Our Own Super Mario

Mario graduated from Helping Up Mission today.

He grew up in El Salvador and, as a teenager, during his country’s civil war was “drafted” (read “kidnapped” here!) by rebel forces.  He spent the next 5 years doing what they told him to do.

When the war ended, Mario left his country for America – Baltimore, Maryland – where a cousin lived.  When he arrived at BWI, his cousin didn’t show and Mario couldn’t speak a word of English.

Having no idea what to do, he spent the next 14 days in the airport.  Finally, an airport employee who couldn’t speak Spanish but had been watching him, grabbed Mario by the back of his collar – and took him to his own house.  He helped Mario find a job and get on his feet.

Mario also found a wife, they had children and moved to the DC area.  But Mario also found drugs and they eventually led him to Helping Up Mission.

Mario arrived here pretty messed up and was sent to Johns Hopkins Hospital for detox.  They realized he had severe kidney problems and began dialysis – and saved his life.

Today Mario is so thankful for Johns Hopkins Hospital and Helping Up Mission.

One Guy at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Deputy Director