Willie's Story

“God has made me flourish.”

My name is Willie. I grew up in New Haven, CT with my siblings and our parents. Dad was the pastor of our church. I was profoundly affected by being continually molested between the ages of 5 and 7 by my dad’s co-pastor. It was a secret hidden for years because my dad was so busy. I didn’t know or trust him as a dad.

As a young person I felt lost and isolated. I was an angry kid who became an angry adult. I believed the lie that the abuse I endured was all my fault.

At age 14, when my dad told me I had to attend school, all I heard was, “get out”. I left home and began “couch surfing”. Drinking allowed me to forget the deep pain in my heart.

My struggle with addiction spanned years. I could maintain sobriety up to a point, then would relapse. In 15 years I went through nine rehab programs, but could not put together 12 months of sobriety.

When I relapsed from the Rescue Mission near my home in Connecticut, my wife wouldn’t let me return home. She insisted I had to do something.

A staff member drove me to Albany, to Capital City Rescue Mission. Right away I knew it was the place for me. The classes and counseling were exactly what I needed. I began addressing my anger. But, one night, when I was alone and ready to give up, God met me personally.

Suddenly God’s words were not in head alone. They penetrated my soul.

Jeremiah 1:5 echoed:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;”

And words from Romans 5:8:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I knew then that God loved me and by faith I accepted His love and forgiveness in Christ.

Jesus healed my heart. I could look in the mirror and say, “You are somebody.” I belong to Him.

The Capital City Rescue Mission has been the bridge to connect me to Christ in the New Life Program and to stay focused in the Transitional Living Program.

Men are helping me accept responsibility and they provide accountability, helping me navigate my decisions.

My parents and siblings have become my biggest cheerleaders. My dad wanted to give me his truck when he knew he was going to pass away recently. It meant so much to me.

I’ve been able to work two jobs, even during COVID, pay my bills, and maintain sobriety for a year and half. God has made me flourish.

Now I’m ready to move into the community and have signed a rental lease. I am also being sworn in as a deacon in my church. God has blessed me and has turned the hurt around for my good and to bring glory to Christ.

Thank you for your impact on my life. I’ve been redeemed!

"God has blessed me and has turned the hurt around."

Get our occasional updates on new volunteer opportunities, new ministry updates and ways to serve the community of Albany, NY