HenryMy name is Henry. Before I came to the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, my life was nothing but lies, deceit, drinking and drugs. I guess I've spent most of my life hitting the bottle. It's all I saw at home, too. My dad was a big alcoholic. I'll never forget all those times he'd beat my mom over and over. It was painful to watch, and it's affected me throughout life. At least I can say I've never laid a hand to a woman in anger. I would just get mad and then get high. Looking back I now see I was just young and stupid.
For years I walked with the wrong crowd and made the wrong choices. I had no ambition. No goals. No purpose for living. A typical day for me would be to wake up, smoke a cigarette, watch TV, buy a case of beer, drink it and get high. I was also a freeloader. I'd take advantage of people to get what I needed for my habits.
Old things are passed away...all things are new
But that's not who I am today. I can't thank God enough for the Mission, the staff and you who are so generous with your donations. For once I have hopes and dreams for a real life in Christ – not one dedicated to serving the evil one. Here I feel clean. Positive. I'm finally beginning to realize what I want in life. And in the center of what I want is my ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ.
I've even quit smoking. I can now take long walks without breathing heavily. Even something like that is making me feel better about myself. There are so many good things happening in my life since I've come through these doors. I also never realized how much the Bible has to say about everyday situations. It's so practical. I know if I stick with Jesus and his word I'll accomplish what He wants for my life.
Only God is going to keep me straight – along with a friend like you who cares enough to help me along the way. I hope you and your family enjoy the holidays.
Sincerely, your friend, Henry.