Program] application. I applied and it changed my life.
This 5-minute video introduces all nineteen of the incredible men and women who graduated this year. Their stories are very different, but there is a common thread that ties them together. Each graduate will tell you that, before the Mission, they had reached the very depths of despair; they desperately needed a place of refuge, healing and second chances. And they had about given up all hope.
And that’s where you came in. On graduation night, I was reminded of the words to a song we have been singing in church, “Glorious Day”:
“I was breathing but not alive. All my failures I tried to hide. It was my tomb till I met You. You called my name and I ran out of that grave; out of the darkness into Your glorious day.”
These men and women would want you to know that it was God’s enduring love expressed to them through your generosity that rescued them from the grave, not just figuratively, but literally. Each of them has received from you the true gift of a New Life.
I am so thankful that we are able to share their success stories with you. And I am grateful beyond measure for your faithful support of the work of rescue that is happening every day through our ministry. It is not easy. In fact tonight, right around 475 men, women, and children will spend the night in our shelters. I can’t shake the picture I have in my head of what our community would look like if those 475 people were trying to survive on the streets instead of safely sheltered with us. Most of them are finding themselves at the very lowest point in their lives. Many of them have all but lost hope. Because of you, though, that is not where their stories end, and that’s what we celebrate each year at New Life Program Graduation.