Brandon's Story

Thank you for giving him purpose!

My name is Brandon and I am 56 years old. I grew up in north New Jersey. I am an Army veteran.

I grew up with my mom and my five siblings. We were a ball of dysfunction. There were a lot of drugs, alcohol and things that weren’t conducive to a healthy family unit. As the youngest, I was spoiled, protected, but also neglected.

At age 12, I experienced trauma at the hands of a trusted adult. This left me with feelings of shame, guilt, and a brokenness inside me I didn’t know what to do with. I learned to distrust relationships.

I began to not care about life and wondered, “Where is God in this?” I didn’t want to deal with the feelings so I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb me.

My addictions caused a reality of dysfunction. I did not lead a productive life. I would set a goal and achieve success only to lose it all again.

This was a battle within myself. I didn’t have anyone I could talk to, to trust or feel safe with. I was not ready to let God heal me.

With my money spent on drugs, my family was done with me and I had no where to go. I had exhausted all of my resources. At a train yard in Minneapolis I planned to end my life.

But God had other plans for me and immediately I went to the VA and checked myself into a psych ward instead. That began my journey to Capital City Rescue Mission.

I entered the New Life Program for men and stayed nine months. I experienced success so I left before completing the program. The Lord quickly showed me I had the wrong motives in my heart and that I had not dealt with the trauma inside me. I was far from Christ.

Without Jesus I was on a repetitive path of destruction, darkness and degradation. I had developed a “woe is me” attitude. God did not protect me when I was 12, why should I want to give my life to Him now?

After a few cycles of trying to destroy myself again and again, I wanted to get off this roller coaster I had created.

God showed me that my past experience at the mission had surrounded me with family in Christ, pastoral counselors and brothers who knew me better than I knew myself. I was ready to be all in.

So, last June I returned to the New Life Program. This time I stayed and was able to complete! Jesus has called me to a life of service and I knew I could use my gifts to help others here as I had been helped. I love the verse…

“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:15

I am learning to keep God first. He must be the focal point of my life at all times. I am dealing with the hurt inside me. With Christ, the counselors and brothers, we encourage each other, we support one another.

I am now working at the mission as a Resident Assistant and Jesus uses me each day to share the good news of the gospel and pray with those who feel there is no hope, just as I did.

As a grandfather of three, I want to show them what a true servant of  God looks like. When I think of the generosity of the donors that make the program possible, it overwhelms me. I am so grateful!

"I'm allowing God to heal and transform me."

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