Otis’s Story

"Give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."

Psalm 107:8-9 (NIV)

Thanksgiving is coming fast. As a chef at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for me, and I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. But no matter how busy we get, I always take time to remember just how grateful I am for this place.

I had a pretty difficult childhood. I was really shy and I didn’t do well in school. A lot of things happened that I didn’t know how to cope with. So I started rebelling and eventually fell into a life of alcohol and drugs. At first, I thought drugs helped me fit in for the first time. It took the stress off. But really, all it did was destroy my life. I spent most of my adult life in and out of jail—or homeless. I hit rock bottom so many times I lost count. I failed so many times, I thought that’s all I’d ever be.

But God had other plans. In 2012, I came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. When I walked through these doors, I thought I was just Otis the drug addict. Otis the failure. Otis the liar and thief. Over the next year, however, I learned who I REALLY am. I’m Otis, child of God. I’ve been redeemed. And God had work for me to do.

In 2013, after I had completed the Life Skills program, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission hired me to be a full-time cook in their kitchen, helping serve hundreds of meals to hurting men, women and children every day. But I’m not just a cook. I get to share my testimony with other guys here at MRM, encouraging them, loving them, helping them stay sober and live for Christ.

Serving meals at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, and serving the men, women and children here, is one of the greatest passions of my life.

As a donor, you made all this possible for me. So as we head to Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for my new life in Christ—and I’m grateful for caring people like you. Thank you!