Travis, Samuel and Anthony sat munching on sliders for dinner after being honored for completing the Christian Living Program Aug. 16 at the Allentown Rescue Mission. And it was a good feeling. Sliders and their fixings are great, but completing the program and being ready to move forward with their lives was the source of that good – perhaps great – feeling.
Travis, 31, is from Allentown. After a stint he jail, he lived with a friend, his friend’s wife and kids. When the couple split, Travis lost his place to stay and, since his friend was his ride to work, lost his job. “When I came here, I didn’t know about the Christian Living Program, and I wasn’t sure about it,” Travis said. But the program changed him. “It opened my eyes. I was never really religious and didn’t know much about the Bible. But if I follow his word and focus on God’s plan I can go places.” Now, Travis has a goal of going to trucking school after saving money for school by working on The Clean Team. “There were times I didn’t think I’d make it. It gets scary sometimes.”
Anthony, 54, is originally from Bethlehem and was at the mission 25 years ago, though the program was different then. After a year in jail and with nowhere to go, he came to the mission and gave it a shot. “When I was incarcerated I lost my mom, who spent 40 years trying to get me straight. I did it for her. I knew if I were to go back to my old ways I’d be drinking and drugging myself to death,” Anthony said. He also had a “rough marriage” along the way. “This place keeps my mind in a different place. The Good Book helps me most definitely,” said Anthony, who will work for a screen printing company.
All three men especially appreciate the help of Pastor Rob Romig, program director; and Curt Ritter, client care coordinator. “They kept me in line,” Travis added.