"Before Hope House, my life was miserable. My mom was 12 when I was born. She was young and made mistakes. She didn’t believe me when I told her my step dad abused me because she was usually at work when he did. I did well in school, but he would beat me no matter how good my grades were. I never met my biological dad until I was 9 or 10 years old. He was in and out of prison my whole life. Eventually I moved in with my grandma. Granny was good to me, but she wasn’t strict. I did what I wanted and got suspended from school a lot.
I was so out of control that I moved around constantly between my mom, my grandma, and eventually, my dad. He sold drugs, and that’s how I was introduced to meth. I dropped out of school, and started using and selling drugs at 16. I hated everybody. I had a hole in my heart that I could never fill. I hated my family, I hated myself, and I hated God. I longed to be loved, but I also couldn’t allow anyone in my life to hurt me again. I was a miserable, mean and violent person.
I’ve been in jail most of my adult life. I spent more time in jail than I did at home. On February 26, 2020, I was arrested again. I think that was God’s way of saving my life. I was so depressed, and that was the worst state I’ve ever been in. On November 11, my grandma bonded me out, and I decided I was done with that life. I came to Hope House. It’s been hard to change, but I am motivated to never have to live that way again.
My attitude didn’t change at first in the program, but I was loved here, especially by two volunteers named Phil and Brenda. God used them to save me. They showed me what it was like to be truly loved. After spending time with Phil and Brenda, my heart started to open up, and that allowed Jon, Justin and the other teachers to teach me and lead me to my new life in Christ.
God changed my heart and my life. I don’t regret my past because it brought me here. The void I needed filled has been filled. I’m on a successful path, and I have an amazing job. I’m having the time of my life, and I’m happy. I’ve been able to forgive and mend all my relationships, and I’ve built so many new relationships. I’ve been baptized, and I’m a member at my church. God used Hope House to save me from a life of misery, and hopefully I can be a light for people in the same shoes I was in."
Tyler and Justin, current Program Living residents, were baptized this week! We're so excited to celebrate their new lives in Christ and this step of obedience in baptism. Please pray for them as they continue to grow in faith.
"I’ve mostly had a good life, but I was an opiate addict for many years. Sometimes I managed it, and sometimes I didn’t. My family supported me through it all, but in 2014, I was caught manufacturing meth. After that, I stayed sober for several years, then I relapsed. About three months later, everything fell apart when I ran from the police instead of taking a drug test.
Before Program Living, I always expected people to bail me out when I messed up, and I never had to spend much time in jail when I was arrested. I never thought something was wrong with me. I thought other people were the problem, and I wasted two or three months of the program fighting that mindset. Program Living has taught me that there are consequences for my actions, and I’ve learned to take responsibility for myself. I had to learn that no one owes me anything, especially God.
God has given me the wisdom to realize what caused me to relapse last time, and I see now that it’s on me. Now, I’m dealing with this hole I have inside me. I’m learning more about my salvation, and I pray on my own. My family has slowly come back into my life, and I work full time at a factory. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with other people in my hometown that have the same struggles as me. I’m glad that I have a group of people at Hope House to reach out to. I know they care, they’ll be there and tell me straight. After I graduate, I’m excited to get back to my life, and hopefully this time I’ll do it right."
December 13, 2020, is the five-year anniversary of our first Program Living for Men resident’s entry. In the words of our Program Living Director, Jon Calloway, “Several thousand good times, laughs, heartaches, and memories later here we are today... still confident Christ will save sinners out of the stronghold of addiction!”
I am amazed it has been five years since our first residents entered Program Living, and I am overwhelmed by the hundreds of men that have followed in their footsteps over the last five years. I came across a news article from December 2015, where I said, "Today I sat for two and a half hours at our Program Living house at 1149 Adams Street with our first three Program Living students sharing our stories and seeing how God's grand story wants to intersect our stories...I saw hurt and pain in our stories, but what I didn't see was anything the Gospel hasn't overcome. Today, I got a picture of what God has been leading Hope House to do for three years."
Thank you to everyone who has joined us in the sometimes difficult, but always worthwhile, work of addiction recovery through Program Living for Men. While we seek to do this work faithfully and obediently, we are so thankful you have graciously chosen to walk with us, to walk with our men, and to give so sacrifically to help us get to where we are today.
As we look forward to the opening of Program Living for Women in the coming year, we are humbled by this five year anniversary and reminder of where the Lord has brought us and the lives He has changed for His glory!