nl_story_page_ryan_gok_1.jpgA Weary Heart Rejoices

Ryan was raised by two loving parents. “Life was good at home,” he shares. “I didn’t want for a whole lot.” However, when he was in junior high, Ryan wanted to gain some independence – he became rebellious. It was innocent at first: He started skipping class. But his bad choices snowballed and started him down a very dark and lonely path of substance abuse.

Ryan eventually became homeless. “On the street, there’s no fun. There’s no laughter. There’s no smiles… There’s no friendships. There’s nothing. Just drugs,” he says. This lasted for many years, until Ryan ended up with “no money, no car, no place to live and was out of options.” 

That’s when Ryan saw a beacon of light, shining out in the darkness. The Bay Area Rescue Mission was Ryan’s safe haven. 

He had been to the Rescue Mission before, but when he arrived on our doorstep last year, it was as a man finally ready to change inside and out. 

In our Discipleship Program, Ryan found healing from his rebellious past. He credits the chaplains for all his growth at the Rescue Mission. “I do my best to be as open as I can possibly muster.” Ryan considers them role models for his own life and aspires to live as they do. “I look at the way the chaplains conduct themselves – the way they treat people. And, though I fall short, I do my best to do the same.” 

Today, Ryan has almost completed the program and is excited to start working again. Ryan says knowing God is using everything in his life for a purpose makes it easier to deal with the disappointments. 

When he sees his life today and compares it to being on the streets, Ryan is thrilled by his transformation thanks to God’s love in his life – and your support. “There’s a positivity and there’s a joyfulness that even when things don’t look that bright, God’s got it.”

To read our most recent issue of Bay Area Hope, click here.

Help other people like Ryan …

Ryan’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term discipleship programs exist to help other people in the Bay Area find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?

Help Today

Download Past Issues