Homeless to college graduate
“It was the worst feeling in the world,” says Brent.
“I grew up drinking with my dad, smoking, and chewing around age 12. Every night, we had a thing called beer time . . .”
Brent’s parents divorced when he was 2 years old. But life with his dad and step mom was chaotic. “I started smoking weed about age 14. Every day I smoked pot and would drink occasionally with my dad and my brother . . .”
“That lifestyle just lead to harder stuff like meth and cocaine. It was wild living and fast cars. Everything fast. I worked 35 hours a week, went to school, and still managed to get a 3.6 grade average.”
But when Brent stole from his family to support his wild life, his dad kicked him out of the house. He ended up in and out of jail.
Brent was homeless and desperate for help
“I walked the streets for a while or couch surfed. I stayed at a drug house, or in the woods. I had a Bible with me. A little pocket Bible that I carried. Even if I was high or not, I would just read it. I knew something was missing from my life. God kept pursuing me . . .”
When he had nobody to go to for help, Brent came to Seattle with just a backpack. He lived on the streets for three months and almost froze to death the first night. Another homeless man woke him up to give him a piece of cardboard. He told Brent, “You can’t sleep on the pavement.”
Finding hope and a second chance at life
That's when he decided to join the recovery program. Bible classes made a big impact on him, especially alpha, a class that explores the basics of Christian faith. “Even the devotions at the Mission were really influential for me to study the Word. Celebrate Recovery and a consistent routine gave me the discipline that prepared me for what I needed to do.
“My small group at church was a great influence in my life. I love school and my pastor’s teaching, and the theology. That inspired me to apply myself to the Word of God, to learn more, and to apply myself to knowledge.”
“It’s just Jesus and the Word of God. A personal relationship with God and pursuing a life of knowledge in God. I think if I'm actively doing that, the sobriety thing, the recovery thing is easy. Because you're constantly choosing God . . . and seeing Him as more valuable than that lifestyle.”
“I knew God had placed a call on my life . . .”
After graduating from the Mission’s recovery program, Brent starting working and graduated college through Northwest University.
“I knew God had placed a call on my life . . . I just graduated from a four-year program for ministry leadership at Northwest University. “My hope is to live my life well and stay involved in my church . . . I want to be a pastor. I have to keep a humble attitude about it. I just want to serve the Lord. Serve His ministry in whatever capacity He has.”
Right now, we’re preparing to welcome thousands of guests, just like Brent, through our doors. And each of them will be hungry for a meal, and the opportunity for a second chance.
Thousands of broken individuals will line up along 2nd Avenue for a meal. And like Brent, many will be on the brink, ready to throw in the towel, unless they can find something to live for.
Every $1.98 you give, you’ll share a caring meal that will be served with life-transforming care.
But here’s the even greater news . . . your support will be multiplied 10 TIMES! Because a caring meal has the power to change not just one person’s life, but the lives of their family, neighbors, and communities!