The One Second That Changed Everything



That was Charlie’s reaction when an intruder pointed a paint gun right at him when he answered the front door. He could feel the sting on his chest as welts began to form.

“It was painful,” Charlie remembers–and that pain caused him to react. He pulled out the real gun he kept hidden in his waistband, aimed it at the intruder, and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed. He pulled it a second time. Again, just an empty click.

Right then, God got his attention! You see, he’d grown up in a rough part of town. Got used to seeing crime on every corner. Spent years hustling, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, getting busted and ending up in jail. Only to get out and start the cycle all over again.

Charlie ignored his mother’s plea to get an education: the pull of the streets was just too strong.

“The streets were number one in my life,” he says now. I used alcohol, crack, and marijuana every day since the 1980s, except when I was in jail. And I knew this life was coming to a dead end soon.”

So the misfired gun was just the wake-up call Charlie needed.

He considered his friend Jerald’s advice–to come to the Mission and start over. Because of you, he had a way to get out of the street life.

Here’s he’s learning more about God. He’s refreshed his education and even has a mentor to share life with.

GIfts from our donors made this new life possible. Now, he’s committed more than ever to his sobriety. “I ain’t gonna relapse,” he vows. “My mind’s made up and I ain’t gonna change it.”

“The Mission has helped me be a way better man than I was,” Charlie continues. “I feel like the Mission woke me up. My life is completely changed. I’m not the same person I was a year ago.”

Now Charlie looks forward to a better life off the streets–not having to worry about who’s around the next corner. All thanks to you!

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