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The Mission Academy graduating class of 2020 has overcome extraordinary challenges due to the pandemic and shown incredible resolve and determination to finish strong.

Your love helped them get through.

Your belief in them bolstered their confidence.

Your prayers kept them close to God.

Because of you, these graduates’ lives have been transformed and they’re ready to get back into society – healthy, independent and full of faith.

So, let’s celebrate some of the men and women who have completed their year-long recovery program.

Glory, hallelujah!

Personality in 3 words: Calm, Witty, Exploratory

Most likely to: “Make you laugh”

Favorite motto/quote: “Wait. Something good is going to happen.”

Advice for new students: “There’s a purpose for your life. If you just listen to what’s being told to you and listen to what God is saying to you, you’ll get that purpose.”

Before coming to Mission Academy, James lost the will to live. He never felt like he belonged and turned to drugs to cope with the pain. Upon release from prison, he asked the Lord to change his life and his old habits.

“Most people say you have to trust in the Lord, but then they don’t give you the time to develop that trust with the Lord. The Rescue Mission gave me that. No matter what was going on around me I had this peace and calmness that the Lord would deliver it and would answer my prayers.”

With his new confidence and openness to interact with others, James is working full-time at a restaurant and in training to become a sous chef.

Personality in 3 words: Funny, Thankful, Serious-Minded

Most likely to: “Be a leader”

Favorite motto/quote: “To thine own self be true.”

Advice for new students: “Hold on and wait for the miracle because it’s coming if you apply yourself.”

Health issues prevented Donna from working. She fell behind on her bills and knew that her 15 years of sobriety was at risk. At the Rescue Mission she committed to working on herself, growing in her relationship with God, and not letting anger derail her.

“Now I’m using my coping skills to keep me on track. I’m able to move on and let go of the past. My life really has changed. I’m walking with a different beat, a different feeling about myself.”

Donna’s in school to become an administrative assistant and feels called to serve people who are still on the streets.

Personality in 3 words: Bold, Encouraging, Energetic

Most likely to: “Light up a room”

Favorite motto/quote: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Advice for new students: “You’re in a really good place. It only gets better from here.”

For years, Keith struggled with addiction, depression and anger. He had a taste of sobriety for three years, but several family tragedies led him to have suicidal thoughts and a relapse. He desperately wanted to be sober again, and our program provided the safe place he needed to experience recovery.

“I let everything go to God and gave him all my burdens. I still had a lot to work through, but through the help of therapy and the program I was able to work on my bitterness and other issues. My whole way of thinking is completely different now.”

Keith works full-time at a church and hopes to start a support group for people who are where he once was.

Personality in 3 words: Optimistic, Fun-Loving, Silly

Most likely to: “Wear color-coordinated clothes and shoes”

Favorite motto/quote: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

Advice for new students: “Let go and let God in this safe environment. Be patient with yourself and let staff help you help yourself.”

Angela has overcome homelessness, mental illness, addiction and repeated trauma. In her darkest times, Angela felt that God guided her to the Rescue Mission. Here, she took full advantage of counseling, classes and job training.

“Learning about adverse childhood experiences opened up a whole new chapter of knowledge about who I am and how I labeled myself. Forgiving myself has been huge and solidified the healing process for me along with God’s work. What’s changed is that I believe that I am worthy of everything the world has to offer me.”

Angela is studying to be a substance abuse counselor while working full-time.

If these stories have touched your heart, consider supporting our new students. Your generosity will change many more lives with spiritual guidance, faith-based recovery, education and job-skills training.