Services and Programs - Changing Lives
Living from the HeartAlmost 30 years ago, Earl suffered the loss of his 10-month-old son when the baby was given the wrong medication for a heart condition. Weeks later, his 2-year-old son dieda victim of the 1978 Hong Kong flu pandemic.
Angry with God, Earl rebelled by joining a gang. "I'd grown up in church and knew about God, but I was hardhearted," he explains. "I ended up on the streets, a soldier in a gang. I almost lost my life several times."
But by 2005, Earl had had enough. He joined a program for alcohol addiction in Norwich. After completing the program, he and several buddies moved in together. One day, he smelled liquor in the house and knew he'd struggle to stay sober there.
Earl's brother, a pastor, told him about Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Soon, Earl was enveloped in the love and support of the staff and his newfound "brothers" in our New Life Discipleship Program.
"Fellowship is important to me," Earl says. "I'm from a big family with 10 brothers and four sisters. Being here is like having another family."
In the six months Earl has been in our recovery program, he's grown to love and trust God. "After reading what He went through with His Son, who am I to be mad at Him? I'm one of His soldiers now," he says.
While Earl enjoys the Bible study and other classes he attends as part of the program, he says his job as a cook in our kitchen does his heart good. "I put love in my food. Watching homeless and hungry people enjoying a mealthen stopping to say thanksI couldn't ask for a better blessing. I pray that one day I can run a homeless shelter and minister to even more peoplethat's the best way I can live from my heart."