With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to take a moment to share some exciting news!
To close out the year in record-breaking fashion, 5 separate donors have challenged us to raise $190,000 by midnight of December 31st. If we can step up to this challenge, they’ll match every dollar that you give up to $190,000.
Think of the possibilities $380,000 could provide Shepherd’s House Ministries and the community!
You’ve heard some of our stories of redemption, healing and hope; the men and women who have benefited from their connection with Shepherd’s House Ministries. Today, I’d like to share yet another story, Michael’s story. It is a story of a man who walked through the door of Shepherd’s House and found his life radically changed.
As a child, I was abused in foster care. I never knew my birth family. Although I was adopted into a Christian home at age 5, I remember feeling angry and alone. I didn’t trust anyone, and I blamed God for all my hurts and abuse.
At age 14, I started to self-medicate my pain away with drugs. Over the years, my addictions grew worse and worse. One night, in desperation and anger, I decided to seek God for help. I prayed, and He listened!
Incredibly, He set me free from my addictions that very night! In fact, I woke up the next morning and had no cravings and no withdrawals. How did that happen?
Although my addictions were suddenly gone, I was still experiencing a lot of anger. I continued to feel stuck, not able to get free from my feelings of rage. Even little things would set me off. One night, I had a dream I was with friends who were doing drugs.
I woke up scared. I knew I didn’t want to go back to that life. I recognized I needed help, and that’s when a friend recommended Shepherd’s House Ministries.
The minute I walked through the door at Shepherd’s House, I knew I was in the right place. My whole life began to change. I began to immerse myself in their community and, over time, I was no longer feeling isolated or angry.
Shortly after I entered the program, the staff invited me to join the other residents on a backpacking trip. It started off well but, at some point, I decided to go off and explore on my own. That proved to be a bad idea. While off by myself, I took a spill and badly injured my ankle.
Since I couldn’t put any pressure on my foot, I had to crawl on my hands and knees for hours back to camp. As I suspected, the break was bad. They had to call Search & Rescue to haul me down the mountain in a litter. After inserting a metal plate and 13 pins to repair my ankle, the doctors told me that it would be nine months before I could walk on it again. Nine months!
Over the next several months, there were times when I was frustrated and I wanted to be angry at God. But instead, God gave me grace and patience. Again, He was listening! In fact, four months into my recovery, I had yet another follow-up doctor’s appointment.
At this appointment, however, the doctors were surprised at how fast my ankle was healing. They couldn’t explain it but, instead of nine months, I was given the ‘all-clear’ to get out of the boot and walk again. God gave me a miracle the doctors couldn’t explain!
Last winter, I helped lead the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter in Redmond. I enjoyed talking to the homeless guys each night and sharing how God’s grace had changed me.
After sharing my story, one of the guys turned to me and said, “I don’t understand all this, but whatever happened to you, I want for me too!” That night, he prayed and asked God to forgive him and help him like God helped me.
That was several months ago. Now I’m proud to say that I’m a graduate of the Shepherd’s House Ministries program. I’ve been three years sober and no longer feel isolated and angry. I trust people more, open up with others, and have meaningful relationships.
Because of their caring attitude, the people at Shepherd’s House Ministries have taught me that God isn’t to blame for my problems. He loves me. In recognition of that love I recently got baptized.
Shepherd’s House Ministries saved my life. Now, quite simply, I want to tell everyone my story, and pray that God will do the same for all those in need of recovery and hope.”
Others like Michael need your help.
Michael’s story is a wonderful example of how a person can go from desperation and brokenness to a life filled with hope, healing, and meaningful service to others. But, there are so many more out there in our community that are without hope who are hurting and who need to hear how much they are loved.
During this Christmas season, a season of great hope, will you help us? Will you join us in making a difference in the lives of the most hurting in our community?
We’ve set an ambitious goal to raise that $190,000 by the end of the year. Every dollar you give will be
matched, and will provide food, clothes, safe shelter, and a chance to change the trajectory of many
lives….lives just like Michael’s. Please take part in this generous matching gift challenge!
Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season.
Executive Director at Shepherd’s House Ministries