Some traumas can hurt a life for a season
— others take a lifetime
to heal. When Michael was 5, he fell into
a river and almost drowned. He
recovered physically, but from that
day forward, he could no longer
speak without stuttering.
“That made my school years very difficult,” says Michael, now 68. “I was terrified of being asked a question in class or to read something out loud.” And the older he got, the more he isolated himself. “I always made sure I worked in jobs where I didn’t have to directly deal with anyone. I never personally answered phone calls or made small talk, other than to say, ‘Good morning.’” The only remedy he found to ease his discomfort was alcohol. “I started drinking when I was 21,” he recalls. “Alcohol made me open up a bit more. And it was fun for a while. But alcohol affected everything that’s happened in my life since.” Like his relationships.
He married at the age of 23 and was divorced five years later because of his drinking — and didn’t see his daughter again for almost 40 years. Other friends avoided him for the same reason. So he isolated himself more and more. “I knew I had a problem. It was just easier to sit at home, crank my music up, and drink,” he says.
Over his lifetime, Michael went through various treatment programs to overcome his drinking. Nothing worked. Not even when, he says, God miraculously cured his stuttering in 2011. But finally, in July 2012, he was out of money, out of work, and out of his apartment. He came to Union Rescue Mission to try to get sober one more time.
“The Mission has given me the structure I need to stay sober,” he says. “I’m also finding that their 12-step principles, based on Alcoholics Anonymous, combined with Christian principles and the Lord Jesus Christ, have made a real difference. I pray every day and my faith is getting stronger. I even bought my first cell phone,” he says with a smile.
But perhaps most rewarding, Union Rescue Mission has helped him reconnect with his daughter after almost 40 years. “Now we connect at least once or twice a week,” he says. “That’s made a big difference for me and
“I have so much to be grateful for,” he says. “I was a little slow on the uptake, but I have a higher power to draw on now.
Union Rescue Mission serves over 2,000 meals per day and shelters 800 men, women, and children every night. But most need more than food and shelter. They need new life — and you can give it to them.
Your gift today of $15, $25, or more will not only provide meals and shelter, it will give hurting people access to counseling, mentoring, classes, medical care, and spiritual nurture — all of which can transform someone’s life. Not only for today, but for eternity.
So please do more than save a life today. Help change someone’s life. Don’t wait. Please send the most generous gift you can. Thank you! To put your gift to work even faster,
go to www.urm.org/NewLife
Because of You
Before coming to URM, I was on drugs and alcohol and I was homeless. I was full of fear. I did not know what to do. I was headed to prison or someone was going to hurt me or I was going to hurt someone else. So I came here because I’d heard they could help me have a better life. And they did. They changed me mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Today, I’m working, I have my own place, I’ve restored my relationships with family, and I have a woman I love. I’m grateful for everything God and Union Rescue Mission has done for me.
Notes From Andy
Your Life-Changing Work
Homelessness devastates people, and so do the wounds that lead them into homelessness. By the time most men and women come to Union Rescue Mission, their bodies, hearts, and souls are crippled with guilt and shame. They need more than food and shelter.
They need new life.
That’s why everything we do here — from our overnight guests, to our men’s program, to the young moms at Hope Gardens — is designed to transform lives. Because if we don’t address the issues that led to their homelessness, they will just end up homeless again.
Yes, we serve over 2,000 meals a day to hungry people and shelter 800 people every night, and that’s critical. In the end, however, Union Rescue Mission is here to transform
lives — not just physically and emotionally, but spiritually, as well, through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
But it’s your gifts that make it all possible. Your generosity is not only saving
lives, you’re changing
lives — today for eternity. Thanks to you, lives are saved and rebuilt, families are restored, and God is glorified. Thank you for giving to this life-changing work.