In 2016, I failed a drug test for methamphetamine and marijuana in Russellville when I was tested for an EPO violation. I was ordered to go back to court, but I didn’t go, I ran instead. My wife and I split up, and while she was gone, I broke into her uncle’s house to talk to her. She called the police.
On December 6, 2016, I asked God to do something. It was pouring rain, and I was running from the law. I knew I couldn’t do anything. At 10pm I got arrested and went to jail. During this time, I started reading the Bible. The more I read it, the more I understood who God is. I spent ten months in jail, and they were the best ten months of my life.
This program has really helped me learn more about the Lord and my walk with Him. It’s helped me mentally, physically, and I’m really blessed to be in this program. I love it. My plan after I graduate from Program Living is to keep a steady job, continue going to church, and hopefully bring my family with me.
Since being released from prison and entering the Hope House Program Living ministry Jesus has taken everything away. Jesus has filled the emptiness that I was trying to fill up with drugs and alcohol. He has taken it away as if it was never there. The emptiness that I had is now filled up with Jesus. The joy of being a new creation in Christ has transformed me.
My self worth has been restored. My childhood brokenness is forgiven and restored. I used to have cravings for drugs, hatred towards others and a huge weight on me. Now, that has all been removed. The cravings are gone. I want to reconcile my relationships with my enemies. I know Jesus has taken the weight of my sin and given me the light yoke of grace.
Things aren’t easier now as a Christian, rather Jesus’ work in me makes it possible to surrender my difficulties to Him. The humbling thing about this is I have been alive for 37 years and I thought I knew who I was, but it has been in these last 9 months I have truly learned who I am and whose I am.
Erin came to us looking for a place to find hope from his drug and alcohol addiction while living homeless on the streets of Bowling Green. Over eight weeks ago Erin heard about Hope House from his friend Marcus*, another homeless man in the city who was doing some painting for us at Hope House. We've had a relationship with Marcus* for nearly four years and has been paralyzed by alcohol addiction for most of his adult life. Since our Program Living Ministry began, last December, we have been trying to get Marcus* to enter our program.
While together one day, Marcus* was telling Erin about Hope House Ministries and how we had been encouraging him to start our 12 Month Program Living Ministry. Marcus*, resistant to any type of recovery program, told Erin he would enter if they did it together. Sad to say, Marcus* was arrested days later, but Erin came to Hope House, on his own, to start the application process.
Erin's application was approved, but he was hit with the devastating news that it would be six weeks before a bed would come open for him. This crushed Erin because his drug and alcohol addiction was suffocating him.
On November 27, two weeks after Erin's application approval, our staff team was hit with shocking news that one of our current residents was dropping out of the program. Sadly, we were losing a resident who desperately needed this program, but it opened up a bed for a man whose heart was willing and ready to start the recovery journey! When we called Erin to let him know we had a bed come open he immediately began to weep. What we learned is, before we called him, he had just gotten off a several day high and he had been on the phone all day long trying to find a program that would get him in because he couldn't wait any longer for our open bed.
In the Lord's sovereignty, we had been ministering to one man (Marcus*) for four years hoping God would open his heart. Instead, God used Marcus'* continual disobedience to draw Erin to us, a man we didn't even know existed.
There are no coincidences; rather, there is only the sovereignty of God over all things, including our lives. This truth is what carries and comforts us each day at Hope House! Because without the sovereignty of God over all things where would we find our help from?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." Psalms 121:2
Will you join us in praying for Erin? His heart is open and desires to see Jesus make all things new in his life. Erin's move in date was November 30 and has been with us for three weeks. He is doing great and has been such an encouragement to our other residents, Hope House staff and volunteers.
*Update: Erin graduated Program Living in November 2017, and he is now the full-time New Creations Manager at Hope House, where he works with current Program Living participants to teach them woodworking skills during their time in the program.
Ben showed up at Hope House straight from prison. And he showed up with a desire to let Jesus make him a new man. Ben just completed an 18 month sentence. While he was in jail, he came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Upon his release, the pastor of his grandmother's church told him to come to Hope House to get help getting a job. One of the big challenges facing people like Ben is a felony record. Many businesses won't hire felons.
Ben walked in Hope Hope because he knew that Jesus wanted to do something great with his life. Ben enrolled in Jobs for Life and has been one of our best students. We even hired Ben to help us in our warehouse. Ben may have a past, but he's got the blessings of Jesus in his future. He has completed Jobs for Life and has the goal of one day becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. Ben is wonderful testimony of the power of the gospel to transform lives. It's such a joy to be able to play a part in Ben's amazing story.