And he had taken a long, torturous road to malnutrition — growing up in a world of alcohol and drugs, with two abusive stepfathers, never knowing his birth father. With no spiritual guidance whatsoever. “All I knew about God came from the Pledge of Allegiance at school,” he says.
Steven functioned almost like a father to his three brothers and his sister — because his parents were so often drunk, or high, or fighting... or in jail. His home life was so awful, he worked extra hard in high school just to graduate a year early and get out on his own. He fled to beautiful Tucson. Here, he built a good life. He enjoyed a good job in the mining business, with a good salary.
But one day, Steven’s little brother overdosed, on their mother’s front porch, and died. It was his younger brother’s 24th birthday. Steven went into a tailspin. “He was my best friend,” Steven recalls. “I took care of him when he was growing up, so he was a little bit like a son too.”
On that day of tragedy, Steven began drinking. He drank absolutely every day, for 2,191 days in a row.
In the middle of it all, Steven’s mom overdosed on heroin, and died on her living room floor. “That sealed my fate,” Steven says today. “I had kids, a vehicle, a good job and a home, but I just shut down. I walked away from it all, from everyone.” Then he lived in drain tunnels. “The pain I had been carrying around all my life hit a point where I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I didn’t care... Everyone I loved was dying, and I didn’t want to go through that anymore.”
Homeless, wandering the streets, Steven lurked behind restaurants near closing time, then dug through the trash, hoping to find something edible. He staggered from month to month, gradually wasting away. But it was hunger that finally saved his life.
One morning he awoke famished, and began walking down 29th Street looking for something to eat. He had never heard of Gospel Rescue Mission, but he saw people coming in and out carrying clothes. Maybe a place that offered clothing would offer food as well?
“I was ashamed. I had been in the same clothes, with no shower or anything.” He waited until the crowds cleared, then nervously went in. A woman greeted him. “I asked her if I could have some food. She said, ‘Yes! I can get you a box full. Do you have an address to take it to?’ I told her no, but that I was so hungry I could eat a whole box full right then and there!”
Steven committed his life to Christ. He stopped drinking and - after a 22-year habit - stopped smoking. He was baptized on April 6th. “My life got so much better!” he says. “I have a sense of joy, and the anger and hurt are gone. I always wanted a father, and in the Lord I found one who is always there for me, and that I can count on.”
The generous support of our donors and volunteers helped save Steven’s life. But more men, women, and children are still hungry today, and "There's something you can do!" Please donate today and help save another person like Steven. Thank you in advance and God bless you!