James could be your brother or your uncle. He is a father of five and a grandfather of five. His story is one of riches to rags and he’s on his way back to riches, maybe of a different kind this time. James arrived at the Mission because he ‘couldn’t burden my family and friends anymore.’ Three years ago, James was let go from his job of 16 years because the work just wasn’t there anymore. Once making $70,000/year, he lost his job and then his home. James leaned on the help of others until he humbled himself and walked into Good Samaritan asking for help. Quickly, he was volunteering in the kitchen and began attending Life Skills classes in the Employment Readiness Program. “I decided it was time to take care of business. Attending chapel, I learned who God is and I let go and put God in the driver’s seat,” says James. Shortly after this picture was taken James graduated from the program and has since moved out of shelter and is back working in his previous field, making a good living. “This place is beyond amazing,” says James. Your prayers for James to continue to lean and rely on God to lead him, are appreciated.
Living out of town, Randall’s life was a bit complicated. “I spent some time taking care of my parents who both had major medical issues. My mother passed away first and then I was left to care for my father. He passed away 3 ½ years ago,” explains Randall. After settling his parent’s affairs, Randall’s brother asked him to move to Bay City to live with him.
Things started out good for Randall when he arrived in Bay City, however, hard times were on the horizon. He started working with his brother in the roofing business. Unfortunately, they ran out of work and Randall’s brother moved away. After trying to make ends meet and living in a motel, Randall ran out of money and had no place to go. That’s when he found himself at Good Samaritan Rescue Mission.
Randall is optimistic about his future as he says, “The Rescue Mission has helped me to get on the right road through the classes I have completed in the Employment Readiness Program.” Randall has graduated from the program and is actively looking for employment and then a place of his own, “I want to move forward with my life. I now have Jesus in my life and know our Lord is going to show me the right direction to stay on the road I need to follow.”
Like a lot of people, Randall has encountered and overcome some hard times. “With God’s help, my hope for my future is to find work and better my life. The Rescue Mission has helped me get on the right road,” Randall says with gratitude.
LISTEN ONLINE: Sharlotte’s Story
Just one year ago, Sharlotte was forced to face a young mother’s worst fear. The house she rented was taken away from its owner and Sharlotte and her two children were left homeless. Suddenly, instead of buying supplies and clothes for a new school year, Sharlotte wondered about where her kids would sleep and how she could feed them.
“Endless worrying, you know, just worrying. Crying because they look at me like I’m the support. I AM their support. So my main goal was that I have to do something for (my kids).”
Thanks to your generous support of the mission, Sharlotte and her family did have a place to go for healing and hope and safe shelter.
“It’s been hard, but if it wasn’t for us being able to come here, I don’t know where we was going to go. They definitely rescued us! It don’t bother me as far as going without what I need because I brought these kids into the world and if it wasn’t for Christ and the mission, I don’t know where I would have been. I really don’t.”
There’s another blessing to Sharlotte’s story. Because her children were able to attend their old school while staying at the mission, their grades didn’t suffer and they learned a valuable lesson in compassion. When the children received food from their school, they gave it to a homeless woman they met in the park.
“They got off the bus one day and they had these backpacks and so we met a lady in the park and she never had any food so now they gave her, every Friday they get off the bus and they come up and he was like ‘Mom, can we give it to her?’ And I was like ‘ya!’ And they gave her two things of food from, you know the school, they give them backpacks full of food. I want them to know we were less fortunate before. Some people are less fortunate than we are.”
Thanks to you, the family will enjoy this holiday season in their own home and Sharlotte is very thankful.
“Our Christmas is, we have a home, we’re all together, we’re happy. That’s our Christmas! And God gave us that so on his birthday, on celebrating his birthday, because look what he gave us, he provided us with a home.”
LISTEN ONLINE: Brian’s Story
For Brian, a lifelong struggle with anger was proving to be a major roadblock to healing himself and his family. “I was trying to look for work and different things, but I was so uncomfortable because I hadn’t worked for like eight years. But I was being angry at the same time so it was really a dysfunctional situation. I had anger issues ever since I was a child. Outbursts all the time as a child, fighting with everybody, you know. My nickname was ‘black-eye Bri’, you know. And I was a middle child of 11 children. I did have anger issues all my life.”
In coming to the mission, Brian began to learn from God’s word that there is a solution for the issue of anger and that solution is found in Christ.
“About three months in I was reading a Scripture about Christ looked out with compassion upon the multitudes, he saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd, and ever since that point I’ve been compassionate, loving, and kind. I haven’t had a cross word to say to anybody. And the Lord has just totally transformed me.”
Thanks to your generous support of the mission, Brian and so many others like him, have come to know the peace and healing found only in Christ.
“I would say, if that mission wasn’t there and I had to go a different route, I would probably be maybe somewhere in the middle ground, not like this. God drew me there, God transformed me. He used the people there to facilitate his work in me. I would say, the Brian Mangus I once knew is completely, utterly gone and I am a new creature in Christ. I have absolutely no connection to that man.”