Mark is the most grateful person you could ever meet, and when you understand how far he has come, you’ll appreciate why.
If you add it all together, Mark had been homeless for about 9 years. He prefers to say that for the first six years, he was “displaced” because he wasn’t living on the streets, but rather sleeping on friends’ couches. But all in all, it had been a long time since Mark had his own place to call home.
In fact, when he came to the Mission, he had only one set of clothes – the ones he was wearing. He struggled to take care of himself – shopping and hygiene were both big challenges for him, and he couldn’t hold a job.
“I remember arriving at the gate,” Mark says. “It was a Thursday. The courtyard was packed. I got there after dinner and asked if there was any way I could get something to eat. Sure enough, somebody went in the kitchen and brought me a little plate. I was real thankful, you know, real happy about that.”
Mark continued coming back to eat meals and occasionally stay the night for months. One night, Rick, who was, at the time, a residential treatment specialist, prayed words that were especially encouraging.
Jesus Makes a Way
“I remember in the prayer, Rick asked Jesus to help the men and women eating there to find a way where there seems to be no way,” Mark says. “It’s like, sometimes people feel so lost, or they feel so over-burdened, or so over-beleaguered, or they feel just so challenged by life that they just don’t see that there’s any way forward.”
But God can always make a way forward. And he does. Sometimes it’s slow, and sometimes it’s quick, but it’s always there.
Thanks to friends like you, Mark found that way.
“Thanks to the Rescue Mission, I had stability,” Mark says. “Knowing that there was a meal in the morning and a meal in the evening was huge. It takes a lot of the uncertainty out of a day. Knowing that you have a roof and you’ve got meals, it really covers a lot of the bases.”
With those bases covered, Mark was able to begin rebuilding his life.
Today he has two jobs, volunteers at the Mission, and helps as many people as he can, as often as he can. Mark is living in his own apartment and loves having people over for dinner as a way of continuing the grace that he’s been offered.