It could happen to anyone. Even you.
A freak turn of events — and a simple, harmless hobby — ruined Jarred’s* life. Sent him to jail. Left him homeless. Hungry. He almost starved to death.
It began so innocently....
He always loved tinkering, even as a little kid. By young adulthood, Jarred was fixing computers as a hobby. He had an apartment, a steady girlfriend, a great job that paid the bills — and for fun, he scoured Craigslist, looking for people giving away old computers.
He would salvage the parts, assemble a great new “Frankenstein” machine from them, and give it to someone who needed a working computer but couldn’t afford one!
But one day Jarred learned that his girlfriend was cheating on him — and in his rage, he said seven little words that he would regret for years to come: “I wish she would just drop dead.”
Someone at Jarred’s workplace overheard him. Reported him to the police as a threat against his girlfriend’s life. When the police arrived at Jarred’s apartment — with search warrants — they seized his computers, looking for evidence.
Jarred had just bought two of the old computers. He hadn’t even started working on them yet. Little did he know, hidden inside was illegal content.
Almost before he knew it, Jarred was arrested and sent to jail. The media picked up the story, and soon his face and name were on the evening news. It took eight days of jail time before Jarred could convince a judge that he was innocent.
But by then, the damage was done. He came home to find an eviction notice on his door - his landlord had seen the news. Anything Jarred couldn’t fit into his truck, he lost. When he got back to work, he found he’d been fired. Even his parents didn’t believe him. His entire family disowned him.
Suddenly Jarred was homeless. He slept in his truck for a while — but with no source of income he couldn’t afford the insurance for very long, and he soon lost his truck as well. He kept searching for a job, trying to start over, but every time someone typed his name into a search engine, the same old false news story popped up.
Jarred was utterly alone in the world. Street gangs repeatedly harassed him and threatened him. Eventually he fell in with a group of homeless people who camped out together for their own protection. In his despair, he fell into drug use... even started dealing to afford food.
For two long, desperate years, this was his “life.” Barely surviving. Getting high, then crashing. Watching his homeless friends overdose, one by one.
And very nearly starving. Day after day, hunger gnawed at him. He dropped nearly a hundred pounds. He was shriveled skin and bones, and not much else.
He remembers those days. “I was starving, weak ... pretty much dead.” But then one day — hope showed up.
Jarred was arrested. The officers found drugs on him and took him in. His parole officer urged him to tackle his addiction, and gave him a paper bearing the name Gospel Rescue Mission.
Jarred was stunned. He remembered this place. As a child, he had come to the Mission at Thanksgiving time, volunteering with his family, feeding hungry people. He couldn’t believe he’d forgotten about it! That day, he hurried back to us. We took him in. Gave him clothes, shoes, hygiene supplies — and food.
And by God’s grace, Jarred’s life began to change. He connected to God’s love. We helped him get clean, and stay clean. Helped him get healthy, and stay healthy. (Helped him gain some weight!) But it wasn’t enough.
“My biggest fear was that none of this would make a difference,” Jarred says, “that I would get back out there and still have that news story hanging over my head.”
But God’s grace, a way forward was provided. Our volunteer attorney contacted the news station, explained the situation, and respectfully asked them to take the story offline. They were happy to. It was some of the best news Jarred had ever heard.
“I’m finally free!” Jarred exulted. “With the article gone, it opens up everything! I had given up — but now I have my life back.”
He’s come a long, long way from those days of desperate hunger on the streets of Tucson.
He’s gaining valuable skills in our Adult Learning Center. He’s putting together a résumé. In a few months, he’ll complete our recovery program — and start a new life!
*Name has been changed to protect his identity.
With your help we can give more men and women like Jarred a second chance at life. Please make a generous gift today, thank you in advance and God bless you!
Marlene wandered the streets of Tucson for 14 long years. Hungry years.
She was working so hard.... So dedicated to her kids.... Working 50+ hours a week, to provide for her family. Emotionally and physically, Sheri was a maxed-out mom.
But then her own mother was diagnosed with a grave illness; one that required serious care. Nobody else in the family was in a position to step up and Sheri couldn’t let her mother suffer alone. So she made the sacrifice and added “caregiver” to her list of responsibilities – but it was too much...
“I kept it hidden as best I could from my family. But methamphetamine makes you crazy. I would constantly instigate fights with my boyfriend, everything was broken in our house. I was out of control.”
But although Rosanna’s family didn’t see it, God knew that Rosanna needed help.
It’s not fair, but we all tend to do it....
When we see someone missing teeth, we tend to “label” them... We somehow tend to think of them as unintelligent... unprofessional... even untrustworthy. No, it doesn’t really make sense, logically. But most of us do it.
That’s what happened to Jonathan. He was still just a young boy when he fell in with the wrong crowd. He started putting substances in his body. Soon he was a full-fledged addict. Year after year, he battled his addictions ... and lost.
The support of our donors, volunteers, and staff helped Pam find sobriety and salvation, but it didn’t end there...
Through the hard work of our counselors and staff they helped him overcome his addiction and the depression that drove him to it. They even helped him unlock his hidden potential. Through our Career Development Center, Eric discovered a love for numbers and math. His aptitude was off the charts and their loving support helped him not only earn his GED, but also connect him to the federal grants and college courses he would need to realize his dream of becoming an accountant.
But most importantly of all, they gave Eric a gift of eternal significance – a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Eric was baptized on February 7th of this year.
If someone were to ask, "What’s the best thing about a traditional holiday meal?" At first, some might think, “The food.” But really, when you get right down to it, no matter what the menu is ... the best thing about it probably isn’t the food ... It’s the love.
It’s the people around the table, who love you. It’s the sharing. The chatter. The laughter. That “full feeling” — not just after a big meal... that feeling that life is good... it’s complete... it’s full of God’s blessings.
Some folks haven’t felt such a feeling in a long, long time... folks that maybe made some bad decisions along they way and ended up in a tight spot. That's what happened to Art, but things were going ok he thought. He was living with his daughter and her husband. Then, one night, there was a conflict...
All testimonies are either written by or are from interviews with men and women who's lives were transformed during their time at Gospel Rescue Mission.
Interested in sharing our story? Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org