My name is Eddie. I am 45 years old, originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, I grew up in a single parent home and watched my mother struggle to provide for us. Sometimes she couldn’t. It hurt me to see her in pain.
God or church were never part of my life. At about 16 years old I began selling drugs and hanging out with other drug dealers. It was our full time occupation. We became a family of sorts, where I felt accepted and cared for. They seemed to give me what I was missing at home.
But, by the time I was 19 I was using marijuana and cocaine to numb my feelings of low self esteem. I never felt good about myself.
For 4 years I had a period of sobriety during which time I went to refrigeration school in Florida and got married. However, the marriage failed and I began using again.
I ended up in NYC. At times I had a job. Sometimes I stayed with friends or girlfriends, but often I slept in the park or in subway stations. I was homeless and high most of the time.
For 5 years, I just existed. Eventually I was arrested. Tired of struggling with addiction, I went to a 30 day treatment program after my release. When I finished there was still a void. I knew I didn’t want to go back to the streets. My counselor suggested a halfway house, but I knew I needed a relationship with the God I did not know.
He told me about the New Life Program at Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany. He described a long term program with Bible classes. I knew it was the place for me.
I arrived with no money, no clothes, and no food. Soon, God provided all I needed.
After a month and a half I was restless, ready to leave, when I attended a Friday night Celebrate Recovery meeting. Reggie, a staff counselor and former drug addict, shared his testimony of surrender to Jesus Christ. That night I too took a step of faith, and surrendered my life to Christ. It was the first time I had ever prayed.
I started understanding God’s Word and became thirsty to know more. All my life I had put my trust in people, places and things. Now I began trusting in a God who loves me, who gave his life for me on the cross.
My life has changed. I used to hold tight to anger and grudges. Now, the love of Jesus within me enables me to forgive.
The Mission’s Learning Center is providing a virtual reality class so I can learn the latest technology for HVAC and be prepared to pass the North American Technician Excellence test. Everything is digital now and I want to do my best. I am excited and hopeful for the future. I am applying for an apprenticeship at Local #7 Plumbers & Steamfitters. My next step will be to move into the Transitional Living building.
Today, I have life, not just an existence. I have salvation. I am loved. And, I believe God wants to use me to help others.
Thank you for your support. My life will never be the same. I am truly transformed.