Rodney’s Story

I spent much of my life caught up in anger, self-pity and bitterness toward a world I thought rejected me. But all along, I was really just a hurt little boy.

At a young age, I was taken from my mother and placed in foster care. But no one ever told me why. Why couldn’t I be with mom? Why did she not want me? Why did she reject me? What did I do? Then she died before I could get the answers I needed. So I always felt like it was somehow my fault she didn’t want me.

At 13, I started running the streets with my friends, and for years I drifted lost through a world of alcohol, drugs and self-loathing. Eventually, sitting alone and tired in a jail cell, I found God. I even earned a degree in biblical studies and served at a ministry in Chicago for almost 20 years.

It’s one thing to serve God. But it’s another thing to give Him your wounded heart. And God wanted my heart.

One day about two years ago, I made a poor decision that caused me to lose my job. Immediately, all the old feelings of anger, bitterness, hurt and rejection came back.

But I knew what God wanted. So I left Chicago and came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission to give Him my whole heart.

From day one, I worked hard to peel back the layers of my heart, exposing myself to a community of people who loved me in the name of Jesus, who saw me for who I really am. They accepted this hurt, rejected little boy and showed me that I’m a man worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. And they opened a door into my heart for God to come in and heal the pain—to fill my heart with the love I never experienced before.

Today, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that people like you cared enough to make my new life possible. Thank you!