“I decided I needed God’s help.”

It began with a poor decision. “I didn’t know anything about using drugs,” Mikel says, “how it affects you… how it makes you act.” So, in an effort to be open-minded with a friend who was experimenting, he accepted an offer to try it himself. “I thought I’d just see what it’s like,” he says. But he continued to use and addiction took hold. “I spent a lifetime trying to get rid of it.

”For years, feeding his destructive habit became the purpose of Mikel’s existence, leaving him separated from loved ones and of-ten unable to afford food or shelter. “It was hard for me to hold onto money and satisfy my need at the same time.”

Finally, tired and broken by the challenges of living on the street or finding someone to take him in, he came to City Rescue Mission. He joined our LifeBuilders Program, but found he wasn’t ready to accept its faith-based foundation.

“I was mixed up – confused because of drugs. I knew the Lord, but I just didn’t apply it the way I should.” He left the program, but still with nowhere to go, he stayed in our emergency shelter while taking the time he needed to consider where his life was headed, knowing he’d likely continue down the same aimless path.

“I decided I needed God’s help.”

Yet, while ready to accept the Lord’s guidance, he was hesitant to return to the program he’d walked out on. “I was embarrassed…and I didn’t know how to pick my feet up.” He realized his fears were unfounded when we welcomed him back with encouragement and open arms.

“They were like, ‘Hey man, get your head up. You can do this!’” And he did.

Mikel invited God into his heart and asked for His forgiveness. “I had stopped letting go and letting God,” he says. “Now my faith is stronger, I believe in myself, and every morning when my feet hit the floor, I ask Him to bless me.”

With the guidance of our caring staff, he experienced victory over substance abuse and other life-destructive behaviors, and he learned to replace poor choices with sound decisions. While driving for our warehouse, he displayed a strong work ethic and accountability and accepted the offer of a full-time position after graduation.

Just as important to his healing and new beginning, God is restoring Mikel’s relationships with his children and grand children. Today, Mikel is grateful to CRM for giving him a second chance.

“They believed in me more than I believed in myself and taught me to never give up. I’m a positive individual and I will always strive for excellence. Regardless of what I’m going through, I can always ask the Lord to bless me and forgive me.”

To read the entire August Newsletter, click here.