The picturesque town of Eufaula was exactly what Edward needed to get his life back on track. Stumbling into a tough situation, he had to leave his home and moved in with some friends in the quiet little lake town. After some time though, he learned that what he thought were his friends, were more like his frenemies. The constant fighting and bickering turned into an epic explosion, forcing Edward out of the home. With nowhere to go, Edward was in a tight spot. Someone told him about Gospel Rescue Mission, but it was all the way in Muskogee. With no transportation, his only choice was to make the 21-hour walk down highway 69.
At that time, back in 2012-2013, the Mission was much different than it is now. It was the wild wild west, with very few rules to keep order, and personal accountability wasn’t even a thought. It was the typical shelter lifestyle with most of its guests content to live in the shelter. No rules, total freedom, no bills to pay, and without a gentle encourager pushing them to be their best, there wasn’t a lot of life change happening at that time. The homeless were being clothed, sheltered, and fed, but it wasn’t enough to really move toward change. Edward was bothered by the lack of motivation in his fellow bunkmates, and he was determined to change his current situation.
He immediately went to work, building up to truck driving, and eventually even owned his own rig; not bad considering where he had just come from. Feeling like his life was finally in order, he started a relationship with a sweet lady. Wanting to escape the small town of Muskogee and go to the bigger city of Tulsa where there would be more opportunities for her, they moved to T-Town, but they were in for a shock. Housing rates were triple that of Muskogee, and the cost of living was drastically different. To make the finances work, they had to settle for a sketchy part of town riddled with gang violence and crime. Neither one felt safe at all, and they quickly learned the meaning of sleeping with one eye open. It wasn’t long before they were eager to return to the slower pace of Muskogee, and they happily moved back.
Things were going well for a while, but her family were not the biggest fans of Edward. They drove a wedge between them that they couldn’t overcome, and she finally decided that it would be best to move back home. Alone again, and this time unemployed due to a bad wreck that caused him a severe injury limiting his ability to walk, Edward found that holding all the bills together by himself was impossible. So, when he had exhausted all his other options, he knew where he could go to pick up the pieces and start again: Gospel Rescue Mission.
When he came in for orientation though, things were not quite as he remembered them. It was a new location for starters. Well-maintained and sparkling clean, it was a far cry from the shabby old building he had last seen. “The new GRM is incredible for the amount of care and attention that staff pays to the guests.” While we have more rules now, and we are constantly working to inspire our guests to live their best lives, some things haven’t changed: our love for God, our foundation of faith, and our desire to help those in need in the very best ways possible. Edward is appreciating the changes and hopes to get back on his feet even sooner than before, despite his injury. He is currently seeking employment, hopefully as a driver again. Until then, he is working on the Hospitality and Safety team in our Work Tract Program and building up his clerical skills.