Three of God's Children

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Oct 1, 2012 12:00:57 PM


family breakdown, substance abuse

Chris’ mom went to prison when he was three for selling cocaine. His dad hung himself when Chris was eight. “My life completely flipped upside down. One day I was hanging with my friends, going to school, and the very next day, I was halfway across the state with foster parents.”

After two years, Chris moved to Spokane to live with his grandparents. He started using drugs in high school and got kicked out. At 18, he was on the streets. He tried the Mission for a while, but at that point, “I was like, I know everything. Don’t talk to me.”

Four years later, it’s different. Chris, 22, has a one-year-old daughter and wants to be a good father. He wants to align his life with what God wants: “I’ve finally started to love the person that I am, so it’s cool to look back and be like, yeah, that was pretty messed up, but . . . it made me the person I am today.

“I wouldn’t have realized that without God. I’d still be the same angry person holding all those grudges.”

Please pray for Chris and his daughter, Kailei (“my beautiful flower”).


unemployment, mental illness, eviction

Robert, 60, has bi-polar disorder. He takes medication to keep the condition under control. Over the years, he has been hospitalized numerous times, sometimes involuntarily. “51-50 – that’s what they call it (in California). You’re acting strange. The police show up or have them take you to jail. You go to a psych ward . . . yada, yada, yada. They’d say, ‘Robert, are you back in the ward again? Take your medication. Take your medication. Take your medication.’ Finally, it sank in.”

Robert came to the Mission after being evicted from his last apartment. He’s not sure why he was asked to leave.

While Robert acknowledges that his mental illness has contributed to his current situation, he is adamant that it doesn’t prevent him from working, and he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him. “Am I married? No. Do I have a family? No. Do I have a car, a house, a mortgage, the whole regular lifestyle? No. Do I have an employer? No. Would I like to work? Yes. Am I so disabled that I can’t function? No. That’s not the case. I have no trouble working. Finding an employer is tough…A lot of people are bipolar. Forget about bipolar. Let’s go do something.”

Through his case manager at the Mission, Robert is in contact with numerous community resources.

Please pray for meaningful work for Robert, a place to live and a strong support network.


addiction, unemployment, divorce

“I grew up in a very nice family. I went to college. I became a pharmacist. I thought I had everything. But I was miserably unhappy.”

After a back injury, Lesa started taking pain medication. “It made me feel really good. It gave me energy and seemed to help me cope. Over time, I started taking more and more to get that same euphoric effect, and before I knew it, I was hooked.” Lesa went to rehab and got off the opiates, “but I came home to the same mess I left.” She started drinking. Her marriage fell apart. Her pharmacy license was suspended. She couldn’t find a job. She started living off her 401K. “I just felt hopeless. I really did. I thought, OK, I’m 52 years old, and my life’s over.” She took an overdose of pills. She cut her wrists. “I really didn’t want to die. I was just in so much pain and so lonely.”

Lesa’s family brought her to the Crisis Shelter for Women and Children. “I felt like a completely different person within 10 days.” Lesa thought she knew God coming in, but “I hadn’t surrendered my life or my will or anything to God at that point, but when I finally did, I felt – remember Pigpen in Charlie Brown? – I felt this black cloud lift.”

Lesa is now in the first phase of the Women’s Recovery Program at Anna Ogden Hall. Please pray for her journey.

Topics: Restoration, abuse, Men's Shelter, love, homeless, Recovery, Community, women, addiction, Rescue, family, Crisis Shelter for Women and Children, pain, mental illness, featured, beautiful, breakdown, Men, pray, program, substance, cocaine, divorce, eviction, unemployment, work

Click here to see all articles for the October 2012 issue.


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