Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

We visited by FaceTime because of Covid-19.  He came to the Adams Rescue Mission in February 2019 after spending some time at the mission in Frederick.  He is a 47-year-old recovering alcoholic and drug addict.  With a big smile, he tells me that he has been sober for 16 months. He realizes that he’s lucky to be alive, and he’s very glad to be at the Adams Rescue Mission where he “doesn’t have to dodge bullets every day.”

Born in Baltimore, he grew up in what he describes as a “rough neighborhood.”  From the stories he tells, that description is an understatement.  He began drinking when he was a young teen.  His mother was a “barmaid,” and he recalls cases of beer always being around the house.  Drinking and fighting were the main features of his younger years.  He dropped out of school after the 6th grade and bounced from one thing to another as his dependency on a variety of drugs and alcohol grew.  When he was 15, he spent some time in a group home.  His mother and father were dead.

At 17 he was convicted of “unauthorized use” of a vehicle, a lesser charge than car theft since the keys were in the car that he took without permission.  He spent 18 months in jail, first in the Hagerstown County Jail and then in the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland.  At Jessup he earned his GED, the equivalent of completing high-school.

From the time he was 19 until a couple of years ago, he descended into deeper drug and alcohol dependency while moving through a variety of jobs from a mechanic’s helper to a stint in the erection of iron structures.  It was there that he had an accident and lost part of his eyesight.  He’s been in three major car accidents and one on a motorcycle; he’s been in shock trauma on three separate occasions, once in hospital for 13 months and in a coma for six weeks.  He became dependent on the pain killer Percocet.

About two years ago, he hit the bottom and went through a 30-day program at Mountain Manor in Maryland.  He tried Alcoholics Anonymous but said it just didn’t work for him.  Finding his way to ARM has been a live saver.  He says, “Because of my walk with Jesus, I now have a handle on my anger issues and addictions.  God has made me a new person.”  He’s taken on a position of responsibility at ARM, is saving money, has lost weight, and is in better health.  ARM Executive Director Bruce Dietrick says his new-found faith has made him “more patient and teachable.”  He’s looking to the future with hope and gratitude

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.