James' Story

My past is no longer who I am.

My name is James. I am 43 and grew up with two parents who were believers who attended church regularly and did their best to guide us to trust God.

Despite an early start with faith, I became lonely and detached. When I was 10 I started to experiment with marijuana and alcohol to escape. As a teen I was suicidal and made a botched attempt to end my life. This was to be the first of many attempts.

When I was 17 I stumbled upon a robbery in action and took the fall for the crime. I ended up in a correctional boot camp and it was there that I realized a life led by emotions creates chaos. But I was powerless to change.

In my late 20s my sister was diagnosed with cancer. When she passed away I was deeply depressed and self-medicated with drugs and alcohol.

During a brief period of sobriety I got married and fought through ten years of marital struggles. I was controlled by fear, hatred and resentment. I now know that I should have made Christ the center of my life and of our relationship.

By the time my dad passed away I was stealing his pain meds and so deep in depression that my family sent me to a 9-month program. But I began abusing substances again. I was too scared to die and too scared to live. I was stuck.

My family never stopped praying for me and their pastor paid for my flight to Albany to enter a program. But, when I arrived in Albany there was no bed for me.

I was rerouted to the Capital City Rescue Mission and I entered the New Life Program for men. I was convinced that God brought me here. The day I met Pastor Dale I was taking eleven prescribed medications: pain meds, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics. Pastor told me that through the power of Christ that I could be set free!

I had been consumed by darkness but once I surrendered my life to Christ, it was like Jesus flipped a switch. Suddenly I was in the light!

John 1:4-5 “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it.”

Being in the New Life Program has helped me learn what Christ’s unconditional love is all about. Through studying the Word of God and seeing examples of pastors, counselors and staff I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to keep going.

The Lord has blessed me with a brotherhood I never thought possible and for the first time in my life I am actually a blessing to those around me!

Today, I am part of the Mission’s Transitional Living Program and work as a skilled tradesman for a fellow graduate. He is my mentor, boss and brother in Christ.

I never thought I could have relationships like this and I’m so grateful.

Thank you for your support, love and witness that has made my transformation possible!

"Thank you for helping me have a new life in Christ."

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