One Meal Means Everything

What does it feel like not to have food for days on end? Dan can tell you.

A few Octobers ago, Dan was doing what he always did when life got hard: running away from his problems.

This time, he decided to hitchhike across South Dakota. At first, he thought he had it made. But eventually his lack of food and water began to take a toll.

He was a long way from 3 meals a day, like he was used to.

“My stomach was killing me; I had constant hunger pains. Sometimes I felt depressed and tired from not having the food I needed to keep going. I just wanted to give up,” Dan remembers.

He drank from streams just to keep hydrated. And at night, “the hunger pains kept me awake,” he says.

This situation was so foreign from the memories of his childhood Thanksgivings, when Dan’s grandmother made a huge dinner for the family to share as they gathered around their holiday table together.

Instead, he was left with any scraps he could find on the road, or maybe a bag of chips he picked up somewhere. He thought he could make it, if he just kept going. Then he began hallucinating from lack of food.

“I wasn’t feeling myself,” he admits. “I was feeling desperate and hopeless about where my next meal would come from.”

Dan made it all the way to Deadwood, where a merciful sheriff—who could have locked him up!—gave him a bus ticket and sent him back home. For Dan, this small move was the beginning of a new life. He could have run away again, could have gone off in the other direction. But he didn’t.

Because of people like you, Dan had a place to go.

Coming to the Mission was like coming home. He entered the Discipleship program, where he’s growing in his relationship with God and refreshing his education. God’s even been using him to encourage his Discipleship brothers—and it feels good!

“I’m not running anymore,” Dan says. “Knowing I have meals gives me hope and the courage to keep going. I used to feel depressed a lot; now I feel at peace, knowing that God is providing for me.”

Thanksgiving season is the very best time to give men like Dan a second chance.

Give meals today!

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