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Eugene Revels In His Newfound Feeling Of Contentment

Eugene, portrait

Almost two years since entering the mission’s Life Recovery Program, Eugene has continued to make great strides. After graduating in February 2019, Eugene moved across the street into the transitional living house. He had a few temporary jobs before landing a job at Hardy Diagnostics, a medical device manufacturer, in Santa Maria. He’s been employed there for one year now. “I love it,” he said. “It keeps me busy. The company deals with media that detects germs and bacteria. We send petri dishes to Cal Poly, all over.”

Earlier this year, Eugene and some other program men celebrated their graduation from the Transitional Living Program. “While I was there, it was important that I was being open to the ones who were genuinely concerned about me, especially staff. I was open to what they had to say, and that takes humility. It takes a willing (participant). I enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed everyone. Each one played a role in my life, and that’s something that I hold on to.”

Eugene moved out on his own about four months ago. He rents a room in a home where he’s started to teach a bible study. “They like the way I express the word,” he said of his roommates.

Eugene entered the mission program as he was nearing his 50th birthday. He had grown up to drug-addicted parents and had spent much of his teen years in a juvenile facility. He spent the next couple decades wandering from town to town. He traveled with a touring carnival, worked as a day laborer and spent time as a street musician. He started using drugs in his 30s. “Man is inquisitive, curious,” he said. “And it was fun at first. Then it became more mechanical. I’ve learned we don’t need to know everything. I’ve been everywhere—Hawaii, Alaska—and I just kept thinking, ‘Let me just go here, my life will be different.’ I couldn’t see that the grass isn’t always greener.”

A couple months into the program, Eugene was already growing in his relationship with God. I want to be a witness for Christ, genuinely, not just externally. He’s become more real, more tangible. Christ is more than an ideal.”

Eugene is still active in the mission’s programs and stays in touch with the staff and other program men. “The rescue mission brings the guys to the same church that I’m plugged into,” he said. “I’m always exposed to the guys and like to stay connected.”

Eugene has preached at his church, and also plays percussion on the praise team. “I’m thriving now, not just existing,” he said. The key to his success is keeping what he learned at the mission in the forefront of his mind. “It’s about continuing to use the tools that I got while I was there: staying in the word, always self-examining, not being led by emotion … When you’re living by the scripture, it slows a person down. I’m not impulsively responding to anything and everything—that’s when the regret comes.

“I got caught up in the flesh,” Eugene added. “As I got plugged back in, I started reestablishing roots. I had forgotten what it was like, being connected. I was being regrown.”

Eugene said it hasn’t been a difficult transition getting back out into society. “I reflect back to the whole ‘stinking thinking.’ I’m remembering how it was when I was wallowing in that garbage. Seeing where I am now, I’m content.”

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