Al has HOPE for Christmas!

Thanks to you…

“I had trouble trusting people… It was a struggle.”

“I want to try that,” Al said when he saw that his friend had drugs. He was curious – but he never imagined his choice that afternoon would lead to decades of addiction.

Al grew up in a loving family. He had everything he needed – but he wanted more, so he started selling drugs to make money. He was set to receive a scholarship to play baseball in college, but his involvement with drugs led to trouble with the law, and his future plans were crushed. “When I got out of jail, I went back to doing what I knew” he says.

It wasn’t until he was 60 years old that he finally knew it was time to get help. When he went to receive medical care for an injury, they noticed he had drugs in his system. Someone recommended he join the Mission’s Life Change Program, and he decided to give it a try.

Holiday Newsletter 2023 - Al

It wasn’t easy at first. “My biggest challenge before coming to the Mission was trusting people,” he says. “It was a fight, a struggle, because I had problems with authority.”

But throughout his first month in the program, he began to notice that our staff really loved and cared about him. “I realized that they weren’t here to tell me what to do – they were trying to help me,” he says.

That realization softened his heart and opened the door for new growth. Through Bible studies, he found answers to his questions and learned about the importance of forgiveness.

“I always believed in Jesus, but I didn’t turn my will over. It was always about me,” he explains. “But now, I stopped fighting. I have a better relationship with Jesus.”

When Al began pursuing God, he noticed changes in his character and behavior. His struggles with materialism, anger, and distrust started to fade as he developed deeper relationships with the people around him.

“I’m more content now,” he says. “I think with a clear mind instead of always trying to get the next dollar. And I do have anger problems, but there are people in here I can talk to when I get upset. I met some people that I’ve gotten really close with, and I’d do anything for them.”

Thanks to your prayers and support, Al graduated from our Life Change Program and was chosen to stay for two years to serve as an intern at the Mission. He has been a great addition to the team at our Sussex County location, giving back and helping care for the men who stay in our hospitality room.

Moving forward, he has big goals for his future: taking Bible classes through an online college and spending as much time as he can with his grandkids. “For my son, I was there financially, but I wasn’t there – I let him down a lot. I don’t want to let anybody down anymore. I write to [my grandkids] all the time, and they write to me,” he says. Their letters are a great motivator for him to continue on the path of sobriety.

Your generosity opened the door for Al to find healing through the hope of the Gospel – and his new life is a beautiful reason for him to give thanks and celebrate this Christmas! “I’m proud of myself now,” he says. “I don’t have to hide what I’m doing. I have people that can help me spiritually, and that’s where I really want to grow.”

To read our Holiday 2023 issue of The Lifeline, click here.