‘They’ve been that bridge’

The Mission’s church partnerships help our grads find healthy community as they deepen their faith. Tim’s story is one shining example.

 “My recovery from alcohol addiction and hopelessness began at Rockford Mission. It continues today as I’m living in my own place again and working at the Thrift Store. And, it continues with my church, Maywood Free Church. With every step, I am so grateful for the people God has put in my life.

 “When I was living at the Mission, they had a rotation where we could go to a different church every Sunday. One of the churches we visited was Maywood. My first time there, I met Pastor Gary Kniseley. The second time, I met him again and he remembered my name. That really hit something in me. It gave me a good feeling about the church.

 “And then it was just listening to Pastor Gary preach. He teaches right out of the Word and doesn’t bring politics into his sermons, which I’ve encountered in the past. I’m not a big fan of that. What stood out most at Maywood, though, was people coming up to me and introducing themselves. I’m not one to do that. I’m sort of an introvert that way. I had met great people at the Mission, of course, but this was stepping out, meeting other people who are believers. They just made me want to pursue that church even more. Today my roommate, Dave, and I serve as greeters on Sunday mornings. We know how much that simple act can mean to someone.

 “I had gone to church in my younger years, but then there was this huge gap. I had forgotten that there are trustworthy, good-intentioned people who actually want to see me succeed. People who will be there to support me and accept me for me.

 “It’s just another great thing about the Mission. The churches that we go to on rotation—they’ve really been that bridge for us. People want to be involved in the Mission and talk with the residents and just help us get back to life. I’m grateful.”