Graduation is celebratory, bittersweet
We recently held a graduation event, where we honored four men who completed the Life Recovery Program! We also celebrated Dallas, who earned his GED earlier this year. If you’ve never been to a Mission graduation, we’d love for you to join us at our next one! It’s a humbling and encouraging experience to hear about the miraculous change in the lives of our residents.
David, who completed the program in September, said, “The Lord was closing doors and left me with one decision and one way to go. This move to the Mission was all the Lord. Emotionally I’d retired myself and the Lord told me to ‘Get up!’”
David has been learning how the Mission does street outreach, going into homeless camps, building relationships, and helping people in their next steps to recovery.
Evan shared that he entered into a relationship with God when he came to the Mission. “He helped me realize His intentions in my life,” Evan said. “I am not forgotten. Ever. I am His. He loves me. His love washed over me. Now I have a real shot at life!” Evan has reunited with his wife and son and is living and working in San Diego.
Gary said the program “gave me the structure I need to get my life back on track. I’m thankful to all the staff for their direction, patience, and love. I want to honor God with my life. In Proverbs it says the beginning of all wisdom is to fear the Lord. I plan on doing that.”
We first met Gary at one of our homeless outreaches! He’s working for a local company, and is in our Transitional Living Program to make slower steps into full, sustainable recovery.
Finally, we celebrated Johnny. This was bittersweet, as Johnny recently passed away. Johnny became a believer in Jesus during his time at the Mission. While we are all heartbroken at his passing, we feel some comfort knowing he’s in eternity with Jesus right now.
We often quote 2 Timothy 4 at our graduations. “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
The misconception is that graduation is the end; it’s just the beginning. But as our graduates look back at their lives in reflection as Paul did, they will see their time in program as one of the times they fought the fight.
May this serve as a reminder, that in every effort of support, that we pour ourselves out as an offering to God.
Blessings, Director Chris Rutledge