Restoration Stories

I never understood how surrender could lead to victory.


Hi, I’m Anthony. Let me tell you how God used Rockford Rescue Mission to save my life.


I was raised in a drug-shooting gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. Eventually I bounced from house to house, group home to institution – never more than a year in the same place. Drugs and alcohol took over my life, just as they had my father’s. Every day, I raced to get my first drink or to shoot enough heroin and cocaine to keep the withdrawals from coming.


Eight years ago, I lost my girlfriend to a heroin overdose while we were using together. Months later, both my father and uncle killed themselves. I numbed the pain of their deaths with more drugs and alcohol. In the midst of that, I learned I was going to be a father. So for a time I white-knuckled it, pausing the heavier drug use for the sake of being a father to my son.


But hopelessness and depression set in again. Looking for my next high became more important to me even than caring for my beautiful son. I met and fell in love with a woman who also struggled with addiction. Soon, we both relapsed and the awful nightmare repeated. I bought the dope, and while we used together, she overdosed and died.


I’d lost almost everyone and everything that I had ever loved. Riding the Blue Line train in Chicago, with a needle in my hand, I cried out to God: “Please – if you are there, I need your help. I cannot do this anymore!”


I had just enough faith to get me through until I found a treatment center in Rockford, where my counselor was a graduate of Rockford Rescue Mission. He brought me here, and everyone welcomed me with respect. I had been to treatment before, but this time was different. I had to surrender to God and be honest like never before.


I never understood how surrendering could lead to victory. Today, God has removed those cravings for drugs and alcohol while giving me something greater. Now, I am in awe of how He has changed my life. Instead of being a slave to addictions, I look for opportunities to serve others and to be a great father to my son.


I have a good job at Advanced Chimney Service here in Rockford, and I attend City First Church every week. I’m living temporarily in the Mission’s transitional housing. It’s a safe place where I can continue to become the man God created me to be.


Through Rockford Rescue Mission, God is doing for me what I could never do for myself. I will be forever grateful.


Anthony’s testimony is featured in the current issue of The Rescuer.

Rockford Rescue Mission remembers our friend, Anthony. We grieve with his family, as we also celebrate God’s intervention in his short life.

Help the Mission continue to serve

Our Crisis services provide food and shelter to those who need it most. Our Life Recovery programs exist to help men, women and children in the Rock River Valley find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?