Steve’s Story

There’s an old painting most likely familiar to anyone who’s spent time in church. It was painted by artist Warner Sallman and depicts Jesus standing at a door and knocking.

“The thing about that painting,” says Steve, a recent graduate of our life recovery program, “is there’s no doorknob on the outside. Jesus knocks, but you have to answer it from the inside.”

And for Steve, that image resonates. “He’s been knocking on my heart for years. He’s always been there. I just haven’t opened the door until now.”

Steve’s road to newfound faith has been a long and difficult one. He started drinking and using drugs when he was a teenager and went on to struggle with drug addiction for forty-five years. He’s spent the bulk of his adult life in prison.

In fact, it was in prison where he first learned about Hope Ministries. “Any other time when I’ve gotten out of prison, I went right back to the drugs,” he acknowledges. But this time, he had a stronger—and painful—motivation for seeking recovery and transformation. “My brother overdosed and died in 2020. I think that’s what got me to want to change.”

Steve admits that when he first showed up at our men’s shelter he “wanted to turn around and walk out.” It just wasn’t where he wanted to be. But he knew he couldn’t return to the same old cycle, the same old life as before.

And now, looking back, he can see the harvest of blessings that have grown through his months of determination and hard work.

In addition to receiving three meals a day and a safe place to sleep, Steve participated in classes, recovery groups, counseling and job skills training. Milestones have included getting his driver’s license and working on paying off outstanding debts, as well as the longest stretch of sobriety he’s ever had outside of prison!

“I’m really thankful because this has given me a chance to get established,” he says. “I have a church family. I have a recovery family. I’ve benefited from every day I’ve spent here.”

Earlier this year, Steve completed our program, and he credits every step of his recovery journey to God. “This has really helped me get a solid foundation and get to know God. That’s who I give my recovery to—God.”

“I spent thirty-three years in prison,” he adds, “and I’ve wasted a lot of my life. But it’s not over yet. I’m grateful.”