“Neighbors helping neighbors!”
Kathy is a 62-year-old grandmother who lives in our neighborhood. Thanks to your support, she is able to drop by on a regular basis to share a cup of coffee or a meal and to spend time with our other guests. And when she wanted a part-time job, you also made it possible for our staff to be there to help her.
At 62, Kathy has raised four children and now has nine grandchildren.
A neighbor to the Mission, she began dropping by for a cup of coffee, a meal, and some fellowship. “I wasn’t working,” she says. “So, I decided to go in there and see if they needed any help.”
She began volunteering by helping to serve lunch and joined our discipleship group, Steady Hands. “I go and listen to the Word and give my input. I like doing stuff
Eventually, Kathy enlisted the Mission’s help in finding a part- time job.
“I couldn’t just sit at home watching TV every day,” she says. “I like doing stuff. So, the best thing for me to do is work. I’m one of those people, I don’t like just sitting around twiddling my thumbs, like ‘What am I going to do now?’”
Thanks to your support, Mark Gamble, our Direct Placement Job Coordinator, was able to help Kathy get a job. Mark helped Kathy submit her online application, went with her to her interview, and drove her to her job on the first day.
“I love my little job.”
Kathy wishes more people would take advantage of the services offered by the Mission. With her strong faith and kind, sweet disposition, she is a blessing to our guests as well as our staff.
“I praise God no matter where I’m at or what I’m doing. I might take off from over there where I work, say a little prayer, and then get back to work. I always put Him first.”
Thank you for helping Kathy and others like her through your prayers and generosity!
Thank you for helping kathy and others like her through your prayers and generosity!
“We can’t recover without love”
As an individual who has not only suffered from addiction himself but has been a peer counselor, Richard knows what a good discipleship program should be all about.
That’s why when an injury led to an eventual relapse, he came to the Mission and entered The Potter’s House.
When he was just 19, two of Richard’s uncles got into a heated argument over a piece of family land. “The uncle who was sitting across the table from me jumped up and shot my other uncle in the head and killed him -- right beside me.”
The trauma from witnessing the murder was
a traumatic event that Richard had difficulty processing. “I had dabbled as a teenager with alcohol and pot, but things really took a change then. My recreational use became a full-blown addiction.”
Richard’s grandmother raised him with a good spiritual foundation. “I always desired to serve the Lord, but my addiction was a big hindrance. I never felt I was worthy or good enough...
there was no way I could live up to those expectations.”
“But then there came a time when God really spoke to me. The Scripture verse came to mind, ‘We all fall short of the glory of God.’ And that changed everything. I started to learn about grace and about a relationship with Jesus, versus trying to earn his grace and his love.”
Richard went on to become a certified peer support specialist and quit using. But an injury sent him back down. “I thought I
could drink a little to relieve the anxiety and trauma.” When he realized his drinking had gotten “out of hand,” Richard went back into treatment, and it was there he heard about the Mission and our discipleship program at The Potter’s House.
“It’s been a life-changing experience.”
What’s different about being here? Richard says, “The uniqueness here is love. We can’t recover without love. People can teach us all the clinical stuff, and we can learn some things from that. But truly someone who is broken and down on their luck can never recover without love.
That’s what you find here that you don’t find in these secular programs. This place is about loving you back to health and teaching you spiritually.”
“Without Jesus, we can’t do it. We just can’t. Recovery means healing, right? And He’s the ultimate healer. That’s what they promote here, and that’s what I like most about it. They teach the love of Jesus by showing it to us.”
Thank you for making a difference in Richard's life through your prayers and support!
“I’ve come closer to God”
Alcohol has been a part of Letitia’s life since she was 14. Events like her husband’s tragic death five years ago only increased her addiction.
When she finally decided she wanted to get sober and live a new life, your support made it possible for her to get the support she needed at Grace Place.
Letitia started drinking when she was just 14. “My parents lived here in Lexington,” she says. “They owned a motorcycle dealership and they fought a lot. When I was 13, I told them I was either going to leave, run away, or go to a military academy in Tennessee.”
“They told me I could go there to get out of the chaos, but it was there that I was introduced to alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and everything that went with that. So that’s when everything started.”
Her drinking worsened when her husband died five years ago in a tragic drowning accident that occurred on Letitia’s birthday. “I started drinking quite a bit, and I was about to be out on the streets. I decided I wanted to get sober. I was getting to where I stayed sick all the time in the hospital.”
By searching online for help, Letitia learned about Grace Place.
“I’ll hold a bed for you!”
Letitia contacted Grace Place and was told she needed to go into a 30-day treatment program first. Once she completedthe program, your support made it possible for her to come here to rebuild her life, including her relationship with God.
“I’ve always believed; I just fell away from Him. Through the devotionals we have in the morning, I’ve come closer to God,” she says. “We have church on Sundays and that’s helped a lot.”
She secured a job with UPS and was quickly promoted to supervisor. She has also reforged ties with family members, including her father with whom she wasn’t on speaking terms. She eventually wants to get a place of her own, either in Lexington or Nashville where she still has family.
“We’re thankful for everything the donors do, no matter how small. They do a lot of great things. Everything helps.”
Thank you for making a difference in Letitia’s life through your gifts and prayers!
“God’s always had a calling on my life”
Disenchanted with college, Butch went back to his hometown at the end of his freshman year of college and began working in coal mines. He worked hard for 17 years until a bad injury set him on the road to addiction.
But it was a different road near Pineville where God sent him a message that turned him around and may have saved his life!
A bad accident in the coal mine where he had worked for 17 years is where Butch’s addiction began 39 years ago. First, it was Tylenol with codeine. “It got to the point where God started telling me, ‘You’re taking those, and you really don’t need them. You’re taking them for how they’re making you feel.’
I rebelled against that and it hardened my heart.”
Butch later started buying street drugs – OxyContin, then Percocet – anything he could get. Then he found cocaine and started shooting it. He quit going to church and teaching Sunday school. Eventually, he lost everything, including his marriage.
It was then that Butch remembered his first encounter with the Lord. He and a college friend were driving out of town to buy drugs when Butch heard a voice “out of nowhere. “Butch, I want you to turn around, go back home, look up Floyd and Joe” – guys Butch used to party with who had turned their lives over to Christ. “They’re going to pray for you, and I want you to give your life to Me.”
Butch finally listened to the voice. Two different 12-step programs rid him of his addiction to opiates, but something was still missing. Butch felt “a greater commitment with God to talk about Jesus, to talk about his Word and try to lead people to the true help for their needs.”
It was at the Mission that Butch found the place where he belonged.
“This place is just different. I know God is going to use me. Every day I wake up, I can’t wait to do that walk. The whole time I’m just in fellowship with Him. The Mission saved me. It gave me a haven to express my relationship with God and encouraged me to share and be open about it.”
“Nothing is impossible with God,” Butch says. “You do the right thing, God’s going to come back with you and He’s going to keep increasing and increasing. That’s the way it works”.
Thank you for making a difference in Butch's life through your prayers and support!
“Clean and sober four years”
How do you get your life back together when you’ve been exposed to drugs and alcohol at a very young age? When you’ve been jailed for doing drugs yourself?
How do you rebuild your life and reunite with your children? At the Mission, Gary found the answers he was looking for.
Gary grew up around drugs. “My mom smoked pot and drank. My Dad took pills, drank, smoked pot, and never hid it from me. So when I got older I didn’t have to go out and learn about it because I already knew.”
“My first experience with it was on a school night in the first grade, my uncle came over to babysit me, and he got drunk. I pretty much quit drinking when I was 19,” he says. “I knew I was becoming an alcoholic.”
So it wasn’t alcohol that got Gary sent to prison. It was drugs. “I never could pull myself out of the lifestyle,” he remembers today. When both of his parents passed away and Gary “sunk all the way down,” that pushed him over the edge, and he ended up in prison.
Gary was released into a half- way house in Richmond, and it was there that he learned about the Lexington Rescue Mission.
“One of the boys there had been here, and he told me about the Mission. He talked about everything: How they treat you; how it’s faith based. He had nothing bad to say. It just weighed on me that this is where I wanted to come.”
Gary came into the Mission with only the clothes on his back. Just a week after he arrived, he was able to begin working. “When I got here, they treated me like I was at home. Great people. They help out any way they can. Being here has just been blessing after blessing.”
One of those blessings is the rekindling of Gary’s faith. His grandmother was a regular church goer. He would see her when he went home on weekends and says her face would “light up” whenever he went to an old family church. “That’s one of the things I love about being here.”
Thank you for making a difference in Gary's life through your partnership!
“I wanted to start over fresh”
After growing up in an abusive home, being the victim of domestic violence herself, and losing custody of her children, Connie discovered our women’s transitional home, Grace Place.
From there, finding her own home and being reunited with her children was the next important step.
“I’m not going to lie,” Connie says of her decision to come into Grace Place, our transitional home for women. “I was terrified, but I felt like God was telling me this was what I was supposed to do.”
When Connie was growing up, her mom was in an abusive relationship. When her sisters followed their mother’s path, Connie swore she would never let that happen in her life. “I was like, ‘What is wrong with y’all? Why would you let a man do that to you?’ But you don’t realize that it’s happening until you’re lost in it.”
A mother for the first time at 15, Connie had been separated from her three youngest children for six years. What she wanted most was to be reunited with them!
“Grace Place has blessed me...”
Connie credits the staff at Grace Place for encouraging her to take the time to heal from all that she had been through. “I know today that I’m worthy of being treated with respect; I’m worthy of love. I am not my past mistakes, but I’m a child ofGod.”
“There’s physical healing here. There’s mental and emotional healing. And there’s spiritual healing. And for me, the most important is the spiritual healing. Because once you start chasing that spiritual healing, and chasing that closer relationship, everything else starts working itself out in really surprising ways.”
“Being here, you’re surrounded by people who have such strong faith in God that the energy of it is contagious. You want to develop a closer relationship with Him.” Following God’s plan and purpose for her life, Connie got her GED then started college courses that will enable her to help others find God’s plan for their lives.
Connie was the very first woman to graduate from Grace Place! Since then, she has been reunited with her children and has moved to the town where they live. She is living on her own and just had her second interview for the dream job she’s hoping to get.
Thank you for helping connie rebuild her life through your prayers and support!
“God works through the women here every single day.”
Abused as a very young child by a family friend, Bennett never told her parents because her abuser threatened to harm them. This trauma created a huge “hole” in her life which she first filled with achievement in school, and then, as an adult, with drugs.
When Bennett was only eight years old, a family friend began sexually abusing her.
“I kept it to myself because I was warned not to tell, or my parents would die. So, I didn’t tell anybody.”
“It created this hole in me that I tried filling with achievement
at school,” she says. “But when I had to quit college to take care
of family, those accolades weren’t there anymore, and drugs were the easiest thing to fall into.”
Bennett’s 15-year addiction eventually led her to a recovery program in Versailles. Once she graduated from it, she began looking for “a place to rest while I got stuff sorted out and got myself together.” With her mother and father both deceased, Grace Place was the perfect haven.
“I’ve really found a family here,” she says. “The sisters I have here are amazing. I feel like I’m part of a family again.”
“God works through the women here every single day.”
“I’m in this environment where people pray for me, and they nurture me,” Bennett says. “It really is a family here. I feel like I’m not alone in this world anymore.”
Bennett made great strides after coming to Grace Place.
She reunited with her daughter. She received support through Celebrate Recovery, AA and her church. She also helped others through her work in the kitchen at the recovery program from which she had graduated. “I do more than just cook for them...I pray with a lot of the girls.”
She now lives in Louisville. Her goal is to get her certificate as a support specialist and work in recovery. “Recovery is what gave me my life back,” she says, “and I want to give back to others.”
Thank you so much for making a difference in Bennett’s life through your prayers and support!
Thank you for making a difference in Bennett’s life through your prayers and support!
“This place has given me hope!”
The faith Frank had been raised with was mightily tested when his mother and daughter died within 30 days of each other. “I got to where I just didn’t care anymore,” he says. “This place made me realize the things that I’d been missing.”
The death of his mom and his daughter shook Frank’s faith. “I was just mad at Him,” Frank admits today.
“My mom died first of old age, and then my daughter died 30 days later of cystic fibrosis. That was the roughest lick I had ever taken in my life. I had never felt something that painful. Me and my wife blamed each other for it, and it just broke us up. It led me into drinking and eventually into drug use.”
That eventually led to time in jail, but not before Frank had begun his journey to sobriety in a Christian-based recovery program.
“While I was in jail, I prayed the whole time. When I got out, I came to the Mission. They told me that they had a place for people who were getting out of prison [The Potter’s House], offered me a job working for the lawn care business, and a way to get back into the community.”
“They gave me hope. They clothed me. They fed and housed me. They gave me a job to help me get started. We go to church. They have Bible study, and I’ve been doing a 12-step program.”
“Some of us forget how important God is in your life, and this place reminds you of that. They help people who are really trying to get back into the community. They help you get your license, your birth certificate, Social Security card. It’s really a great program.”
“They give you an opportunity, but it doesn’t come easy – you’ve got to work for it.”
Thank you for making a difference in Frank’s life through your prayers and support!
“Clean and sober four years!”
Alcohol was part of Eric’s life as early as he can remember. Growing up on Chicago’s West Side, he worked after school in one of the bars his dad owned. “Dad had liver problems – part of his alcoholism – and my Mom was addicted to other drugs."
Eric moved with his new parents to Iowa but continued to drink throughout high school and into college. “I thought it was a normal part of life, something I could handle.” But his addiction escalated when a girlfriend died in a drunk driving accident.
The next 23 years were filled with a failed marriage, lost jobs, incarceration for DUI’s, and, finally, a full year of sobriety after moving to Kentucky. It was then that Eric heard about the Mission and applied to live at The Potter’s House.
“I chose this place because it’s faith-based. It was a good decision."
“Nobody here cares where you’ve come from...that I’d had DUI’s and a bad marriage. They care about what my walk is today and that I’m moving forward!"
“The program helped me further my recovery and continue to grow in my relationship with Christ. I’ve grown leaps and bounds since I’ve been here, not only in my recovery but in my relationship."
“Now celebrating his fourth year of sobriety, Eric manages the Goodwill that’s just down the street from Mission."
“Something I focus on every day is showing gratitude. Not only following the rules, but giving back and helping others. People here truly care about their relationship with Christ, and they love Christ, and they show that love to us. That motivates me to show love to others."
Thank you for helping Eric grow in his new life through your partnership!
“God wanted me to be here.”
Steve grew up in a home where his family “didn’t really go to church a lot.” His Mom was God-fearing, and his father became that way later in life, but Steve didn’t really start growing in his faith until he learned to lean on the Lord.
Drinking and drugs got him “in a bad way,” eventually leading to a separation from his wife and arrest. “That changed my life forever,” he says. “I might not be alive today if that hadn’t happened. I realize that God was looking out for me, even when I didn’t think He was.”
A long-term treatment center put Steve back on the right track, and it was there that he learned about the Lexington Rescue Mission and applied for a place at The Potter’s House. “I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have a place to go. I didn’t have footing.”
“It was the best decision I made in my life.”
“The guys here have helped me in my walk with Christ. They knew when I came in that I wanted to change my life, and they have helped me every day.”
Along with other men from the Mission, Steve works in the mill part of Old World Timber. “The owner has gone out of his way to help me and a lot of the other guys from the Mission.”
When he’s ready to live on his own again, Steve wants to continue to stay in touch with the Mission and serve others here. “It’s just like the book of Peter,” he says. “’Be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.’ I want to tell people about Jesus, that’s it. That’s what I want to do with my life, and whatever God has besides that, it’s okay.”
Thank you for helping Steve rebuild his life through your prayers and support!
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Lexington Rescue Mission
535 West Second St., Suite 105, Lexington, KY 40508