Terry’s Story

"Not being on drugs, I am a totally different person, the one that God created me to be."

Years of alcoholism, drug addiction and anger nearly cost Terry everything.

What started as the casual drink in Terry’s youth spiraled into alcoholism in adulthood. For a while, he managed to make things work—he met the love of his life, Taneka, and they started a family. But then, Terry’s drinking and drugs became too much. He and Taneka separated, and eventually, Terry found himself homeless—for six years.

When Terry was on the streets, every day was a struggle. Once, muggers took a gift card he’d been saving to buy a bike for his daughter. When he told Taneka, she assumed he just “drank the money away.” Terry said, “I felt like a failure as a dad.”

Christmas was especially tough.

“Two years ago, I spent Christmas all alone, feeling sorry for myself,” he recalls. “I just kept telling myself, ‘I can never get anything right. I just keep messing things up.’”

But, Terry’s life turned around when he came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission for help. Here, he found the care and resources he needed to overcome his addiction and get his life on track—and, he rediscovered his faith.

“I’ve learned a lot about God since being here,” he says. “I’ve learned that even if you make wrong decisions, He has the ability to change things.” Terry learned even more about God’s life-transforming love after contracting COVID-19.

The virus hit Terry—hard. He was put on a ventilator twice. For 46 days, doctors weren’t sure if he would live. But during that time, Taneka’s heart was softened. She had seen glimpses of Terry’s transformation, and wanted to encourage him through his illness. Every day, the nurses would tell him, “Taneka called today. She says she loves you, and the kids love you.”

Today, Terry is drug-free, thankful to be on the road to recovery from the virus, grateful to God that he’s been able to reconnect with his family—and looks forward to celebrating Christmas with them this year.

“I want to thank God for showing me His mercy and grace in giving me a second chance!” To MRM donors, he says, “thank you for changing my life, helping me to find God again, and making it possible to be reunited with my wife and kids.”

“I’m a better man because of you!”