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“Hope in the midst of despair”

Anthony’s life so far has been difficult to say the least: he was abused as a child, grew up using drugs, and spent time in jail.

It was Anthony’s own mother who abused him, leaving him with memories “most kids shouldn’t have.” The drugs and alcohol were an attempt to fill the void left by an absent father and the love he didn’t receive from his Mom.

His life was Godless. Without direction. But then he reached a breaking point.

After serving eight months in county jail on a drug charge, Anthony learned about Faith Mission from friends.

When he first arrived, he was a little scared. “It was kind of mind boggling,” he says. “There were a lot of guys from all walks of life, so at first I just kept my distance to see where I fit in. But since I’ve allowed myself to open up and not judge other people, it’s been a real blessing!”

Slowly, things began to change – especially after Anthony joined our Training Faithful Men program. “God is turning me, molding me and mending me,” he says.

“If we allow ourselves to accept change, life can be great! Since I’ve been at the Mission, life has been great! I’ve allowed myself to open up and be a blessing to people out and give them hope, encourage them.”

“My faith has been put to the test here!” Anthony says. “I’m working with young men and people that I see out in the community to give them a little hope in their desperation….tell them that no matter what they’ve been through, there’s always sunshine!”

So that he can continue to help others, Anthony started taking nursing courses at Indiana University South Bend’s center here in Elkhart.

Today, Anthony truly is living a “fun and adventurous life,” guided by the Lord. “I feel like I’m free now,” he says. “I can live my life the way I’m supposed to.”

Anthony sees the Mission as “a place to start.” “You start from ground zero and work your way allow the people here to help you and to get you where you need to be. It’s fun. Sometimes, it can be a challenge. It’s always exciting!” he says with a smile.

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