Imagine a life where you feel trapped, disconnected, and lost—a life devoid of hope or purpose. That was the agonizing reality Randall faced not too long ago.

At just 15, a devastating motorcycle accident shattered Randall’s legs as well as his dreams. This once-aspiring athlete spent a year confined to hospital beds and another six months in grueling physical therapy. When he returned to school, he was a shadow of his former self. To cope, Randall turned to substances—first marijuana, then alcohol, and eventually harder drugs.

By 20, he was ensnared by cocaine, and when his mother passed away, so-called “friends” rushed to exploit his vulnerability and inheritance on the lethal allure of crack cocaine.

Randall confessed, “I worshiped the drugs.” And over the next 18 years, Randall was a “functional addict,” holding down a job while hiding his secret life. But his life spiraled out of control when he received a terrifying cancer diagnosis. Even after beating cancer, its emotional and physical toll was unbearable. Randall’s life disintegrated, and he lost everything. He decided to live in motel rooms until his savings ran out.

Then one night, lying in his bed, he saw a commercial for Gospel Rescue Mission. It offered him hope, and he started coming for a meal. He visited the Center of Opportunity for breakfast, lunch, and the occasional food box. Then, when he found himself completely homeless, with nowhere else to turn, Randall camped outside GRM on a frigid February night. And we welcomed him into our doors. Randall initially viewed this as a short detour. Yet, as he spent time with us, something miraculous happened—his heart softened, and he was compelled to embrace a life free from addiction.

“I finally surrendered my life to Christ,” he explained. “It was a slow journey. Concepts like forgiveness, faith, and grace took time.” But he persevered. “The more I leaned on God and studied scripture, the more freedom I found.” 

Which led him into our long-term Recovery Program.

You see, it truly does “start with a meal.” As you read this letter, people hungry for sustenance and wholeness are lining up at our doors. They may not yet be prepared for their next life-changing step, but they know they can begin with a meal in a safe, nurturing environment.

This is why your support is so invaluable, especially as we prepare for our annual Thanksgiving Blessings to Go event next month. It’s your opportunity to make a difference to many hungry and hurting within our community. We need your support to extend a hand to those in need, offering them a path out of hunger, poverty, homelessness, and addiction.

All it takes is $3.02 to provide a meal to someone in need. Though the cost per meal is small, the impact is life-changing. Last year, we served nearly 2,500 meals and provided over 350 resource boxes to those who were hungry, hurting, and alone. We know the need this year will be even greater, and we’ll be ready to meet the increased need.

In closing, I want to share what Randall said: “Coming to Gospel Rescue Mission was the best decision I’ve ever made. Now, I’m ready for chapter two of my life.”  Your gift can open the next chapter for many more like Randall. Please, will you help write those stories?

Thanking God for you,
Lisa Chastain
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Every meal serves not just food but hope and a new beginning. Your generous donation will light the path for many who are lost and hurting, guiding them toward wholeness and self-sufficiency. Thank you for your loving support.

Legacy Testimony: Wes

Wes struggled with addiction for 20 years–experimenting with substances in High School, but when his wife miscarried a few years later, his life spiraled out of control. He tried various programs and even spent some time in jail, but just couldn’t get sober until he finally hit rock bottom and cried out to God for help. “I just didn’t want to live that way anymore.” He came to Gospel Rescue Mission looking for a place to clean his laundry, but found a community, and an environment where he could grow in his walk with the Lord. Wes found a new sense of purpose growing in fellowship with others going through recovery. He started working full-time, and in his 18+ years at GRM, Wes has held various roles focused on outreach, volunteer engagement, and helping others through recovery. Wes now serves on the Senior Executive Leadership Team and his true passion is helping others stay grounded in their recovery journey.

Wes has been clean and sober for 21 years!