Born more than 2 months early with a debilitating heart condition and cataracts in both eyes, which made him near blind, Kevin wasn’t “set up” for success. Everything was a challenge, from school to work, yet he seemed to excel, eventually owning a business at the age of 19. Drinking and drugs were a problem for Kevin though and ones he knew he had to give up. He eventually got clean and sober; in fact, he carries his 20-year chip around with him as a reminder of how strong he is. Then miraculously, a doctor took Kevin on as a patient and was able to remove the cataracts from Kevin’s eyes giving him perfect vision! Wouldn’t it be great if Kevin’s story ended there with sobriety and restored eyesight? Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that…
Kevin had been through three marriages, eventually chose to stop working, went on disability due to his heart condition, and then went fresh into a new relationship. He doted on her, loved her, and offered her respect and kindness. Her response was deception, betrayal, and abuse; both mental and physical, even to the point of drawing blood. Because his only source of income was his disability, he had no money saved and no one else to turn to for help. So what do you do when you need to leave, but you have nowhere to go and no savings to start over with? For Kevin, and many other of our guests here, the answer is the Gospel Rescue Mission. Forced to choose between staying in a dangerous and volatile situation to keep a roof over his head and the instability of homelessness, he made the difficult decision to come to GRM.
Upon arriving, Kevin quickly befriended another guest, and they decided to pool their money together to get a place of their own. After four weeks, they had saved enough money to rent a nice little house well within their budget. When move-in day came however, they were shocked to find the house in disrepair with no stove, no heat (fortunately it was summertime), and electrical problems beyond their capabilities. As fall and winter approached, the hot water heater exploded, and the cold showers combined with the heater that still hadn’t been repaired had pushed the friends to their breaking point. After about four months, they decided to move out, and Kevin was left again without a home and financially tapped out, so he wasn’t able to afford the deposits for a new rental or utilities. He came back to the Gospel Rescue Mission again, but this time with a different mindset.
Realizing his own strength and abilities, Kevin understands that his disability checks were never meant just to live on, but to supplement part-time income for the work that he can do with his heart condition. God has restored his vision, kept him strong, and has been taking care of him during every challenge in his life, so he knows he’ll be able to conquer this next step. “No matter what you’re handed in life, if you just trust in God, the hand will play out right,” he told me confidently.
So what are Kevin’s plans? Currently, he’s our fill-in Hospitality and Safety Trainer, helping to ensure that our facility is safe after hours and training new guests that are joining the H and S Team. He has a lot of strengths in cell phone repair and knowledge in computers and with that, he plans to find part-time work at one of the cell phone repair places in town rather than just barely scraping by using only his disability as income. A new love has also blossomed for Kevin, and he is now engaged and looking to get married sometime in 2020. We are so excited to watch Kevin’s transformation and see his new financial mind set!