Fred's Story

You’ve helped reunite him with his family!

My name is Fred. As a 2 year-old I was placed in foster care. My foster parents loved and cared for me and four other boys. All of us were eventually adopted. We were a family.

My dad was a strong provider and good father. Other children joined us as my parents continued to be foster parents.

When I was 12, my father had a terrible accident, broke his neck and was completely paralyzed. Because of gangrene, his legs were amputated. We cared for him until his death 10 years later. It was an honor to do so. But, I was bitter and angry at God. Why did God allow a good man to suffer like that?

I served in the U.S. Marine Corps and had clean periods in my life. But more frequently I medicated the pain and hurt in my heart with drugs and alcohol. I had many jobs and would start out well until the monster of addiction would take over.

I would make a plan to get sober on my own, but fail again and again. I would ask myself, “Why is this not working?” Friends died of overdoses and violence. I tried to commit suicide a number of times.

My wife and son were praying for me and before that my grandmother prayed for me. Finally, I looked at my wife, and family and knew I needed to leave Cleveland to find sobriety. I jumped on a boxcar at the train tracks. With no money or even ID.

The train stopped. Hungry and thirsty I climbed out. No restaurants in sight, but a sign said, Selkirk 1; Albany 7. I knew Albany was the capital of NY so I began walking.

As I approached the city I asked where I could find shelter. Finally I saw the cross and entered the Rescue Mission.

Each night, as I tried to be invisible, Kevin, a staff member would approach me and encourage me to join one of the Mission programs. I resisted.

But, a question echoed in my mind, “What are you willing to do?” My answer, “Anything.” So, I found myself talking to Pastor Paul about the New Life Program. Then, he told me God loved me and gave His life to save me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was ready. I wanted to make a commitment to Jesus Christ then and there. I prayed and turned my life over to Him.

Going through the discipleship program I asked God to help me stay focused. I began learning how to submit and serve Him. As I began reading the Word of God, the bitterness seemed to evaporate.

Drugs and alcohol and even cigarettes have lost their appeal. Jesus healed my pain. My wife, who stayed firm when I made fun of her God, forgave me when I apologized.

Before Christ I had a peephole outlook on life. Now he’s given me a broad vision to help others. I have 12 grandchildren to make an impact upon.

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:13-14

I’m happy I can help my family as a strong and healthy man of God. All glory goes to God. Thanks goes to Capital City Rescue Mission for directing, supporting, and loving me. And thank you for caring for me.

"Jesus healed my pain."

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