David’s Story

It was a 150-year-old book—The New Life by Andrew Murray—that initially inspired David to change his life. And he found it, of all places, in a dumpster behind a thrift store. He’d been looking for clothing.

First, he read the preface. Later, he read the whole book. “That’s when I knew—I needed to change,” he says.

David had spent last winter hunkered down in his tent in a homeless camp. It was his third year of homelessness. Before that, he lived in the car repair shop that had been passed down from his grandfather to his father to him. He lost the shop when drugs and alcohol got the better of him, a painful divorce and family estrangement having upended his life several years earlier.

But after reading that old book, he knew he couldn’t keep going on the same way he had. So on his 43rd birthday, he turned himself in to the police to face an outstanding charge and served time in jail. Not long after his release, he found himself at our Bethel Mission men’s shelter.

“After I’d been here a couple weeks, I laid down one night and thought, ‘Man, I’d totally forgotten how great it is just to lay down on a really comfortable bed, in a comfortable environment, surrounded by friends who care about me,’” he remembers.

“Bethel Mission is different than anywhere else,” he adds. “They didn’t even know me and they loved me.”

At first, David didn’t plan to stay long. But then, one night he poked his head into one of our chapel services. Curious,  he began attending chapel regularly and soon realized he was tired of attempting to fix his life on his own. “I’ve tried this my way. But now I’m starting something new,” he says.

Since David joined our Christ-centered life recovery program, he’s found a band of brothers who are walking alongside him, offering friendship and accountability every step of the way. “It’s like all of us became a team—like when we were in sports back in high school, only now we’re playing against homelessness.”

David has jumped into classes, counseling and his newfound faith with determination. “There’s always been something missing, but I’ve found the missing piece. I’ve learned that Jesus loves us. He’ll always love us.”

David still grieves his estrangement from his family and hopes and prays for future reconciliation. But for now, he’s focused on healing mentally and emotionally and breaking old cycles. “An important part of the process is owning your recovery. No one else can do it for you.”

Case Manager Mike Scott says he can already see changes in David. “I’ve been encouraged by both the work that God is doing in David’s life and his testimony. David’s faith has grown noticeably and he often expresses hope for his future,” Mike says. “It’s been a privilege to work with him.  I’m looking forward to watching his progress as God continues to work in his life.”

When he looks to the future, David sees himself settled in a church home and finding ways to serve others.Meanwhile, he’s reading The New Life . . . for a third time!