I was at the bottom of my barrel. I was completely in despair. My mind was racing on this and that. No bridges to cross the waterways, so to speak. Nowhere to turn but the streets – I was trapped! If only I had listened to the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, I would not be in this awful predicament. I should have listened to God speaking through all the people that had tried to help me, but I chose not to. I chose to follow what I thought was love, but in the end, it was falsehood. I should have been in the Word of God, then I would have clearly known what to do. Man, what a mistake that was! People tried to tell me, but I didn’t listen. Talk about a love – hate relationship! Of course, as a child, my father never taught me anything concerning the virtues of life. Over time, I found myself in the streets of my small hometown (Ashley, Ohio), doing whatever I could to survive. This was not a pleasant picture, but, rather, it was most certainly an abomination to the Lord, Jesus Christ, for sure. I felt so ashamed and I remember thinking, “what should I do? I must do something! I can’t keep doing this much longer. I will either end up in jail or end up dead leading this kind of lifestyle. Oh, God, Thy Lord, please help and guide me. Please send The Comforter, The Holy Spirit to guide me.”
I began thinking about what my primary needs were. I needed a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I needed somewhere good to go – somewhere far enough from here. What about the City Mission of Findlay? I was sitting there in the Ashley, Ohio post office at about two o’clock in the morning trying to stay warm on that cold January night. A lady came to check her mail and saw me lying there on the floor and called the police because she thought that I was dead. That was my wake-up call.
I had to get out of that town because someone tried to murder me. The Holy Spirit was telling me it was now or never if I wanted to permanently change my life for the better. I made up my mind that I was leaving town, so I went to my mother to ask for the money to purchase a one-way Greyhound bus ticket. When she agreed to purchase the ticket, she also allowed me to use her phone to call City Mission. There were no beds available when I contacted the Mission, but they said they had room in their warming center. I told them that that was better than my current situation, so I took them up on their offer. My mom drove me to the bus station, we said our goodbyes, and I boarded the bus. During the bus ride to Findlay, I took time to reflect on what changes I needed to make in my life so that God could do His work in me. When I arrived at City Mission, it just so happened that there was an open bed in the men’s dorm! I didn’t have to stay on a cot in the warming center – praise the Lord!
I had a lot of medical needs at the time, and I had to start facing the reality that I needed to start addressing these needs so that I could become healthier. One of the things that I needed was medical assistance for a gunshot wound to my head. I also had an everyday struggle with P.T.S.D. from being shot. That memory will probably be with me the rest of my life and I know that God will get me through it with time and with His grace and His love. Amen on that!
My stay at the City Mission lasted about five months or so. Today, I have all my doctors in the same town and I have sought the specific treatment that I needed. I could not say that was true about my life before I had moved to Findlay! I quit drinking and stopped smoking cigarettes and pot. I am slowly being convicted by God to change my life for good in other ways, too.
The City Mission was a place of stability for me; a place where I could heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They are a Christ-centered homeless shelter that really cares about the residents who live there. The staff and all the volunteers that come in, not to mention the residents, are really good people. People like this want to help other people and they show it on a daily basis. What a blessing from God this is! The Mission has so many different resources available and willing staff to go beyond the call of duty to help those in need. They have helped me in so many different ways and, for a person like me to say this, it’s, let’s say, astounding! I am a member of a local Findlay church, involved in RU, a faith-based recovery program, and am slowly regaining the relationship with my family that I had once lost. Speaking for myself – on a very personal level – concerning how the City Mission has helped me turn my life around and go in the right direction…it’s simply God’s amazing grace.
Author: City Mission resident
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The City Mission of Findlay is a proud member of the following organizations:
Citygate Network Mission Member, and Findlay Hancock Chamber of Commerce