My name is Jesse. The guy driving was suddenly going over 100 mph. The road was icy and I’ve never seen so many cops in my life. I wanted to jump out of the car, but I knew I’d die if I did. The car was stolen, and I knew we were in deep trouble. We weren’t high at the time on LSD, crack or alcohol, but we sure weren’t smart.
The little escapade sent my friend and me to prison for five years. So, there I sat. Locked up. But God soon sent a prison chaplain into my life. He’d stop by once in a while and tell me about Jesus. I said I’d give it a try. I did try, and I liked it. But today I don’t just like it; my relationship with Jesus means everything to me. I’m learning that God’s love is always available.
Growing up I was always called the stupid one. I was abused big time by my mother. She shattered my wrist when I was 10 years old. She would hit me so hard that I’d have welts all over my head. I’ve tried to talk to her about all this, but she denies anything every happened. So, it’s my job to learn to forgive – which is one of the things I’m working on here at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley. I have safe shelter, good food, Christian counseling and a chance at a better future."
My name is George. When someone asked me recently, “George, what lifts your spirits and gives your encouragement?” I just answered, “God.” God is my life – the source of all my comfort. I came to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley a broken man. I’d come from a place where drugs were everywhere – along with shotguns and a bunch of angry people. I was addicted to pot and alcohol, something that has been a scourge for than 10 years.
The worst day of my life was when my young daughter saw me high on drugs. That was more than I could take – or so I thought. But I still went back to a drugged-out lifestyle. I got a late start with drugs, but no matter when you start it’s always going to be a downward spiral. Many times I wanted out, but I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Now I realize God was – and is – at my side at all times, regardless of my sins. How thankful I am I came to the Mission.
When Jesus says He’ll change a life, He means it. For the first time in years I feel I have value. On the streets, I had lots of friends, if you can call them friends. They’d talk to me when I had money or drugs, but when I was out of those two things they were nowhere to be seen. I thank God for His Word, for the opportunity to pray, and to learn things I never knew before. For me, the Bible is like a wonderful story book. I start reading it and I can’t put it down. I never realized I had so much to learn. I do believe I’m going to have a future after all."
My name is Pamela. People come to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley for many reasons. For me, it was because I fell on hard times and simple had no place else to go. I had no other real options. I’ve never had any addictions and I’ve had a relationship with Jesus all my life. Even though I’ve often been surrounded by chaos, I made the decision not to follow the chaos. At times life’s been a roller-coaster for me. But I’m a survivor, and God continues to bless me with a right mind. It’s just that right now I need a little help. No one could be more grateful than I am for this place of comfort and hope.
At the time I’m writing this, I’m only a year away from becoming an RN. But down the road it’s my goal to become a doctor. I have a heart of compassion for people in need, and it’s always a joy to reach out to others who need help. With God’s direction, I know I’ll make my dream of becoming a doctor come true.
I’m grateful for everything: my food, clothing, Christian counseling, and warm shelter – down to that simple bar of soap. I don’t cherish material things. My philosophy has always been to love people and use things. Right now, I’m excited about God’s great plan for my life. Tough times don’t bother me. In fact, they help me press on."
My name is Zinyra, and I thank God for the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley. I was staying with my sister for a while, but I was told to move on. If I hadn’t come here, I don’t know where I would have gone. I didn’t care if I had to go to a Mission. I was desperate for food and shelter. Thank you for making this pace available to me.
I was raised in the church and my mom made us kids read the Bible every day. We even had to memorize verses. If we made a mistake, we had to write those verses down until we got them right. As a child, I remember writing Bible verses all over my hands. But I got tired of the church and the Bible. So I had a plan: I decided to run away from God as fast as I could. I lived this way for a while, but, as it turned out, running away from Jesus wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Today, God and I are working out our relationship. At the moment, things are going pretty well for me. I hear God’s Word every day, and I enjoy it. I guess I had to do lots of things wrong before I could come to the realization that Jesus loves me, and that I needed to love Him.
At the time I’m writing this, I’ve only been at the Mission for a few months, but I already see lots of changes in my life. The staff is wonderful. The atmosphere is like that of a family. When I wake up in the morning, people give me a big Good Morning. Even when I’m not in the mood to return the favor, I do appreciate how positive they are and how much they want to help me get on with my life.
No longer am I running away from God. Quite the opposite. Now I’m running to Him…and my new attitude is making all the difference. It’s not easy, but every day, I’m trying to improve my relationship with my heavenly Father."
My name is Brent. My life was going reasonably well until I had a parachuting accident in the military. I free fell 75 feet, entangled my chute with another jumper, hit the ground and broke my back and both legs. After the accident, I became addicted to pain killers and simply chose to live with my addiction.
I’d been in martial arts and was always proud that I was in control of my lie. Now all that had changed. I also started drinking, deciding to be the prodigal son – with one twist: I never wanted to go home. But God kept putting the squeeze on me. So much so that one day I dropped to my knees to ask God for forgiveness for all the wrong I’d done.
Even after my sincere prayer, life did not become easy for me. Then one day I remembered a place called the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley. I walked through these doors and I began a new life in Christ. I was ready for a change and when I was ready, God began to transform me with His resurrection power.
I’m convinced that if anyone has a problem with drugs, a troubled marriage or depression, he or she will find the answered needed in God’s Word. That’s where the truth lies. Not to believe this is to life a life that’s going nowhere.
I also believe something else. If there were no donors, there would be no Mission. If there were no Mission, it would be disaster for us who rely on this pace of refuge. So I want to thank you who donate your time, influence and money to keep this ministry alive. Thank you for giving me a chance to start over."