By Lex McMillan

After losing a good job delivering building materials in Westminster, Md., he had difficulty finding regular work.  He is 60 years old, divorced, and the father of a grown son.  He had been living with his mother and stepfather, but when his mother died, his relationship with his stepfather made that difficult.  Without regular work, his options were limited.  His younger brother brought him to the Rescue Mission last March. After interviewing with ARM’s director of men’s ministries, he agreed to the terms of residency.

He grew up in a loving home with two brothers, but his father died when he was just 15.  Although he dropped out of high school soon after his father died, he had promised him that he would finish high school.  He proudly recalls how he enrolled in the state’s GED program and worked diligently to complete it as quickly as possible.  He felt good about scoring 98%. “I did it myself,” he said with a smile.

He married soon after completing his GED.  They had a son and brought him up in the Catholic Church, his wife’s faith.  He had been baptized and grown up in the Episcopal Church.  After 18 years of marriage, he came home from work one evening and his wife had left.  He still doesn’t understand why.

He has worked as an equipment operator, mechanic, and truck driver.  He had the Commercial Driver’s License but allowed it to lapse when the renewal process required a physical examination that he couldn’t afford.  Without regular work he had no health insurance.  He’s now driving a “box truck” for ARM picking up recycling from area businesses.  He enjoys the work, being out and staying busy.

He describes as a “game changer,” the Mission’s faith-based program of regular chapels. It has deepened his faith, been a comfort, and given him a broader perspective. Before coming to the Mission, he had gotten in the habit of drinking more than a six-pack of beer almost every night, but he finds that he doesn’t miss that at all and is physically and mentally healthier for it.  He is grateful that the mission has helped him focus on the positive.  He appreciates the structure and being encouraged to set goals for himself.  He says he has come to feel that “I can do anything I want to do.”

He’s actively looking for work and hopes to be able to leave the Mission soon.  Looking to the future, he hopes to “be the person I have become, more positive, be self-sufficient, and have a place to call home.”  The Mission has renewed his confidence that he can set realistic goals and make them happen.  He will always be thankful.

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 a board member of ARM.

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