For many people, Easter is a time of new outfits, family gatherings, great food and enjoyable activities that generate fun-loving experiences and fond memories. For the homeless, discouragement can set in and Easter becomes another day to feel sad and down about their circumstances.
At Crossroads Men’s Shelter, Easter is a time of new hope. One’s past does not have to dictate one’s future. Even individuals who think they’ve made a mess of their lives can see a new life filled with victory through Jesus Christ, and this is a promise to anyone – not only to someone living in a homeless shelter.
Scott came to Crossroads three months ago and shares his experience of the new hope he has found.
“When I came to Crossroads I found myself homeless for the first time in my life. My poor choices and use of alcohol brought me to a place where I had lost everything. I went from having a job and money to sleeping behind a dumpster or in a bus stop.
I had never been in a position like this and I knew I had to make some changes. I remember telling the chaplain that I had a problem with religion. What I realize now is that I never had a true relationship with God and I needed spiritual healing.
My first night at Crossroads wasn’t easy. The next day, I went to the liquor store and picked up a bottle. As I stood there, I had to decide if I was really going to make a change in my life or continue down this path of destruction. I put the bottle down and never went back. That was a new beginning for me.
Today, I have found hope at Crossroads. The chaplains and staff are caring people and instrumental in helping me put my life back together as I have been fed physically and spiritually. I spent Christmas here at the shelter and it was an amazing experience.
As the chaplains work with me, I am learning to slow down and listen which is something new. Up to this point, I lived life in the fast lane working and making money. Yet, after living that way, I had nothing.
In just a few months, God has made tremendous progress in my life. I have set alcohol aside. The depression and anxiety I once had are gone. Today, I am back to work and my head is right. I am saving money to get back on my feet.
I am still at Crossroads for now and volunteer at the front desk in my free time. It’s amazing. I had no job, yet I was taken care of.
Last week I received a phone call about a management job at a restaurant. I knew this wouldn’t be a good situation for me and could lead back to my old life. Instead of jumping on it, I stopped this time to listen to God. It felt good not to
choose that anymore. What I am feeling in my heart is more important.
When I came here I hated myself and my life. Now, I have learned how to love myself and others. I wake up and I have breath. I thank God every day for his blessings.
Yes, I am homeless right now, but I have been given another chance. I have hope and my prayer is that God strengthens me that I may be a blessing to others. When I leave here, I will be back to help. I see myself in each man here. I can truly say I have walked in their shoes. If you truly are looking to move forward in your life, Crossroads is the place to come.” At Union Mission, we celebrate Easter every day. Just like Scott, hundreds come to us at rock bottom, broken and void of God with nowhere else to turn to for help.
Thank you for your support and prayers for these men. May the abundant joy of new life be yours this Easter and throughout the upcoming year.