Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

He arrived at the Adams Rescue Mission on York Road a few weeks before Christmas on parole from the county prison.  Under the terms of his parole, he cannot return to his home in Maryland.  He is 55 years old, has no job and no place to stay.  His parole officer suggested that he consider the Mission nearby.  He applied, went through an interview and assessment, showed proof of being free of the coronavirus and was accepted.

He told me of his legal troubles with matter-of-fact detachment, as if the events that led to his imprisonment had happened to someone else.  He did not shirk responsibility for the combination of bad luck and bad judgment that led to his arrest just before Christmas in 2015.  As is so often the case, excessive alcohol consumption was a major factor.  He knows he’s responsible for the actions that led to his arrest, but he also thinks he might have had better legal counsel.

For now, he’s ready to move on and is thankful to have the security of the Mission.  He has a place to stay, enough to eat, worthwhile work to do, and the blessings of a place challenging him to deepen his love for God and for others.  Like so many others he has hope that 2021 will be a better year, a fresh start toward a better life.  He is committed to staying at the Mission for at least four months and making a contribution while he’s there.

A skilled carpenter with substantial experience in commercial construction, he went to work in the Mission’s large warehouse and proved his usefulness right away.  Already he is serving as the interim manager, providing much-needed support in the complex and demanding work of managing the tons of material contributed each month through the Mission’s recycling program.  Executive Director Bruce Dietrick is delighted to have him in the community.

Soon after arriving, he noticed that a set of steps outside the warehouse were unstable and unsafe.  He quickly built a sturdy new set of steps to the delight of the other residents as well as Dietrick.  The little construction project seems to be a fitting symbol of the fresh start he is making at the Mission.  He said he’s not looking for a handout; he wants to give something back.  “They’ll get my best,” he assures me. He is taking small steps, but he has great hopes.

The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost.  Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.

To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.