Thanks to You, John’s Life is Eternally Changed
“I didn’t go looking for trouble. It found me. As early as 12 years old, I was constantly in trouble.”
John had a strict upbringing. He was born overseas to parents in the military, and lacked the stability of growing up in the same place. By the time he was five, John had lived all over the world, as well as experienced the pain of his parents’ divorce.
Always on the Move
“Most of my memories involve moving,” recalls John. “After my parent’s divorced, there were a few years when they both lived in Virginia. I remember being shuttled back and forth between them. A couple of years later my dad remarried and we moved again. When I was 12, we moved to Switzerland where I attended an international school.”
“I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was bored, so I broke into cars and houses,” says John. “Afterwards, I felt guilty, so I’d go and apologize to whoever I stole from.” His dad worked for the US Embassy, so John never suffered many consequences. After putting his dad in danger of losing his job, John was sent to live with his mom in Tennessee.
John quickly got in trouble for fighting. While suspended from school, he burned down someone’s barn—he was only 13. Before his court date, he ran away, broke into a house and as a result, landed in a juvenile detention facility for one year.
Back in Trouble
“My mom and stepdad were strict,” says John. “I wanted to stay out of trouble, but it found me no matter what I did.” John’s mom homeschooled him after he was expelled for smoking marijuana and skipping school again. When that didn’t work, John quit school and instead took the GED exam.
“I lacked purpose in my life. My mom was tired of the drama, so she made me move out,” recalls John. “I bounced around, but after burning most of my bridges, I had nowhere to go. I thought enlisting in the military would solve my problems.” But after failing a drug test, he was discharged.
John stayed clean, but not for long. “I got drunk, flipped my truck and then walked away from the crash. With no insurance and leaving the scene of the accident, I ended up in jail. Again thinking the military would solve my problems, I had signed up for the National Guard two weeks prior to the accident. After posting bail, I headed to boot camp the following week.”
After failing another drug test, John struggled with feeling like a failure. He became severely depressed and went AWOL. He considered suicide. “I hit rock bottom when the car I was sleeping in broke down. I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.”
Doing the Right Thing
“My stepdad took me to Nashville Rescue Mission,” says John. “I stayed a few days, but since I was AWOL, I knew I needed to do the right thing and turn myself in. Once the National Guard learned I was trying to clean up my act, they let me return to the Mission and complete the life-recovery program.”
The program gave John a chance to focus a relationship with Jesus. “My counselor was like a father to me,” shares John. “He pointed me in the right direction and helped me see the importance of having a relationship with Christ. Once I gave my life to Jesus, I was never the same again. All I wanted to do was get to know Him more intimately.”
“The Mission’s life-recovery program altered the entire course of my life,” shares John. “I finally woke up to who I was, what I had done and who God wanted me to be. There honestly isn’t a way to fully measure the impact the program had on my life. It changed everything.”
The only person John had ever cared about was himself. Now, he had concern for others, especially those who were homeless, hurting and didn’t know Jesus. “After graduating the program, I attended a ministry school where I connected with the Lord in an intimate way. It’s also where I met the woman I would later marry. ”
“God was working on me,” shares John. “He was preparing me for my future.” John felt called to minister to the homeless and spent several months living on the streets so he could understand their plight and relate to them in a personal way.
New Me, New Life
“Between completing the Mission’s program and ministering to the homeless, I found my purpose in life,” says John. “I’m passionate about helping others. Today, I’m happily married. Our daughter just celebrated her first birthday. God redeemed my past and covered me with His amazing grace. I was headed down the wrong path. Yet, God saw fit to show me a different road. I took it and have no regrets. God is at work through the people of Nashville Rescue Mission. Lives are saved. People are transformed. Relationships are restored. I’m grateful to those who support the work of the Mission. I am eternally grateful.”
John now lives in Australia with his wife and daughter where they are actively involved in ministry. Inspired by his time at Nashville Rescue Mission and his experience with homelessness, John is pursuing his dream of establishing a rescue mission in his community to help those who have struggled with many of the same things he once did.
To learn more about where John is in terms of pursuing his dream, visit www.theheartofbrisbanerescuemission.com/