Fiery Crash at Christmas


Just a few days before Christmas last year, John decided he had nothing to live for. Years of deceit, homelessness, alcohol abuse, and abandonment had taken its toll. He was living out of car, utterly hopeless.

So that’s why he decided to drive off a railroad bridge in St. Paul and end it all. His truck bounced and rolled, bounced and rolled at the bottom of the hill before coming to a stop and bursting into flames.

Someone pulled him out of the inferno and dragged him to safety before disappearing in the darkness.

“This place is a miracle in itself!”

Only footprints in the snow proved someone had been there at all.

John couldn’t believe he had survived. Homeless and struggling in addiction, now what would he do?

It took a few more months before he came to the Mission. He slept in makeshift shelters and suffered from hypothermia. He says he survived for a long time on potato chips and vodka.

Then last spring, he met some guys from the Christ Recovery Center at a recovery meeting. It was like a light shone on them saying “go there,” John explains.

He followed that prompting and came through our doors with nothing but the clothes on his back.

His first night at Chapel, John cried through the whole thing. “I had given up on God,” he says. “I thought He had given up on me. I had thrown the towel at God, and He threw it right back at me.”

Here, he’s found true brotherhood with men who support him in his recovery. He’s refreshed his education and job skills. The meals and shelter have given him life and health; he’ll never forget his first meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Now he’s serving as an intern so he can give back to the new life provided him through the gifts of donors and friends.

YOUR gifts showed him there was hope!

“Being here is an opportunity for me to just rebuild my life,” John says. “This place is a miracle in itself. All I want is to spend Christmas with my kids sober.”


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