Neal's Story


programs-stories-08-neal.jpgSometimes it seems like I've been struggling all my life.

Growing up with certain physical limitations, I've always felt like I had something to prove —to others and myself — that I could do anything I wanted. But no matter how hard I worked or what I accomplished, I never felt it was enough. I constantly worried that I would never be good enough. Finally, four years ago, my worst fears started coming true. My marriage fell apart, and shortly after that, I lost my job in the roofing business when my company downsized. I started drinking to cope with the pain, and then my whole life snowballed out of control.

I ran out of money, I had to give up my two beloved pets, and even my family turned their backs on me because of my drinking. By February 2011, I had lost everything that mattered to me. That's when I came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I was apprehensive at first. Honestly, I was afraid of failing and learning one more time I wasn't good enough. I stayed in the program, but I dragged my feet. Six months later, however, I started thinking about my family, whom I hadn't seen in years, and that hurt. Enough is enough, I thought. It's time to change.

But I knew I needed help. Then God gave me a Bible verse:

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." Ephesians 6:13 NIV

If I was going to change, I needed that kind of armor.

Ever since then, I let God clothe me with His armor, so when I leave here, I know I will succeed. I'm graduating from the Milwaukee Rescue Mission's Lifeskills program a changed man and I'm now trying to reconnect with my family. I know it won't happen overnight, but I believe it will happen. Over the past year, thanks to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and caring people like you, I've received food, clothing, and shelter. But people like me need even more — we need comfort, someone to listen, someone to care, someone to love us. I found all of that here and more: I've learned that, thanks to Jesus Christ, I don't have to prove anything. He's good enough and that's all that matters.

Thank you for what you have done for me and countless others like me at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.