It is never easy for me to admit when I do stupid stuff…which is kind of ironic, because I am always doing stupid stuff…and continually having to man-up and admit it. I have been negligent with writing my blogs the past two months. It is not that good things haven’t been happening, I just got behind and kept saying I will get to it. Well…I finally did!
Being part of Helping Up Mission is such a wonderful experience for me. I love most of the things about my job, I love most of the guys I work with and most of the guys I serve here, most of the time. I know I said “most,” but “most” of you know what I mean. Just trying to work an honest program here, and I admit I am not always feeling it all the time.
The reason we are here, and best thing about what happens here, is the guys who come through our 12-month Spiritual Recovery Program. Some come, stay a while and then leave – but I really feel like we made a positive impact in their lives. Others came, graduated and then moved on. Many of them regularly come back here and give back to the guys now coming behind them. Still others graduated and never left. We have a number of graduate staff and interns who continue to work and/or live here. There are also a bunch of graduates who still live here, while working every day in the community.
Over the past couple months, I have been busy and involved in all the above and have not been faithful sharing it with you. Just want you to know that we graduated 110 guys this past year, had a wonderful annual graduation banquet at Martin’s West with Raven’s coach John Harbaugh and 1,620 of our favorite friends. We have had a wonderful group of mentors, tutors and volunteers all over our campus doing some amazing things. And then there are donors all over the greater Baltimore area – and beyond – who continue to believe and support what we do here.
This is a special place and I am grateful to be part of it all. I hope Easter weekend 2011 will be a wonderful time for you and yours. What happened that first Easter Sunday almost 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem is what makes the difference every day here in East Baltimore.
Thank you for caring and sharing, too.
One Easter at a time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director