You Gave Rick the Gift of Hope


You gave Rick the gift of hope, just in time for Christmas.

Fifteen years.

That’s how long it had been since Rick had spoken to his mom. That hurts, especially at Christmas.

“My drinking and lying pushed her away,” Rick admits.

An only child, Rick’s troubles started when a scandal broke the family apart. Then after high school, he enlisted in the Navy with his best friend, who died tragically while they served together.

“I didn’t want to live after that,” Rick remembers. “I got depressed, and starting drinking heavily.” He became homeless, sometimes being forced to ask for food on street corners, or look through garbage cans for something to eat.

“It was shameful and degrading,” Rick remembers.

And through the years, every time he picked himself up, something else would knock him down.

Tired of street life

Two summers ago, Rick finally decided he’d had enough of street life. Thanks to you, he had a way to get the help he needed. Being here, “I have focused on my relationship with God—and on mending and building relationships.”

Above all, Rick knew he needed to reconcile with his mom! Until his drinking got in the way, she had been his main support. But over the years, his calls and texts to her went unanswered. Rick knew only God could fix what he had broken. For 15 years he prayed, “Lord, soften my mom’s heart!”

A surprising phone call

So imagine his surprise when Rick’s phone buzzed in his pocket last Christmas evening while he sat on the Mission patio. It was his mom sending him a Facebook message! He quickly tapped his phone number in.  She called right back!

“We talked for over an hour and a half that night,” Rick says. “It was a Christmas miracle!”

Rick and his mom called each other every day after that. He told her about his growing faith, she told him about her relationship with God and sobriety.

Tragic news

Then she gave Rick the tragic news—she was dying from a terminal disease.

Just a few months later, Rick got the final call: her mom had died. Through the sorrow, he felt comfort and joy, just knowing he had reconciled at last with the one person he loved the most.

“If I would not have been at the Mission at Christmas, I may not have answered that first phone call. Being here gave me the strength to say I was sorry. “Now I’m at peace, knowing I’m forgiven!”


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