Five Years, Two Promotions & Cancer…But It’s Still Working!

Visiting Shock Trauma this week, I heard a voice from the nurse’s station say, “Pastor Gary!” I turned and saw a guy sitting at the desk whose face I recognized, but I couldn’t remember his name! He reminded me and gave me a quick recap of things.

For decades alcohol had kept John from doing normal things adults do – like go to work every day and have a place to live when he came home!

Eventually, he showed up at Helping Up Mission for our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program in November 2009. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know John very well because he stayed real quiet in all my classes!

A couple of months before graduating our Program, we helped John get an entry-level position in the hospital’s environmental services department. Successfully completing his probationary period, he could become a permanent employee with full benefits.

John did well and went full-time at the hospital. He also graduated from here and continued to live in graduate transitional housing on our campus for almost another year.

Eventually John got promoted at the hospital and moved out on his own. Sadly, not too long afterwards, he was diagnosed with and treated for cancer. But he had a good health care plan(!) and has now been cancer-free for over 2 years!

John said to me, “You guys helped me get clean and focused in my thinking. Then you helped me get a job here. Working in the hospital enabled me to get the help I needed for cancer treatment. Helping Up Mission saved my life!”

After all that, earlier this year, John was promoted again and became secretary to the unit I was visiting. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” he added.

Made my day, too!
Pastor Gary Byers
Deputy Director