Guest Stories

LeeAnn’s Story

“I’m grateful that this is my millionth second chance,” said Leann Wright who resides at the Gospel Rescue Mission.

“Everybody, including my friends, had give up on me and my mother had given me to God.”

          She said that the first night she was at the mission she felt that this was home.

          “I thought I knew what humility and gratitude was but I didn’t. I was lying to myself and people that I loved,” she said. “Being here and learning to follow God has taken me down a path and opened up doors.”

          Wright said she had given up on God when she lost her house. “I thought God had abandoned me but He didn’t — I abandoned Him.”

          She said she blamed God for everything instead of taking accountability and responsibility for her actions. “I was lying to myself and manipulating people to get what I needed.”

          Wright said that the residents of the mission are trying to get their lives back together and get on their own to freedom.

          “I thought I would be out of place but I’ve learned more from these people here,” she said. “I feel like this is where I should have always been.”

          She recently accepted a position at Leisure Way Laundry working 36 hours a week.

          “This place can change your life. If it doesn’t then you aren’t ready to change.”

You can help others like LeeAnne change their lives!  Consider a 3 year pledge.

Guest Stories

Rani’s Story

Rani’s Story

Rani Paxton said that her drug use was getting her nowhere.  She went to a church for help and they referred her to the Gospel Rescue Mission. “I knew I was doing wrong and coming to the mission was the best thing that ever happened to me,” she said.

          She gives the mission credit to helping her overcome her drug addiction “through God.” She has completed all the recovery programs at the mission and Central Baptist Church to include Celebrate Recovery and the mission’s Doorways of Hope.

          Paxton has also completed drug and alcohol counseling at Green Country Behavioral Health Services and Women In Safe Homes for domestic violence.

          She’s been clean for three months.

          When she arrived at the mission she “received a wonderful reception and they helped me get my life back.” Staff at the mission taught her time management, social skills and helped her with her behavior and taught her about humility and gratitude.

          Without the mission I would have been lost in my addiction. I never would have made it. There is a circle of good here.” She said she has lost everything but now there is a skip in her step.

          Paxton said that the mission provides outpatient recovery program and the mission provides every resource for a path to recovery.

          “This is the place for a second chance.”

With your help others like Rani can get a second chance for a successful life.  At GRM we provide a hand up and not a hand out. Consider a 3 year pledge.

Guest Stories

Dallas’s Story

Dallas had been raised in the church and taught right from wrong. He knew the Scriptures and he had a great understanding of truth and grace.  But once Meth became his idol, life changed.

Meth had reduced Dallas from a fun loving, good natured and hard working man to living in his car. For weeks he had lived in hotels and shoplifting to get anything that he might need.  This lifestyle kept him moving between Oklahoma and Texas.

All of this movement kept his life from ever stabilizing and Dallas was simply waiting for everything in his life to come crashing down on him. Sitting in his car he thought, “Something needs to change.”

Now after better than three months at Gospel Rescue Mission, Dallas now has a mind that is clearing up from the nightmare that Meth had brought him. His mind is focused, he has no urges to go back to that lifestyle and he is learning job skills.

PRAYER REQUEST: Dallas is trying to quit smoking which for many people is the most difficult addiction to break.

Dallas credits GRITU the online courses at GRM that teach life skills and discipleship for the change in his life. Monday nights at Doorways of Hope helps engrain the lessons from the online course and he is growing stronger physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.  At Doorways he hears testimonies of those who are recovering from addiction.  He also gets to see the negative side at the mission when someone relapses.  He realizes that is likely what he used to look like. It scares him toward sobriety.

  Click on the picture to see the class options!

Dallas spent time as an apprentice at GRM learning maintenance and custodial skills. If you are looking for a hard working and dedicated employee, Dallas is ready to serve.

Recently, Dallas was hired as a maintenance worker at a local hotel and is doing great, staying clean and is preparing for a full and complete life.

Thanks to your support our GRITU and Doorways of Hope programs are giving those who have had life altering addictions, like Dallas, a new start on life. Consider a three year pledge to GRM so that more lives can be restored.

Guest Stories

Terry’s Story

Living at the Gospel Rescue Mission makes Terry Holland feel like he belongs to a family.

Holland and his wife had their own place and it took both of their salaries to pay for it. They got into an argument and she left, forcing him to move out.

When he moved into the mission he was at rock bottom and felt that the only he could go was up. “I’m a firm believer that God does everything for a reason and He wanted me here.” 

Holland said he doesn’t know where he’d be without Jesus and  now has a positive outlook on life.

He found a seasonal job working one to two days as a landscaper and he’s an apprentice at the mission for the men’s dorm.

Talking about his job, he said, “I feel like I’m part of something and have responsibility and get paid for doing this.”

Holland is taking the third installment of GritU that requires three 1,500-word essays. The current essay he’s working on is Godly relationships.

He plans on  staying at the mission until he makes enough money to get his own place and hopes that he and his wife can get back together and get another place.

“I just really love these people here — they make me feel like I belong to something …”

Consider Pledging 3 years of support to help more men like Terry get a fresh start!

Guest Stories

April’s Story

April, a Christian, came to the Gospel Rescue Mission two months ago “very down and out and had a hard time relating to God.”

Since arriving at the mission, GRM staff provided her spiritual counseling and advice.

“I’m re-establishing my faith in God and want to do better for myself,” she said.

She is enrolled in GritU, which teaches life skills, coming together with God and teaches you about God and work and other topics and skills.

Mission staff helped her with job skills training and job interviews. She was interviewed for a job on a Friday and was hired that next Monday. April is going to save her money for an apartment.

She heard about the mission while she was in the Muskogee County-City Jail. A fellow inmate told her about the mission. After her release she tried staying with her sister in Tulsa but that didn’t work out so she turned to the mission.

“I was very nervous and apprehensive but the people here were friendly and made me feel very welcome,” she said. “They helped me get my medication … and get my birth certificate.”

Mission staff also helped her obtain an Electronic Benefit Transfer that helps pay for her food. 

“This place’s motto is, “Not a hand out, but a hand up” and I respect that.

April has been free from drugs for nine months but had the opportunity to use at one time but walked away from it.

If she wasn’t at the mission she would probably be on the street doing drugs, she said.

If it wasn’t for the staff at the mission she probably would not have stayed. One of the reasons she didn’t leave is that the staff “listens to you when you want to talk.”

As to how the mission has improved her self-esteem, she said, 

“This place makes me feel like I can reach and grab the stars.”

Thanks to supporters like you April and others can reach out and grab the stars!  Consider making a 3 year pledge to GRM so that our community can be full of stars.

Guest Stories

Daniel’s Story

When you imagine Christmas dinner in your home I am sure that you imagine a great Christmas ham or turkey with all of the fixings.

But for Daniel the meal he had last Christmas was Ramen noodles with a side of  loneliness, regret and hunger (serious hunger).

 Having spent most of his life trying to flee the memories from childhood abuse and neglect Daniel joined a wandering tribe of renaissance players that came to Muskogee. 

Daniel learned from these men and women how to survive on very little and how to love very much.  The travels were filled with adventures and short moments of terror as they often slept in places not meant for human habitation.  Daniel’s travels could fill a tour guide of the southeastern portion of the nation.  Florida, Mississippi and Alabama were all stopping points where the troop could earn a living.  In Biloxi, Mississippi Daniel had a heart attack and was in the hospital when the troop needed to move onto the next show.  Daniel was alone as Christmas approached.

After the hospital released him on December 23 he found a hotel room and used the last of his money to purchase Christmas presents for the children of some friends.  He had just enough left over to buy some Ramen noodles.  He invited his friends to come and spend Christmas with him. The friends brought presents for each other that they allowed Daniel to open so that he would not feel left out.  They meant the gesture to help him feel a part of the family, but instead it made him feel even more alone.

Loneliness drove Daniel to attempt suicide.  His last attempt was to step in front of a semi truck that swerved to miss him.  Having survived he returned to GRM where he had stayed before.  He knew that there they would help resurrect the hope he desperately needed as well as a roof over his head, three meals a day and an opportunity to reconnect with God.

With three nourishing meals each day, safe shelter and constant encouragement from Scriptures and mentors, Daniel is well on his way to recovery.

A gift today will help more men and women like Daniel have a second chance in life -– and it can all start with a hot meal and safe shelter at The Gospel Rescue Mission this Christmas.


Guest Stories

Sheena’s Story

Sheena wanted to feel loved and fantasized about living as a fairy tale princess; but it seemed like she was always looking for love in all the wrong places.  On a regular basis her romance movie would turn into a horror film.  Her prince charming would suddenly become the beast.  Abusive relationships left her feeling abandoned and worthless.

With seven children, no home, no family support left, and feeling like a failure Sheena arrived at the Gospel Rescue Mission planning on staying just long enough to come up with a plan.  However, she discovered a Savior who felt that she was highly valued, who saw her as a princess.  It was not long before this hardened angry woman transformed into a compassionate and loving mother and part of the GRM family.

Today Sheena is determined to never be in a position like this again.  She is rekindling dreams of being a nurse.  She loves the idea or encouraging people and share in their stories.  Sheena is grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow.  She is fully engaged in our GRITU courses where she is learning valuable life skills, self esteem and confidence.  Sheena routinely attends a local church where she has made new friends.

“This stay at GRM is helping me keep my family together.  If we did not come here my kids would have been taken from me and I would have felt even more like a failure.”

Sheena is living life as a new creation because of supporters like you.

Life can be an especially difficult time for our neighbors (approximately 22% of whom are living below the poverty line.)  Whether they’re sleeping in the streets, or living in places not really meant to be home, many people in our community feel helpless and alone.

Guest Stories

Erin’s Story

Erin has been her worst critic.  As she replays her life in her head she wishes that she could wind things back and make a whole new series of choices.  Her worst regret was the day that she was snooping around and found a credit card that belonged to her parents.  She used that card to buy a whole litany of useless stuff.

When the bill arrived and the theft was discovered,  Erin, received her first wake up call.  Her parents showed her tough love and showed her the door.  It broke their heart.  Erin was scared, lonely and lost.  Worst of all she no longer knew who she was.  Erin never saw herself as a thief, but the facts were too stubborn to deny otherwise.

Erin’s life became dark.  For a short season she contemplated suicide.  However, she heard about Gospel Rescue Mission and moved toward that light.  There she was challenged to better herself and encouraged to discover a deeper walk with Jesus.

 One of the pillars of life change at GRM is that our identity is found in Christ.  This was the first and most life changing lesson that Erin took to heart.  It was in this lesson that she learned that she is a child of the King.  Regardless of her past behaviors and choices, she was nobility.  Erin decided to live life in this new identity.

In addition to community meetings where basic life lessons are taught, Erin routinely attends chapel services at the mission and church in the community.  She has worked through three levels of life skills through GRM’s GRITU and is applying the life lessons she is learning daily.  Erin is learning the joy of service and giving back to the community.

Today, Erin is working to regain the trust of her parents. She knows that this will take time but she is steadfast enough not to give up that quest.  Everyday Erin is working to rebuild life from the ruins.  She is learning how to be a good mother and is excited about her future.