“I think this will be the first Easter I really understand why Jesus is necessary for hope and a new life,” Jim says as he looks ahead to this coming Easter.
It’s taken 68 years and the support of friends like you to get him to this place.
Jim’s life was full of fear, addiction, pain and abuse. His parents’ lives had always been that way, too.
“My mom’s dad was a drunk,” he says. “My dad had no chance either.”
Both of Jim’s parents continued the pattern of trauma that was set by their parents. So Jim, too, grew up in a violent and abusive home, where alcohol flowed as freely as drinking water.
He assumed that life would always be full of pain. The only way out was to run. So, he ran – to gambling, to addiction – to anything that gave him a bit of relief, no matter how brief.
“Trauma leads to fear, fear leads to running. And running kept me going back to my addictions,” Jim says sadly.
Jim was trapped in this cycle, experiencing homelessness off and on for decades. Then he came to the Mission for a meal.
Returning to our dining hall for more meals provided by people like you helped Jim experience real love.
He joined the New Life Recovery Program where he met Jesus and began a new life.
“Seriously, up until the last couple years, I didn’t really know who Jesus was. Then I did Bible studies, I listened to Pastor Powell in the program and I found out. Jesus’ sacrifice means that I can change,” Jim shares.
“The only thing change meant to me was you grew your hair, you got fatter. That was change. But I’ve learned real change is when you overcome yourself,” Jim reflects.
“That’s the hardest job there is, because if you’ve gone through traumas and addictions, you’ve gone through hell. To not stay stuck in that rut, you have to do something different. And the New Life Program gives us that opportunity.”
Jim’s not only seen his own life transformed, he’s seen countless other people impacted through the meals, shelter and programs provided by friends like you.
“One of the reasons consistent meals are important is so that the people that need meals know where to go. Then come to the Mission and hopefully ask questions like, ‘How can I get off the streets?’ It can’t get better than that.”
“If donors didn’t give, then the Tacoma Rescue Mission wouldn’t be here. They wouldn’t be able to give people meals and hear that there’s a better way,” Jim shares gratefully.
“The Mission is always planting seeds that there is a better way to live and you never know which way a person will go once the seed is planted. You never know how many lives will be changed by your support.”