The way Kevin sees it, God wanted him at Atlanta Mission . . . someday. It just took almost 40 years to get there.
Kevin’s difficult journey began in infancy, when his father left. It got worse when he was about 7, when a babysitter began abusing him and his brother. The abuse continued for years, and when the boys were teens, they both dove into drugs to mask their shame and pain.
Kevin continued using and abusing — mostly marijuana and cocaine — for decades. Along the way, he had four children and he held a steady job. “I was a functioning addict,” he says. “I worked hard because I love my kids.”
When his youngest graduated from high school in 2013, he became tired of his drug abuse and burying his pain, so he decided to make some changes in his life. He lived in Miami, but had heard good things about Atlanta Mission, so he moved here for a fresh start. But when he showed up for help, he was high, and was told to come back another day.
He waited two years.
He met a young woman and fell hard in love . . . and back into drugs, “right back into my old ways,” he says. For almost two years.
Finally, in late 2015, Kevin decided he’d had enough with being a drug addict, and he knocked on Atlanta Mission’s door.
“I was led to come here,” he says. “I just took the long way.”
Tears of Joy
Kevin starts crying as he talks about how God, through the people at Atlanta Mission, transformed his life.
“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he says through tears. “Atlanta Mission saved my life.”
He says that when he was turned away that first time, he thought he’d blown it forever. “But they gave me another chance when I didn’t think I had one.” The tears keep falling.
“This is not a sorrowful cry,” he says. “This is a good cry.” Kevin now has a full-time job as a carpenter, which is kind of fitting, since he wants to tell people about another Carpenter — Jesus. He wants to be a pastor, and hopes to attend seminary someday soon.
“I just want to help other people the way I’ve been helped,” he says. “I’ve been made new, and I want to help others find the same thing.”
Stories like this are a direct result of your kindness and generosity. Thank you!