Yesterday we received an email from a guy named Richard who said we was a former guest of the overnight services provided by Helping Up Mission. He said he wanted to tell us that he had reached his one year of sobriety. We are so happy for him.
But there was more. Richard recently had a book published, a novel entitled The End of All Things: The Divine Apocalypse (you can find it on Amazon.com – I am going to buy a couple of copies for our Mission library). He told us that he mentioned Helping Up Mission in the book’s acknowledgments and that he is very appreciative of the support he received while staying nights here with us. He also said thank you to the churches that come in the evenings and share their “sermons on life.”
Today, Richard says he remains involved with Narcotics Anonymous and has a settled housing situation. He is planning on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is presently actively involved writing the sequel and a stand-alone follow-up to the novel.
In closing, Richard wrote:
This is a major thanks for all the assistance your program provided, and the invaluable insight provided by the experiences shared with me while I was crawling on my knees. I hope to continue my work and eventually finish the cumulative novel I began on the direct experiences of living on the streets after my current obligations on the sequel to my current book are met. Thank you for your time, the hard-earned wisdom you shared, and the new life I now lead thanks to the realization brought about through the inspired words of my homeless family.
Richard’s note is pretty special to us here. And, believe it or not, he is not the first of our overnight guest who is a published author. John Michael Weber was here at Helping Up Mission in 2001. His story went like this:
On November 19, 2001, the Lord took decision making out of my hands and I found myself at the Helping Up Mission. After 30 years of drug addiction, rehabs and relapses and perpetual homelessness, I remember feeling relieved. I was a bad husband, bad father, bad son and out of touch with all family and friends and was sure that I created some sins that were not yet in the books. I was falling hopelessly out of control and I landed in the arms of Jesus. So my stay at the Helping Up, from the first night and all nights to follow, was being upon, what I know now to be, Hallowed’ ground. Jesus leads me there still today, to give back a little of the magnitude of Blessings given me, and I always feel like I have come home.
In the process of his recovery, now nine years clean, Mike has written three books. His first was From Junk to Jesus: In the Blink of an Eye (2006), then The Un-Holy Trinity, Me, Myself and I (2010) and finally From Junk to Jesus: Ponders, Passions and Poems (2010) a year’s worth of Mike’s daily devotional thoughts. All three of his books are also on Amazon.com (I need to get the last one for our library, too). Like Richard, today Mike is also continuing his education – in seminary working on a master’s degree in counseling.
A lot of wonderful things happen every day here at Helping Up Mission – most of them probably unseen and unknown to the rest of the world. But it is a great thing to know that God is still alive and well and working down here in East Baltimore.
One Day at a Time,Pastor Gary ByersSpiritual Life Director
PS Today Mike runs In the Blink of an Eye Ministries (www.intheblinkofaneyeministries.com) dedicated to providing families care, comfort and solutions and hope through Christ, to all who suffer from addictions.