“God filled me with His love and set me free.”
When Gene was a child, he was an object of ridicule and it left deep wounds he carried all his life. “I have learning disabilities and was always called retarded and stupid,” he says. “I felt like I was less than everybody else.”
In spite of his pain, Gene had a giving heart. When he grew up, he spent his free time volunteering in his church’s youth ministry. But, even there, he felt rejected. “The kids were so disrespectful,” he says.
His depression grew until he couldn’t bear it any longer. “I was going to kill myself. Then someone introduced me to drugs and they numbed the pain,” he says. “But I lost my passion for Christ.”
Gene’s drug use only led to more rejection. Other addicts preyed on him, stealing his property and beating him up. “I lived in my car sometimes to hide,” he says. “Shame and guilt were tearing me up inside.”
Finally he’d had enough. He longed to sense the Lord in his life once again, so he entered our Men’s Life Transformation Program. Through Bible studies, chapel services and Christian counseling, he reconnected with the Lord. “God filled me with His love and set me free from my shame and guilt,” Gene says.
“I feel Jesus’ unconditional love.”
We also connected Gene with a grief counselor who’s helped him process his pain. “I finally shared the abuse and trauma I’d gone through, and now I’m at peace and have confidence,” he says.
Gene plans to complete the program, find a job, get his own place and return to volunteering in his church’s youth ministry. “Now I can be a good example of a follower of Christ,” he says.
Thanks to the blessing of your support, Gene is celebrating Easter as a restored creation in Christ. “I’m living free from my addiction, motivated to be a better man and to share the gospel. I’m letting God control my footsteps.”
To read this issue of Bay Area Hope, click here.
Help other people like Gene…
Gene’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?