For over 40 years, Mike lived the life of a rolling stone – and he enjoyed it, mostly. Growing up in the 1960s, hitchhiking and the lifestyle of “love, peace and happiness” appealed to him… especially when he rarely experienced these feelings at home.
Mike’s father had died when he was only four, and his mother’s partners over the years made life unbearable. “One fella used to beat me and my siblings… we dreaded coming home from school.”
As the dysfunction and abuse continued, to cope with his pain, Mike sometimes turned to substances as a teen, but he longed for a better escape.
He left home as soon as he could. “I walked the Appalachian Trail… and the Pacific Crest all the way from Canada to the California line,” Mike recalls. “But I was basically a loner.”
With his golden years on the horizon, Mike began to desire a place where he could “settle down.” Coming to New Life Center, he found that and so much more.
He joined our Genesis Program, and through classes and community here, Mike found healing for past emotional trauma. “I used to hide my pain, but this program helped me deal with it rather than bury it.”
Through Genesis, Mike also joined a church and began growing spiritually. “I’d already accepted Jesus, but I was kind of keeping Him on the shelf,” he says. “Here, I could start growing in my faith.”
Today, Mike has graduated from Genesis – the first man to complete the program! He has his own apartment, furnished with gifts he received here, and he gives back to New Life Center by encouraging other men in the program.
This year, Mike will be celebrating Christmas as a new creation, filled with the great joy of God’s love. “New Life Center has done everything they possibly could to get me back on my feet and get me an apartment… I feel so blessed.”