“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