By Ron Starcher, Director of Client Services at the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley
Ian Spooner left the building. For those who know Ian, this was a great day. For those who don't, here is his story.
Ian came to us as a troubled 20 year old. He was estranged from his family and was facing prison time on federal charges of drug possession and dealing. To say he was troubled is an understatement.
Ian struggled his first months here, but had no place else to go. He was forced to make a go of it. But Ian is the kind of person who, when he buys into something, does so in a big way. Soon we all began to see changes in Ian's behavior.
What was gradually becoming obvious to the staff was blatantly obvious to those who had not seen Ian for a time. When we took him for a pre-trial hearing, his family attorney remarked at the physical difference he saw in Ian, not to mention the change in his emotional responses. The lawyer, who had known the family for years, remarked, "I never would have believed that this could be the same person."
Ian had entered the Second Chance Academy program at the Mission, and had found forgiveness of sins through Christ as his Savior. Twelve months later, Ian completed the program and stayed on for after care and follow up. With his legal issues settled, he found a job – no small undertaking in the Mahoning Valley – purchased a car, and rented an apartment. With the help of men from the Mission and from the church where he is an active member, he moved into his apartment.
Fast forward another year and Ian became a part of the Rescue Mission Staff as one of our client advisors helping others to find their way and giving back to the Lord through service at the place where his life was turned around! Ian has now moved on to another job and is getting closer to earning his college degree.
God bless you, Ian. You have blessed us far more than we have blessed you.