What was your family like? They sold drugs.
You’ve probably never heard such an answer... but you’ve never met Tracy.*
Like so many we serve, she was born and raised here in Tucson. She never experienced a real “family.” Love? She never really knew what that was. The closest thing to "wisdom” ever handed down to her was a stark warning: Don’t ever talk to the cops about what was going on at home.
No wonder she started drinking by the time she was 15. She used marijuana with her cousins. “Drugs were always a part of my family,” she remembers. It seemed normal.
Looking for love, she was pregnant before she left high school. It took her twice as long to graduate, simply because she was going to classes, and working, and trying to take care of her children.
Seeing the world she came from, I’m proud of how hard she tried to make it all work.
But soon, what she thought was “love” failed her again. Her boyfriend began viciously abusing her. She felt trapped — she tried to numb the pain by returning to the only source of comfort she had ever known: drugs. Tracy began taking pills — and addiction kicked in, hard and fast.
In the space of a single month, she lost her job — her home — and her children. She was homeless, childless, and jobless ... for a solid year.
Once in a while a friend would take her in for a few nights. Sometimes she slept in her car. Desperate for food and other basics, she recalls, “I started shoplifting to get by.”
But not for long. She was soon arrested, and spent five long months in jail. Meanwhile, the courts were moving to take her children away permanently. One by one, the cases closed. Her love for her children was left to scream silently in agony. “I felt like a piece of me was ripped away,” Tracy remembers. “But the worst part was that it was all on me — I chose that.”
I can’t imagine what greater tragedies might have come Tracy’s way — if the compassion of our donors, volunteers, and staff hadn’t stepped in to interrupt her story. But thank God, love was there for her.
With the strong support of caring friends like our donors and volunteers, Gospel Rescue Mission reaches into the prisons of our area. Our own Mrs. Dee, who coordinates our recovery services, visited Tracy there, and invited her to start life over, with GRM, as soon as she was released. Her parole officer actually dropped her at our door!
“When you think life is over, it can be a new beginning,” Tracy says with a huge smile.
“God grabs you at your weakest point.”
Knowing Tracy’s background, you would not recognize her today. She’s a different person — by the grace of God — and thanks to the generous support of our donors and volunteers.
*=Tracy's name was changed to protect her identity.
Cameron had battled addiction ever since Afghanistan. Working for a military contractor, his job was to help find and clear out caves filled with drugs – a major source of funding for terrorists. It was common knowledge among his co-workers that if a little bit of contraband went missing during assignment, no one cared - as long as it didn’t interfere with work. Curious, Cameron tried a bit after work one day and got hooked.
Bringing his addiction home with him was the hardest battle of all.
It had success over him on a number of occasions. But he fought back, managing to kick the habit several times on his own. He was in the middle of his longest stretch of sobriety when he found out that his brother, who he was staying with, was also an addict. He knew that if he stayed, he would fall right back into addiction – that’s when a friend pointed him to Gospel Rescue Mission.
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.
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