Daniel has worked in the restaurant industry his whole life. The tough environment led to frequent drinks to relax with coworkers – but Daniel soon felt overwhelmed. He says, “Things got stressful. I took on too much responsibility and started drinking more heavily.” He had been living with family and friends, but they told him to move out because they could no longer watch him kill himself. He ended up homeless on the streets – alone and bitter. Then, one day, God used a chance encounter to soften Daniel’s heart. When he stumbled into a day center, a nurse on duty asked, “‘Can I pray for you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, go ahead. Anything will help at this point.’ And she held my hand and I felt hope for the first time in years,” he says. Daniel remembered visiting the Utica Mission with his youth group years before. His hope led him to the Mission, but he was still unconvinced God could really change him. So he gave God an ultimatum – 90 days to fix his life.
Daniel came to Parker House, our long-term discipleship program that gives men a safe place to heal from addiction and other destructive behaviors. Within that 90-day period, he was surprised to see how “God gave me little blessings, little gifts to keep me going, saying, ‘Look, it’s not that bad. I’m with you, OK?’” as his life transformed rapidly. Today, he is sober, working part-time at the Mission, completing his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, buying a house and engaged to be married – dreams he never thought he would accomplish before coming to the Mission. “Now I know how to fail – how to live beyond what’s right there. This is all from the grace of God, and it didn’t happen overnight. God will give you what you need just a little bit at a time. He reveals it slowly to you.” Daniel has a heart for serving others and is so full of gratitude for friends like you who showed him that change was possible. Thank you for your continued generosity.