08 May A Beautiful New Beginning
“I was ashamed and wanted to die. The mission has given me a brand new life.”
Paul was a lonely little boy, an only child with few friends. “I always wanted people’s approval and, as I got older, it became the most important thing in my life,” he says. “Once I got to college, I made social interaction my primary focus. I was seeking my identity in all the wrong places.”
It was then Paul began drinking heavily and, though he’d gone to school on academic scholarships, he flunked out. In the years to follow, his drinking escalated, costing him jobs and relationships.“I isolated a lot and alienated myself from my friends and family,” he says. “I was ashamed and got to the point where I wanted to die because I couldn’t get out of the bottle. It all seemed hopeless.”
Then his father’s pastor shared how our Life Change Program had transformed him and Paul decided to enter the program at our sister Mission in Morristown. There, he encountered a love he’d never known. “People genuinely cared about me and that convinced me there had to be a God,” he says. “I took the weight off my shoulders and handed everything to Jesus. Now my identity is in Christ, which helps me not fear what people think about me anymore.”
“I’m content and happy about who I am.”
Paul completed the program and came to the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission as an intern, where he works with men in the first phase of our recovery program, and helps shelter guests access showers, meals and beds. “Hopelessness comes with homelessness so we show them a little bit of light,” he says.
When Paul completes his internship, he plans to continue working with those in need. “I have a purpose to be light in the darkness for those who are still seeking, to bring people to Christ.”
This Easter, Paul will be celebrating the beautiful new beginning in his life – made possible by your generous support. “I never imagined I could bring hope to others. The Mission has given me a brand new life.
To read our Easter 2019 issue of The Lifeline, click here.