At the early age of 24, I was diagnosed as a chronic alcoholic. In 1998, having lost all ties with family and friends, I entered the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle, WA, out of sheer necessity. I am thankful for the programs at the Mission and the help that I received from them.
In 2001, my ex-wife, whom I had not seen in 12 years, called me from Greenville, NC. She said she would like to see me so that I might get reacquainted with my son, Eric. I arrived in Greenville thinking I could go through the VA training program, but was very disappointed to find out the only VA training program was in Durham. After moving to Durham, I was told it would be a while before I could get into one of their programs. My money was running out, and I had to find somewhere to stay. I was looking for a drug/alcohol-free environment because I did not want to be around that temptation, and that’s when I found the Durham Rescue Mission!
I needed a place I could stay until the VA training program opened up for me. However, after being at the Mission 60 days, I started the Victory Program. This is a year-long, life-changing program that taught me the Word of God and how to apply Biblical principles to my life. I graduated from the Victory Program and continued working maintenance around the mission. I have 24 years experience in maintenance and repair. When I was in the Navy, I was trained in welding and have the NEC (Naval Educational Code) welding certification, and these skills have certainly come in handy around the Mission. Through the Durham Rescue Mission’s scholarship program, I have completed electrical and HVAC courses that have helped me in my job here at the Mission. I eventually went into the Mission’s Apprenticeship Program (a two-year training program that can lead to a full-time staff position at the Mission). I have completed that program, and now I am the Maintenance Director at the Good Samaritan Inn, the Mission’s shelter for women and children!
Mr. Woodard has had a big influence in my life. He has not only taught me how to do many things around the mission, but has also showed me what it is to be a true man of God. I am very grateful for my friendship with Mr. Woodard!
It is such a blessing to work at the Mission because every day, I can see the Lord working in the lives of others. It is so inspiring as I see the lives of people who were struggling with addictions, as I did, change.
I am grateful for the safe haven I found at the Durham Rescue Mission. The Mission has not only given me moral support and training, but has also taught me how to improve my relationship with the Lord, and for this I am grateful.