Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

Jim Zehall is certain that miracles happen at the Adams Rescue Mission.  When he found his way there in 1999, he had no job, no medical benefits, and no place to live. He had been through a recovery program and was “clean and sober,” but his history of substance abuse was a major factor in his 20-year marriage having ended.  His ex-wife and four children had moved from their home in Connecticut to Central Pennsylvania.  He wanted to be close to his children, so he moved as well.  He thinks the first miracle was stumbling across the Rescue Mission.  It was a life-changing event.

With a history of work in automotive repairs, he quickly made himself useful at the Mission, working in the warehouse and becoming right-hand man to the manager. He lived and worked there for four years. “Pastor Bruce [the ARM Executive Director] is an excellent life coach,” Jim said with gratitude.  During his time at the Mission, he felt that his life became “grounded.”  He developed good work habits and self-discipline.  He learned how to get along with others.  He feels that his life has “blossomed” since then.

Dietrick said that like so many who come to the Mission, “when he arrived, he was hurting, had trauma, felt broken.”  In time, however, he was “made complete in Christ,” Dietrick says, quoting from 1 John 2:5.  He became a valued member of the team and shared his witness in chapels even while living there.

After leaving the Mission, he returned to Connecticut for several years where he found work that helped him support his children’s college expenses.  In 2013 he returned to this area to become manager of the Monro Auto Service and Tire Center in Hanover, another miracle, he thinks.  Under his stewardship, the Center has tripled its annual revenue. He prides himself on the excellent service his team of nine provides.

The “biggest miracle” was yet to come.  Several years after his time at the Mission, Bruce Dietrick asked if he’d lead a chapel service for the residents and staff.  It was there he met the woman he describes as “the love of my life.” She worked in the Thrift Shop at the time.  A year later they were married.

He continues to be grateful to the Adams Rescue Mission.  “It’s a very special place. There are unrecognized heroes working there, saving lives every day,” he says.

As for himself, he and his wife are actively involved in their church where he serves as head usher.  He believes that the secret to a happy life is to “stay on your knees and keep tithing.”

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.

(4/09/21)