Last April, Marshall was cold, hungry, broke and alone on the streets of Milwaukee. He had just blown his last paycheck on crack cocaine. He hadn’t eaten in two days. Worse, after a 30-year addiction, he had burned every bridge to friends and family and had nowhere else to turn for shelter.
“I was a little bit like Jonah, in the Bible,” said Marshall. He remembers how Jonah ran away from God and what God had called him to do. “The Book of Jonah ought to be called the Book of Marshall. I always knew God was there, but I was running from Him. I didn’t want to surrender. I always wanted to do things my way,’’ he said.
Marshall, 54, was raised by a hard-working single mother who was determined to provide “a better life for her kids,” he said. But working two jobs, she was away so much, there was little structure in the home. He started using drugs in 8th grade and dropped out of school.
By age 24, crack cocaine was the love of his life. “It was the worst thing I ever did,” he said. “It got so bad, I was spending every paycheck entirely on crack. Nothing else mattered but getting high.
“When I ended up on the streets last year, I remembered the Milwaukee Rescue Mission,” he said. “I’d been here before when I needed a bed or a meal. But now I needed it to change my life. I had to quit running, surrender and turn my life over to God. Marshall says he learned how to love God, himself and the people around him during his time at MRM.
Graduating from the New Journey program was a big step in turning over his life to God. Now he knows that God will never leave him, saying “God never quit loving Jonah, and He never quit loving me.” Thanks to supporters of MRM like you, Marshall has hope for the future!