03 Jun Finding Purpose in God’s Love
Eldra grew up in the “projects” of Chicago, surrounded by gang violence that influenced his life. “You drink, you gamble, you sell drugs… That was my routine,” he explains. Although his grandmother taught him about Jesus, “I chose the streets instead of a spiritual or religious path.”
For 10 years, Eldra lived a life devoid of purpose – drinking daily, working sporadically and depending on his sisters for a place to lay his head. Finally, down to his last penny, he reached the last straw with his siblings as well. They told him he had to go.
“And right then I thought, I can’t go on living like this. I started crying because I didn’t even care anymore.” Recalling his grandmother’s faith, he prayed, “Lord, please help me.” The next day, he came to the Mission’s door.
“When I got here, I could feel God in this building.”
At once, Eldra felt at peace in our Christ-filled surroundings. When a staff member began praying with him, “It flipped a switch in my heart,” he says, “and things moved on from there.”
In our Life Recovery Program, he surrendered to the Lord. “I love getting up in the morning and asking Him to guide me through the day,” he shares. He earned his GED in our Works! Center, along with skills he used to find a stable job. Eldra graduated in September 2017 and continues to work and go to AA meetings. He attends church and fellowship groups as well where he’s often asked to share his story. “It’s good to give back because somebody did it for me,” he says.
Today, thankful for the restoration your gifts provided at the Mission, Eldra says, “This place gives you a purpose. It helps you think about goals and how to achieve them. I will be forever grateful.”
For the Spring 2019 issue of The Rescuer, click here.