Guest Stories

Nicholas’s Story

Nicholas Ruiz, a guest at the Gospel Rescue Mission, says that a family is not always blood related.


Ruiz said that a family are people who want you to do good in your life and then support you.

“It’s who you surround yourself with — positive people, which results in positive action.”


He said his first plan was to keep doing the programs offered at the mission and learn more about God. “I’m learning a new thought process,” he said. “They saved me here and brought me back to life.’


Ruiz said that before he changed his life that people were afraid of him. “Now I talk to them and give them guidance and are able to connect with them.”


He said that he would always be a part of the mission.

For many that come to visit us at GRM loneliness is their greatest poverty.  Help us help others like Nicholas to find a new family and a new life.

Guest Stories

Leslie’s Story

“I’m a firm believer that God won’t give you more than you can handle,” said Leslie Torix, who resides at the Gospel Rescue Mission.

          Torix should know. He tried living with his alcoholic father but that didn’t work out. Then he broke his leg June 18 and the doctor said he probably wouldn’t walk again.

          But God had other plans.

          “The Lord has already blessed me because I can walk,” Torix said, who believes that it is a work of God. Two months ago he ditched one of his crutches.

          While he’s not completely healed he only uses his one crutch about fifty percent of the time.

          Torix said he likes it at the mission. “I like it here at the mission because the mission teachers you how to be a better Christian and trains you on how to get a job.” Torix accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of 24 and is now 38.

Let God use you to help others this year.  Consider a 3 year pledge to GRM or a one time donation.  Either way God will use your generosity to change lives.

Guest Stories

Bobby’s Story

          Bobby McGowen originally came back to Muskogee to be with his daughter and realized that the family situation was not good for him.

          “I was at the point of time where I was ready to get back on drugs and really mess myself up,” he said. He said he heard about the Gospel Rescue Mission and decided to check it out. He did so by going to lunch and dinner for about two weeks.

          “I decided to give it all over and check in and get the help I needed,” McGowen said. The people at the mission welcomed him with open arms and showed him that they actually wanted to help him be his best, he said.

          “They got me to open my mind up and that being on drugs is not an option and coming back to God is where I needed to be spiritually,” he said. The mission helped McGowen make plans, keep his mind open to what’s wrong and what’s bad and what he needed to stay away from.

          McGowen said that he has two options — the first is to stay at the mission and become a staff member. The second is to stay there long enough to make a difference then get a job and leave.

          “The people at the mission have given me opportunities to realize I’m not a bad person — that I have good in myself and am not always a bad person,” he said.

          McGowen said he recommended the Gospel Rescue Mission because they have “an awesome staff” and are there to help people and not look down on them. “They want what’s best for you to better yourself, if you’re willing.”

          He said that for those don’t want to reside at the mission, “they can always get breakfast, lunch and dinner for free.” While there, McGowen recommends to talk to the mission staff and find out what they can do for you.

          “It’s all about choices.”

Help others like Bobby learn to make better choices that will enable them to make life giving choices.  Consider a 3 year pledge to GRM.  Click on the button to choose life!

Guest Stories

Waylon’s Story

Waylon was in a love affair with drugs and was trapped in a destructive trap. He would use energy drinks and methamphetamine to get through the day.  Then later he would use beer and marijuana to help him get to sleep.  He would have trouble waking up in the morning so he would use the energy drinks and methamphetamine to get going again. This cycle kept Waylon trapped and he was going nowhere fast.

Tragedy struck Waylon when his son died of SIDS. His entire being shifted.  Suddenly morals went out the window and he was living a life with no holds barred.  The cycle of drug usage became his escape.   Selfishness became a way of life and in the pain relationships died.  Among those relationships that suffered was one with another son who is now 8 years old.  Waylon now deeply regrets the pain that he caused.  But in the midst of all of this the worst relationship death was that Waylon had given up on God.

Waylon knew that God could take the pain away, but he kept trying to do it himself. The drugs became his god, his idol.  Ultimately this idol took everything from Waylon and he found himself at the Gospel Rescue Mission.

At GRM he witnessed the staff and guests serving one another. He was surprised to see people lives being healed and real change taking place around him.  Like most people he would have judged the men and women who are staying at the shelter, but now he says, “Really we need to walk in their shoes for a season.  These are giving, loving people who will take jobs that no one else will.  They only want to be seen and cared for.”

Where Waylon once only could see far enough into the future to where he might find his next hit he now has dreams.

The vision is clear in his head as he describes a house with land, clothing hanging on the line and children playing on a tire swing. He would have a loving and faithful wife that will respect him because he is a kind and generous man.  In the dream he brings home game and fish from adventures that he hopes to share with his children to include his now 8 year old son that had been neglected for so long.

Waylon dreams of a restored life and is currently living a life full of hope.

When you donate to the Gospel Rescue Mission you are donating to a cause.  The cause is to give men and women a hand up out of poverty . NEVER A HANDOUT!

Guest Stories

Trena’s Story

Trena’s Story

Today Trena is a grateful believer and follower of Jesus Christ. But that is far from where she was just a short time ago.

Trena’s father was in and out of her life until she was 23, this made her mother her primary caregiver and friend. When Trena was 13 her mom’s boyfriend started grooming her, then to add to his control of Trena; he introduced her to cocaine when she was 15.  At the time she felt this was a glamorous and exciting life of addiction, secrets and the attention of a father figure.  For a season she relished this double life.  In one community of friends she was the wholesome small town girl and in another she was seen as an older party girl.

 But this double life was taking its toll on her; more dope, more sexual advances.  Anger started to define who Trena was and the abuse became more pronounced and violent.

“I remember a particular time we had been up for days. I remember laying there asking God if He would just get me out of this alive. The next morning, I woke up late but it was my job to have breakfast and lunch made. I walked into the kitchen and with one punch he laid me out cold. My head bounced off the floor. When I woke up, my mom was there pulling my lips out of my teeth, they had went clear through. She just simply said we are going back home.”

The change of location though, helped little as Trena took up with old friends. She was at a party when she met her husband.  Very quickly the relationship bloomed and they were married within 4 months.

 “We were happy for the first six years of our marriage, never really fought. I was clean and finally had normal in my life. I started noticing changes in his behavior. I guess looking back; I just chose not to see it. Our life wasn’t the fairytale but we had love.”

The all too familiar life of a whirlwind of activity, abuse and lack of control again took hold of Trena. He was in the midst of his addiction and Trena defended him even though she knew the truth.  She lived life on a rollercoaster of denial.

 Again this beautiful, happy woman gave into the anger, shame and guilt that had earlier defined her life but again, because of the secrets, she was forced to live a double life.

 By day, Trena held a full time, worked all the over time she could handle, even babysitting on her time off. By night she was busy covering for her husband and medicating her own hurt and shame.

1995 began a series of tragedy for Trena, her best friend got killed by a drunk driver. Four months later a beloved cousin and her 7 year old son were hit and killed by a train. Four months after that her aunt passed away with cancer. Within five years she lost 2 more uncles and another aunt.

With all of this stress she had a miscarriage. Bitterness was ruling her heart and her personal life was growing more toxic by the minute. Her husband got deeper and deeper into drugs.  Overall Trena fought for 12 years to keep her marriage going, only to lose it all.

“My cousin who was preaching in a small church in my neighborhood started witnessing to me about the love of Jesus Christ! He told me no matter what I had done God still loved me.” 

Trena struggled with that truth.

“How could God love me? How could I be worthy of it? I was dirty and use up. One night, I began to pray. Cry out really. I asked God to deliver me from the nightmares and memories that haunted me and for addictions to be lifted off me. I was shattered.  I felt betrayed, hurt, alone in this world and ashamed of my choices.”

Coming to accept the truth of God’s love Trena said the sinner’s prayer with her cousin and was soon baptized

A wide array of health problems plagued Trena and seemed to prevent her from getting ahead. It was then that she heard about Celebrate Recovery and decided to go because she knew she couldn’t do this on her own anymore. There Trena discovered who she really was apart from addiction, abuse and shame.  Much healing has taken place and she pays it forward by   facilitating a women’s small group.

As Trena began putting her life back together she realized that she was missing some key information. Basic life skills like budgeting, using language that was clearly understood by the middle class and goal setting were gaps in her education.  Muskogee’s Bridges out of Poverty began the process of filling those gaps but in many ways only wetted her appetite to learn more.  At Bridges she learned about how to best use community resources, that is when she discovered Gospel Rescue Mission’s Financial Help program.  The idea of handouts made Trena feel insignificant and embarrassed but this program gave her the opportunity to take classes and apply that knowledge and if she put forth the effort she would get help with some of her bills.

It took Trena several weeks but she learned more on how to manage her money, goal setting as well as how to establish some healthy habits.  When she completed the course she received help with her utility bill.  A short time later when Trena accomplished some of her personal goals with the incentive of more financial help, she beamed with excitement at her success.

“I have great worth and the fact that GRM believed that I could do this class and accomplish my goals reminds me of the great love of God.  My future is bright.”

Consider a 3 year pledge so that GRM can offer more of these life changing programs to more people.  We are aiming to be a handup out of poverty, not a handout.

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

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.