Ronnie's Story

“Feeling hopeless, I thought God was done with me.”

My name is Ronnie.  I was born and raised in Brooklyn. My dad passed away from lung cancer when I was 12, so my mom went to work to provide for her three kids. She began working in a bar and so I grew up in the bar scene. As a teen, I’d leave school to visit Mom and and return with a 6-pack of beer. Alcohol was a huge part of our lives.

In my twenties, I worked in Manhattan, and we drank throughout the day. But I didn’t stop there, I continued through the night. That led to one poor choice after another. From Brooklyn, I moved to Long Island, Connecticut, then Queens. I thought a change in geography would change my life. But it didn’t.

After I had burned every bridge I visited my mother. She gave me $40 and told me to go to Albany. She said, “I don’t want to see you again.” That hurt, but after 14 months in a program I walked away. I knew how to manipulate to get what I wanted, but I didn’t desire true recovery. I picked up my addiction after four days.

Then, God brought someone to my workplace who asked if I was a Christian. I said, “Yeah.” But I didn’t even know if God was real. I finally went to church with him. Slowly my heart began to change. I accepted that Jesus loved me, gave his life for me on the cross and rose from the dead.

For ten years, I was clean. I married and helped care for our children. Our church family came around us and encouraged us. Gradually I began to backslide. I missed church, worked long hours, and wasn’t being honest. My addictions again spiraled out of control. I lost my job.

I tried 28-day recovery programs but kept failing and eventually reached bottom. Feeling hopeless I thought God was done with me and begged Him, “Either take my life or save me.”

Desperate, I called for help. My pastor urged me to come to Capital City Rescue Mission. I joined the New Life Program determined to restore my relationship with God.

Friends and staff loved me until I could love myself again. I began to understand that when Jesus forgives our sins, they are no more. At my best and at my worst, He loves me. Christian brothers demonstrated that love.

The Mission has given me a foundation that no secular program offered me. I began to love the Word of God through studies in the Learning Center.

During my addiction days, I always felt alone. But Joshua 1:9 is a promise I always stand on.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Jesus is with me always. My confidence is not in my feelings but in the truth of God’s Word. The Mission has taught me to prepare for successful and independent living through the Transitional Living Program. For the last year I have been self-employed as a contractor and growing in Christ.

With the help of the Mission I have also quit smoking.

Thank you for your impact on my life. Your investment in God’s Kingdom is life changing for me.

"Today I know that Jesus has forgiven me."

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