Just the Beginning of a New Life for Rick!
For years, Rick felt like the black sheep of his family. He had become addicted to pain killers after having back surgery in high school. Later, he switched to heroin and had all kinds of problems with the law. Eventually, he became homeless.
“I felt ostracized,” he says of those lost years, thinking at the time that others were to blame. Now he knows that was not true, but it took an overdose for Rick to realize how much his family still loved him.
For months, his mother had asked him to try Hope Gospel Mission. Rick finally agreed.
“There were a lot of rules at the Mission, a lot of structure,” Rick recalls of his first days here. “It took a while to realize it was for my benefit. The first month was really hard.” So hard, in fact, that Rick relapsed. "I messed up, and they gave me a second chance,” he says. “I’d never felt like I wanted a second chance before.”
Rick made the most of it, becoming “laser-focused” on the program. “I realized how much I had gained and how much I had to lose,” he tells us.
However, the biggest reason for the change in Rick’s life is faith. “I don’t feel like I have to do everything myself. I can put my trust in Jesus.” Rick tells us he has read most of the Bible since coming to the Mission. “My f avorite person is Paul. If God can take someone who persecuted Christians
and turn him into one of the biggest missionaries the church ever knew, He can do wonderful things with me, too!”
Rick has connected with a local church, which is “super-welcoming to people from the Mission. They’re so thankful you’re there, learning to have a relationship with God.” Rick is interested in ministry, and hopes to help others who struggle with addiction. Career-wise, he plans to serve an apprenticeship as an electrician.
Being at the Mission has been “a wonderful experience” for Rick, especially hearing from his parents how much change they have seen in him. No longer feeling like the black sheep, Rick says, “Everyone is a sinner, and we all fall short. But every week it gets better and better. This is just the beginning!”