Special from the Adams Rescue Mission
By Lex McMillan
Until he was ten, he lived with his parents and three younger siblings in a tiny, two-bedroom house located in a tough, inner suburb of Baltimore. His earliest memories include yelling and screaming, fighting, homeless men wandering the streets with a bottle in a paper bag, prostitutes walking the streets, and never enough money. He learned to fight to survive.
When they moved to Adams County, his troubles did not end. He was big for his age and was targeted by bullies. He got into fights, was expelled from Middle School, and sent to an “alternative” school, where he said he learned a lot more about drugs and crime. He had begun smoking marijuana when he was 12, then began experimenting with various drugs, and was drinking heavily before he graduated high school. By the time he was in the eighth grade, he was dealing drugs, cigarettes, pills, and “weed.”
After high school, he lived with a girlfriend for several years, had two jobs and plenty of money. A friend moved into their extra bedroom. They “partied” constantly but he managed to keep his jobs despite increasingly heavy drinking. The girlfriend got fed up and he moved out, went home, and went to culinary school. After completing his training, he worked in various area restaurants, but was still drinking heavily.
When he was 25, he got cited for driving under the influence, lost his license, did community service, and was on probation for three years. He continued to work and drink heavily while living with his parents. That relationship went from bad to worse and exploded last winter. His father called the police. He was arrested and pled guilty to a charge of “terroristic threats.” He spent the first month of this year in jail and underwent what is known as a “302,” a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. This included being tested for Covid-19, which enabled him to move to the Rescue Mission when he got out of jail.
While in jail, he realized that he had to change. He had no money and was in debt, had no car, nowhere to go. He asked God to rescue him. “Bruce Dietrick was the answer to my prayers,” he said. Dietrick is the ARM executive director. He came to the Rescue Mission in February and says he “feels safe” for the first time ever. He is hopeful about his future, feels that he has something to offer. The older residents have been mentoring him. He participates in the “Celebrate Recovery” program and is making friends. In June he will be able to start looking for a job so he can pay off his fines and get a fresh start. He is “eternally grateful” to the Mission.
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.