When he arrived at Helping Up Mission 11 months ago, he looked the part of a wild man! On old guy, Donald was skin and bones with a long, shaggy beard and head full of hair unkempt hair. I just couldn’t imagine him lasting much more than a week.
In class Donald always had something to say about everything, too. So I really didn’t want him to stay much more than a week, either! But there he was in class – every single morning, week after week.
When he arrived, Donald was a 62-year old retired steel worker with a 50-year alcohol addiction. Functioning for decades, in retirement he got bored and then out of control. That’s how he wound up here in our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program.
In Mark 5 is the story of Jesus and the demon-possessed man (maniac) of the Gadarenes (or Gergesenes). He lived in the cemetery and ran around naked doing and saying crazy things. But after meeting Jesus, the next time people saw him he was clothed, seated and in his right mind.
Well, that’s Donald! He looks different (getting a whole new set of teeth in 2 months!), sounds different and acts different! It’s a miracle – I mean it really is!
Today at HUM he is a calming influence on younger guys who come in all jacked up about something. His family also wants him around now, too. After he graduates from here next month Donald’s going on a long nation-wide tour visiting one after another!
I’m happy to report that there is a God – and He’s alive and well and working down here in East Baltimore every day!
One Changed Life at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers