28 Jun Kole’s Story
September 13, 2020—it’s a day burned into Kole’s memory.
“I was slumped on a chair in a trap house and I just knew it was now or never,” he remembers. “I had no strength left, but God broke through my haze.”
Kole had been drinking and using drugs for about two decades, something that started when he was a young man in the Army and worsened through the years. “I’d burned every bridge. I was broken.”
But the decision he made that September day—to pack his bag and flee the drug house—changed the course of his life. He came to Hope Ministries where a long-time friend, then a student in our life recovery program, was assisting at the front desk. That friend helped Kole through some of his hardest moments in his first days at Hope Ministries, when detox and withdrawal wracked his body.
“I remember kneeling in the shower because the hot water was the only thing that helped the aches and nausea,” he says. And yet, even through the pain and sickness, he felt God’s love. “The love was just everywhere. I heard Jesus say, ‘I have a use for this. Stay with the pain. I promise I’ll use this.’”
Kole devoted himself to pursuing his faith and overcoming his addiction. While in our program, he built healthy friendships, found a great church where he was baptized and even experienced restored relationships with his mom and sister.
“I absorbed this program like a sponge. I’d never realized that the Bible has an answer for every problem we face,” he says. “The longer I was at Hope Ministries, the more I knew I could keep moving forward with God’s help.”
Kole says he encountered acts of kindness everywhere at Hope Ministries, even in the laundry room, where he was given a laundry pod packet assembled by volunteers. “When I was living on the streets, I was lucky if I washed my clothes three times a year. Now I’m able to wash my clothes and I’m even given a dryer sheet? And with it, there’s a note that says, ‘You are loved. You are prayed for.’”
Kole graduated from our program in late 2021. Today he has full-time employment, his own apartment, and he’s still a familiar face around Hope Ministries. After completing our volunteer training, he’s now a mentor for two men. And when he’s not working or volunteering, he finds time for his hobbies—writing, painting, drawing and playing piano.
Kole’s deep desire is to help others discover the same profound transformation he experienced. He hopes to pursue higher education to become a pastor. “I want to spread the message that it’s not only possible to turn away from the old, but to also be elevated to something new.”
He has special words for donors who’ve made his new life possible: “Praise the Lord for what you’ve given—and how deeply your investment travels. Anyone who gives is saving lives and is part of a wave of hope. Anybody who has given is a part of my story. You’re part of a life that’s been saved and transformed. Thank you.”