Peter came to Eau Claire looking for a fresh start. After years battling a major depressive disorder, he wanted to “knock down and rebuild everything.” He thought he had all the building blocks in place: extended family nearby for support, a temporary job at UPS and certification as a CNA.
Peter’s plan worked for a few months. He made it through the holidays but hit the wall in January 2020 when his depression returned. “I was stuck in a black apathy,” he says. “I stopped working. I stayed in my room for 18 months.”
When family called, Peter told them he was okay, that he was still working. But his money was running out, his rented room was “an absolute disaster” and there seemed no way out of his depression. Peter hit rock bottom the day his uncle came over and saw him living in squalor, overweight, on the verge of homelessness.
Peter’s family contacted Hope Gospel Mission in June 2021. After 18 months alone in his room, being among other people was a big adjustment. “I'd gotten used to being isolated and this was overwhelming. I struggled, but I was excited to see what this place could do for me.”
Peter says Hope Gospel Mission instilled integrity and self-discipline into his life. However, the biggest benefit came when he allowed Jesus Christ into his heart. One day, he suffered an intense anxiety attack. “That was the first time I intentionally prayed to God,” he remembers. “I shut my eyes and said, ‘God, I need you.’ In two seconds, all the physical manifestations of that anxiety attack — the heart throbbing, the dizziness — were gone.”
Knowing he is loved by God has affirmed Peter’s self-worth and helped him trust others. His relationship with his mother, once strained, is strong and deep. And he has lost 40 lbs!
Peter plans to stay in our Discipleship Transitions Program to ensure his stability and success. He loves his job as a driver for Fed Ex and hopes to enter a vet tech training program and launch a new career.
“Seeing God work in my life as a non-believer has been life changing.” Peter says. “It’s the root of any growth I’ve had. I’m very grateful, every single day since I came to Christ. I’m only in that spot because of what the Holy Spirit did through so many people who work at and support Hope Gospel Mission.”