I grew up in the church in New York City. My mother and I would go to church every Sunday, but we never really knew nor were taught the Gospel. We tried to live by the “Golden Rule”, but still my life was nothing but sorrow and despair. I knew there had to be a better way. I searched and tried everything to make my life come together, but everything I did was to no avail. I became a slave to sin and bad habits, including alcohol and drugs. That’s the way it stayed for sixteen years. I married at the age of twenty, and three children and four years later, separated from my wife.
I came to Washington, DC in 1973 to work with my father. I got away from drugs, but became an alcoholic. I could not keep a job. I developed a terrible attitude toward everything. I began drifting and panhandling, and kept it up for eight years.
Someone told me about Central Union Mission, and I came in off the street — a homeless, hungry man. I attended the chapel hour and heard the word of God. I realized I was apart from God, and that was the reason my life was so distorted and corrupt. I remember hearing the words from Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” That was the encouragement I needed.
One night during the chapel hour I heard the words from John 14:6, ” I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the father but by me.” I wondered how I could put my trust in the Lord and get strength to overcome the hold sin had on me. Then I heard these words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13). Right then and there I received the Lord Jesus Christ and gained the victory over alcohol. I was accepted into the Mission’s Spiritual Recovery Program, began to attend Bible classes, and went on to the Discipleship course. I grew spiritually and my self-respect began to return. I visited my family, and they saw a difference in me. The awareness of God’s help became a reality to me.
Since Christ has come into my life I have had a blessed relationship with God and my fellowman. My first desire each day is to apply Proverbs 3:5 and 6 to my life, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all the ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths.” I thank God for letting me know the realization of His love and mercy, and for giving me the victory over drugs and alcohol. I am very grateful and proud to be a child of God.”