When John began using drugs and drinking at 13, he couldn’t have foreseen that it would lead to a decade of life on the streets, sleeping in the park, and living under bridges.
“At one time I was close to God,” John says. “But through the drugs, I had lost myself. I went astray. I was so far away fromHim, out in the world…I couldn’t find my way back.”
When John’s sister suggested he come to the Allentown Rescue Mission, John wasn’t expecting much. “I basically thought it would be a meal and a bed. It turned out to be more because of the Christian Living Program,” John says.
“Going through the program has brought me closer to God…I want to be as close as I possibly can.”
In addition to chapel, Bible studies, and daily devotionals, the Mission’s Christian Living Program has also provided John with life skills training, and assistance with his diabetes and foot neuropathy. “When I first came here…I was really sickly,” he says. “The medication they give me from the clinic is really helping me walk better.”
John graduated from the program and is now working with the Mission’s Clean Team, picking up litter in Allentown, learning workplace skills and ethics, and gaining work experience which will make him more competitive in the job market.
John’s long-term goal is to earn his GED, find a job, and move into his own place.
“Everything I have is from the Mission and I’m thankful for it,” John says. “Without the Mission there would be no hope at the bottom. From the bottom is where people get lifted up.”
To read the rest of the issue of Tidings, click here.