One can say that recent Transformation Program graduate, Ben S., has come a long way in his life, literally and figuratively. Ben’s story begins in South Vietnam, where he was born, and immediately placed in an orphanage. Ben, to this day, does not know his biological parents, their story, and why they could not care for him. Ben was adopted at the age of 2 ½ by a family in the United States. After a few short years, he found himself back in “the system”, bouncing around foster care for the next 12 years. “I had a lot of anger issues and mental health struggles growing up”, Ben recalled.
In 2018, as Ben was trying to find his identity and purpose in this world, he found himself at the Allentown Rescue Mission and entered into the Transformation Program. “I got saved”, he said. “I started a relationship with Jesus and learned many things, but I was still immature”. When Ben looked back, he admitted he wasn’t ready to change his life. He was more focused on “living in the moment”, rather than looking at the big picture of his life, and how the decisions he was making would impact his future.
Ben stated that after leaving The Allentown Rescue Mission in 2018, he fell back into destructive habits. He was depressed and discouraged because of COVID and he spiritually fell off. He lost the sense of purpose and identity that he found while in the Transformation program.
One day, Ben woke up and knew what he had to do. He could no longer go on running in circles in a cul-de-sac of self-pity and shame. He contacted the Transformation Program Manager and asked for help. Ben was hoping for another chance to rekindle the relationship with God that he once had, and deep down, knew he needed again to clean up the mess of his life that he found himself in.
Going through the Transformation Program for the second time, Ben said he learned that he needed to change his way of thinking. Through Biblical teaching and life skills classes, along with weekly meetings with his life coach, Ben was taught how to deal with conflict, within and outside of himself. He discovered “sympathy, empathy, and humility”. Ben has learned to deal with himself, but with God, and from a Biblical perspective.
Above all, Ben believes he is ready to change and be a better man; a mature young man who is learning not to take things so personally, and focusing on being accountable for his action instead of worrying about things he cannot control. Ben also mentions learning about Finances and other important real-world topics that have left a positive impact on him this time around in the Transformation Program.
Ben is eager to apply all he has learned to his everyday life. “I’ve already had the opportunities to do so while being in the program”, he said. Eventually, Ben wants to return to his old job at a warehouse, find his own place, find a good local church to faithfully attend, and stay away from the people, places, and things that brought him down in the past. He is looking forward to what lies ahead, with hope, instead of fear.
God bless you, Ben! May you stay the course and become the man that God wants you to be.