Mark was raised in a Christian home, went to a Christian school and had the love and support of his parents. “But it’s not about your circumstances, it’s about who you are and where you want to put your faith,” he says.
Throughout his adult life, Mark put his faith in himself, his business and his financial success, until he lost everything and was sent to prison in Alabama. When he was released, he was homeless and ready to change his life. “I wanted to renew my relationship with Jesus,” he shares. “I’d run things my way for too long.”
Mark’s caseworker suggested he come to City Union Mission. “A local church bought me a bus ticket to Kansas City,” he explains, still grateful for the congregation’s compassion. When he arrived, he came to our Men’s Emergency Shelter. “It was my first time in a shelter, and in a way it was culture shock,” Mark says. “But the first thing I noticed was the love the staff showed. They encouraged me that I was in the right place.”
He also realized he had a lot in common with the other homeless men in our care. “I can relate to losing everything. And anyone is one mistake away from being incarcerated. We’ve all sinned. It’s all about love, forgiveness, mercy and grace.”
Mark joined our Christian Life Program, graduated in February 2014, and today is living his life for the Lord. “I don’t want to fall back into the trap of doing what Mark wants to do,” he says today. “I’m starting over from here.”
And he has these words to share with Mission partners who give of their means to help those who are homeless rebuild their lives: “The fact that we have a clean bed and a warm place to stay, I thank God for the Mission. It’s a beacon of light in the middle of darkness.”