Second Chances |The Washington Times | November 24, 2011 For one DC resident, this Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give back to the community that helped him. Michelangelo Payne has lived a hard life, living on the streets, doing drugs and committing crimes. Now he’s found himself and a new calling at the Central Union Mission. Michelangelo Payne What Following God is All About–“God turned my selfish spirit into that of one wanting to serve.”
“I came to Central Union Mission on November 20, 2009, after being broken and homeless from drug use and major depression. Due to suicidal thoughts, I was involuntarily committed to a hospital. Once I arrived at the Mission, people seemed to be busy working on important things, so I wanted to be proactive in my situation. God turned my selfish spirit into that of one wanting to serve. In fellowship with the Mission’s pastors, I started to desire what they had-the hope found only in Jesus Christ. I knew about Jesus, but my relationship with Him had always involved my conditions and selfishness. These ministers held me accountable. They were totally consistent, never wavering.
In December 2009, Pastor David Howard asked me to volunteer with the Family Ministry, and he introduced me to Pastor Jorge de Casanova and Mrs. Maria Rodriguez. From the moment I started serving, God revealed to me that this is what following Him is all about. God put me at the Hispanic Family Ministry to show me the extent of His love for everyone.
As time has gone on, I’ve been mentored by various members of the Mission staff . Pastor James Lewis even invited me to fellowship with his family on Sundays. The Central Union Mission family has shown me what Christians are supposed to be working on, which is selflessness through love and service. I also received an ID, health insurance, access to a doctor’s care, my birth certificate, a social security card and so much more.
I want to become a radiology technician in the future, and I trust God for this. I also would like to study theology. Since I have the greatest team of ministers praying, guiding and encouraging me, I try to encourage others to become vulnerable and to trust God to work everything out for them, as He has for me.”