I was angry. I was enraged at a world that was too strict, a world with too many unfair rules — a world that didn’t treat me the way I felt I deserved.
I grew up in a poor rural family that worked the fields of Mississippi. My stepfather would never let me go anywhere or do anything. No friends, no sports, nothing. If I wasn’t in school, I had to work the fields — and it made me mad.
I had to get out. So after high school, I joined the military, but it only got worse — do this — do that and my anger grew. I started drinking to escape. Then I started fighting. It got so bad, they finally kicked me out. I didn’t care. I just kept drinking. But when I discovered crack, that’s when it all really fell apart. In three years, I lost a marriage, job, home, everything. Everything but drugs and alcohol. And the worse it got, the more I hated a world that I felt treated me so unfairly. I stayed that way until I ended up homeless in Milwaukee in 2003.
In 2008, my brother brought me to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I had no other option. And it changed my life. Here, I learned that the world was not the problem, I was. My life was a mess because of me. And only God, through Jesus Christ, could change it. When I gave Jesus all my anger, hurt and pain, He healed me.
It only got better from there. God blessed me with the chance to work as a cook here at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission for the past 10 years. Today, I still have the extraordinary privilege of serving hurt women and men, just like I once was. I know these people, I know their pain and anger. But I get to offer them a good meal, hope and the chance to encounter God in this place.
My life is good. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m a child of God. And it’s donors like you who made it all possible. I pray, this holiday season, God blesses you for that.