He could be your son, your grandson, or maybe a favorite brother.
Ryan is bright, articulate, gentle, handsome, charming, and Southern polite. He was also living on the streets not that long ago.
“I grew up in Tennessee, and my childhood was pretty chaotic,” Ryan says. “Mom was an addict, hooked on Xanax and painkillers. That’s a pretty deadly combination.
“I felt like I always had to be there for her, in case she overdosed, which she did a lot. As a teenager, I lived with a lot of stress. Just like my mom, though, I learned to suppress all my feelings. So when I took my first painkillers at 14, and all that stress went away, I fell in love. From then on, that’s how I dealt with things.”
Burying the Pain
When Ryan was 17, he returned home one day and found his mother face down on a desk. She was dead. Overwhelmed with guilt because he wasn’t there to save her, he turned even more to oxycodone to bury it all—and it got worse from there.
“I couldn’t function without it, and I started getting sick,” Ryan recalls. He needed help and went to a Christian rehab, where he got “saved.” He relapsed six months later, however. Then, in 2018, he moved to Los Angeles to start over. He soon relapsed again, this time turning to heroin. By October, homeless, addicted, and alone, he came to Union Rescue Mission.
“I want to tell donors that their support means everything to me. I know what it’s like to be loved, and I know what it’s like to have a future. That’s what they did for me. Thank you!”
Learning to Follow Christ
“I knew I was already saved,” Ryan says, “but there were so many parts of my life that I held back from Jesus. I had to learn how to let God in so He could work in every area of my life. It wasn’t enough to just be saved; I had to learn how to follow Christ.”
To do that, Ryan opened himself up to his chaplains and especially to his counselor at the Pepperdine Mental Health Clinic inside Union Rescue Mission. Through therapy, Ryan learned he was suffering from PTSD because of his traumatic childhood. Then, slowly, Christ’s love and healing power began to transform his life.
“Now I’m learning what God can do with someone like me,” Ryan says. “It’s not just about salvation. I’m learning how to let God do whatever He wants to do through me. I’m learning how to follow Christ instead of myself.”
Your gift brings someone devastated by homeless into a loving community. Here, their immediate needs are met and they find practical help for overcoming addiction and moving into a bright future.
THE PATH TO NEW LIFE
People devastated by homelessness face many different challenges on their road to healing and new life. No one’s story is the same. Here are some of the common stages of recovery:
1. Emergency Help
“I spent 16 years living in a tent on Skid Row. One day, someone walked by and stepped on me like I was trash. I knew I had to get help or die.”
—Ruthie (see June 2014 NL)
“I lived 70 years in darkness. I was so mean, gangs used to call me El Diablo—The Devil. I was a dead man when I came to URM. When I learned that God still loved me, I wept. Now I’m a new creation in Jesus.”
—Nick (see March 2014 NL)
“I’ve been through a lot. I spent seven years in foster care. Then I was shot in the head, and I’m partly paralyzed. I’m a single mom, and I’ve been homeless. I’ve even beat thyroid cancer. For a long time I was angry with God, but now I see His loving hand in it all.”
—Ruby (see January 2019 NL)
“I spent 30 years in prison or living on the streets, using and dealing drugs. I never held a job or earned a paycheck in my life. How do I find a job at 53?”
—Terence (see March 2012 NL)
“After I lost my job, my car, and my home, I came to Union Rescue Mission. They helped me completely rebuild my life. Now I’m back in school, and all I need is my own housing and a quiet place to study.”
—Etta (see December 2011 NL)
Your Gifts Provide Critical Help at Each Step in the Journey
Union Rescue Mission and Hope Gardens provide men and women with in-depth, long-term support to help them understand the root causes of their homelessness and why their lives aren’t working—and then to rebuild their lives on a solid biblical foundation and lasting solutions. Here’s what your support provides:
Showers and personal hygiene
Access to medical and dental care
Daily chapels and Bible studies
Onsite counseling and personal therapy
Education and social support
Financial and job training
Community and church involvement
Stewardship and financial planning
MAKE TWICE THE DIFFERENCE!
Your gift now DOUBLES in impact $35 becomes $70 to help a man take the next step toward new life.
$100 becomes $200 to help a mom and child escape homelessness.
Every dollar doubles. Please help today! To put your gift to work even faster, go to urm.org/May2020
So many precious men and women, and even families, are devastated by homelessness today. They need a second chance to live a brand-new life on a foundation of Jesus Christ—and you can give them that chance.
Right now, generous friends of Union Rescue Mission have offered to match every gift we receive—up to $500,000!
Your Gift Now Will DOUBLE to Help Even More!
That means any gift will automatically DOUBLE to provide twice as much help for hurting people. More important, your gift will help transform their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually—not only for today, but also for eternity.
The deadline for this extraordinary opportunity is June 30. So please give a generous gift and provide TWICE as much help!
Thanks to friends of Union Rescue Mission who are matching every gift we receive—up to $500,000—you’ll bless TWICE as many people today!
I DIDN’T WANT TO DIE ALONE IN MY CAR
As the COVID-19 pandemic brought havoc to Southern California, Reggie came to URM with coughing, cold sweats, and chills. He had been suffering alone in his car for five days and was worried he would die alone.
URM was able to welcome Reggie and ensure he received lifesaving care. Thanks to community support, so many people devastated by homelessness have continued to receive nourishing food, safe shelter, and hope during this season of crisis.
With you standing with us, we can be here for everyone in LA who needs us. As the impact of COVID-19 continues, your partnership is critically important. God bless you.
NOTES FROM ANDY
To Redemption—and Beyond
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Hurting people seeking help at Union Rescue Mission come for many reasons. Some come seeking to escape the dangerous streets. Others come because they’ve lost hope of getting a job or another place to live. Still others come because various addictions, especially drugs and alcohol, have shattered their lives. All of them, however, come because they want a second chance at life.
That’s the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ—a promise that goes far beyond a one-time salvation experience. Jesus not only wants to redeem us, but He wants us to live new lives in Him.
That’s why Union Rescue Mission offers hurting men and women the chance to transform their lives physically, mentally, emotionally, and—most important—
spiritually. Through Bible classes, chapels, spiritual and psychological counseling, physical education, anger and financial management classes, job training, and more, we turn lives around 180 degrees.
The hot meals and warm beds we offer save lives. More than saved lives, however, we want to give people NEW lives—and that’s what your generosity means to people here.