Old Chris (Part 1)

Chris, 28, is a new intern at Helping Up Mission. Our interns are upper classmen who have earned supervisory and leadership responsibilities on campus. This opportunity is working out pretty well for Chris and he recently shared his story with me. 
He grew up in what he described as an unloving family that suffered with their own social diseases and disorders. One of seven children, Chris’ family lived right here in East Baltimore. Surrounded by alcoholism, spousal abuse, isolation and depression – and he followed in those footsteps. 
No one in his family had a driver’s license, or even a full time job, and they relied on welfare assistance. Chris said there was never any instruction about growing up to be a responsible adult. Never taken to church or taught to pray, he only felt encouragement to sink deeper into isolation and despair. 
During his teenage years Chris was placed in foster care, losing contact with everyone close. Updates about a brother, sister or even mom’s living situations were always painfully sad. As for himself, Chris was frequently told that he was wise beyond his years and had great potential, but his own lack of confidence sabotaged any success he might have experienced.  
As a young adult, Chris was depressed and self destructive. He couldn’t hold a job and drank every day. After two failed relationships and one failed suicide attempt, Chris made a decision. Feeling sorry for himself was a dead-end and he decided he had to begin developing some personal responsibility. Beginning to face his character defects, Chris knew he needed something or someone. He began to pray and realized that he was going to have to surrender to a Higher Power.
Can’t wait to tell you how this ends… 
One life at a time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director