“I opened my heart to the Lord.”
Hugo grew up believing a lie. “My whole life I was told I was my father’s only son,” he says. “I was treated like a prized possession. I was spoiled.”
But as he was about to leave for college, he learned the truth. “It came to light that my dad had two children with his secretary. I was heartbroken.”
When he was 20, Hugo was injured in a car accident and prescribed opiates for his physical pain. But he quickly discovered that they numbed his emotional pain, as well.
For the next 10 years, he struggled with opioid addiction, able to hold down jobs, but damaging his relationships and leaving him homeless. “I was physically and emotionally drained. Those were dark days,” he says. “I hated myself.”
He wanted to change his life, but he didn’t know how, so he reached out to the Mission. Through our Life Change Recovery Program’s Bible studies and chapel services, Hugo surrendered his life to the Lord.
“The first night, I was at chapel, and there was a gentleman singing, ‘You are loved. You are special.’ It really resonated with me because I’d treated myself so badly for so long,” Hugo says. “That night, I opened my heart to the Lord.”
“I’m a new creation.”
His newfound faith and our Christian counselors have helped Hugo find emotional healing, as well. “My pain has been relieved,” he says. “I can actually feel again after numbing myself for so long. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Hugo is completing the program at our sister Mission in Morristown and, after graduation, plans to spend his days ministering to others who struggle as he once did. “I’ve found purpose again.”
As Hugo celebrates this Thanksgiving, he feels incredibly thankful for your compassion and support – and how it’s given him a fresh start in life. “The Mission gave me values and principles. I’m not the man I was. I respect myself and I’m at peace.”
To read our Fall 2021 issue of The Lifeline, click here.