A life changed, because of you
“I dropped out of school in the eighth grade,” says Martin. “I had no ambition whatsoever. I was more interested in partying than in learning and often wound up in trouble. My parents were divorced. My mom couldn’t handle me and my stepmom didn’t want to try. I was left to my own devices.”
At the age of 17, Martin began his service in the Army and was trained in the area of explosives/demolition while stationed in Germany. “I experimented with drugs as a kid, but while in the military, I developed an addiction to opiates. I was put through the Army’s drug rehabilitation program so many times that after three years the Army discharged me and said I could not be rehabilitated.”
Without a high school diploma, the job market looked bleak for Martin. He continued to use drugs and worked for himself for many years doing odd jobs here and there. “I never took life seriously,” says Martin. “I never took responsibility for myself or the things I did.”
Over time, things took a turn for the worse and Martin ended up homeless, living on the streets of Memphis. “This was one of the darkest times in my life,” says Martin. “I spent ten years living on the streets, sleeping in shelters, under bridges, wherever I could find a place to lay my head. I felt worthless.”
“God was the last thing on my mind, but He was always in my heart,” says Martin. This knowledge led him to eventually seek help and enter Nashville Rescue Mission’s life-recovery program. “Since I had dropped out of school, one of the first things the Mission did was help me study and prepare for the GED Test. Staff and volunteers worked with me everyday. I struggled, but God gave me an eagerness to try and not give up. The two hardest areas for me on the test were math and writing. I worked and studied hard. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pass the test. But I was determined to try.”
“Shocked” is how Martin describes his reaction in learning he passed the GED Test. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Martin. “When I found out I had passed, all I could do was praise God. In fact, I’m still praising Him. I graduated the program in January 2013 and have a full-time job—even after 15 years with no verifiable income. Only God can do that. I turned 50 in June and have a whole new life in front of me. I’m so thankful.”
Donations to Nashville Rescue Mission make life changes possible for the men and women who come seeking help. Through your gifts, clients like Martin are given the chance to further their education. This in turn leads to better job opportunities in the future.
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