Print

Testimony of the Month

JohnMayo 1

JOHN MAYO: The Best Holiday Season in 20 Years

 

If it wasn’t the best Christmas I ever had, then I can’t remember one that was better. Yes, it involved four days on a greyhound bus – two days to get from Utah to Baltimore and two days coming back – but the time in between was joyous.

It was the first time in 20 years I had been back to inner city Baltimore where I grew up. I saw my mother. I hugged my nieces and nephews that I had never met before. My wife, who lives here in Salt Lake, was even able to come with me. It was the first Christmas season in decades that I haven’t been either intoxicated or behind bars.

We ate turkey, ham, greens, sweet potatoes, biscuits and stuffing – every good thing you could imagine. Yes, it was freezing cold outside, but I had never felt warmer in my life. It was something I couldn’t have experienced without the help I received at the Rescue Mission.

The way I ended up at the Rescue Mission seemed like a divine accident – although I realize now that God doesn’t make accidents. He just providentially guides paths.

I was in jail, again. I faced up to 15 years in prison for selling and using drugs. It wasn’t unfamiliar territory for me. Since I turned 18 and started drinking and using drugs, I have spent about 25 years in jail or prison. I am 56 years old now.

This time, however, the judge had mercy. Instead of sending me to prison the judge said I could do a short stint in the county jail and then enter an addiction recovery program. My lawyer had arranged for one recovery program, but, when it was time for me to be released, that program was full. My second choice was also full. All that was left was the Rescue Mission’s New Life Program.

Now, as someone who had sold drugs in Salt Lake and had lived in Utah since coming here from Baltimore nearly three decades ago, I had driven or walked by the Rescue Mission many times. In all honesty, it was a place that seemed beneath me. It looked a little rundown. But it was either come to the Rescue Mission or stay locked up.

What I learned after I walked through the doors, is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. While the Mission may look bleak on the outside, God is on the inside. It still haunts me that it took me so long to come inside the Mission. I think of all those times I passed by while on drugs or drinking, when all the while the helped I needed was just inside the door.

Because I came to the Rescue Mission I have a firm belief in God. Today I am healthy and my probation officer has put in a request to terminate my probation. When I get off probation I will feel even more like a free man.

I have a good job at the Salt Lake City International Airport. There is a lot of construction there these days as they are undergoing a multiyear project to restructure the airport terminals. I am part of the composite crew that ensures wind-blown debris from the construction site does not make its way onto the active runways, where it could cause problems for jet engines. It’s an important job that we all take seriously and seek to do our best at.

I thank God that once it was time for me to start the employment phase of the New Life Program, it took me only three days to find this job. It’s just five minutes’ walk to the TRAX green line, which drops me off right at the airport.

I feel I owe the Rescue Mission and its supporters a huge debt for my changed life. While I was on the New Life Program I was assigned a community discipler, John Welch, who has been my mentor and taught me so much about the Bible, God, and being a man. Throughout my life I have had a hard time relating to other men. But with John I feel like I can share anything. I can cry in front of him and tell him whatever I am struggling with.

It might seem trivial, but that is one big change God has brought about in my life. I can cry real tears today without being embarrassed. I am not putting on an act anymore. God has freed me to be the real, honest person He created me to be. I walked around with a fake superman “S” on my chest most of my life. When I let go of that false bravado and pride, God worked. I put Him first and He changed me.

I love my home church Calvary Chapel. My wife attends church with me there and we are both encouraged by the preaching and fellowship with other people who believe in God.

And while my life has changed, recovery from addition is no joke. I realize drugs and alcohol will always being knocking at my door. It’s cliché but I take it one day at a time, one minute at a time. If there is anyone reading my story who is bound by addiction or sin and feels like the world is against them, I want to say, “Put God first. I promise He will change your life.”

I am scheduled to graduate from the New Life Program in March. Along with my wife, I have three daughters. Obviously, I have let them down through the years. While we have maintained good relationships, we are all still deciding what will be best when I graduate. So please pray for direction for me and my family. Pray for direction about where I should live and how we can best move forward as a family. Pray also that God would continue to change me and keep me sober and bless my relationship with my wife and children.

Thank you for supporting the Rescue Mission. It is the place that helped me know God and experience a changed life. Without your support, I truly don’t know where or what I would be today.

 

 

  

A SEASON FILLED TO THE BRIM

Whew!

Now that was a busy Christmas and holiday season. As we all look forward to the New Year, I wanted to share a little about what God did at the Rescue Mission during the last months of 2017 as our facilities were packed to the brim.

Thanks to your gifts and service, we were able to help thousands of people this holiday season, stretching from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Day. As individuals and families walked through our doors, they were blessed with the joys of Christmas and worshiped Jesus because of the generosity of so many who helped.

  • We provided Christmas gifts to over 150 poor and homeless children. These toys were accompanied by kid-focused Gospel materials that ensured all the children knew the true meaning of Christmas.

  • At our Christmas banquet we served over 1,500 meals, gave away thousands of items of clothing and cut dozens of heads of hair (special thanks to Sports Clips in Murray for their partnership and several stylists who volunteered).

  • We gave away over 500 Family Food Boxes to low-income families who needed help during the Holidays.

  • During November and December we provided over 30,000 hot meals and provided more than 8,000 nights of shelter to homeless men, women and children.

  • Best of all we spent 61 days and nights (November and December) sharing the love of Jesus through conversations, counseling and our nightly chapel service.

I wanted to say thank you one more time and encourage you to check out the photos of some of our volunteers and people we helped. You can see more of these inspiring pictures on our Facebook page and our website.

The work that God does through the Rescue Mission is truly amazing. Each of the numbers I included above is a story, each number is a life. I am blessed to be included in this life-changing ministry and thank God for all of you.  

Have a blessed 2018,

Chris D. Croswhite

Executive Director

P.S. Help the homeless by shopping through Amazon!

Go to smile.amazon.com and log in to your amazon account. Once logged in, you can use the search bar at the lower right to find a charity. Type “Rescue Mission of Salt Lake” into the search window and choose “Rescue Mission of Salt Lake Inc.” Amazon will donate half of a percent of your total purchases to the Rescue Mission.

 

 

STATS: HOW YOUR GIFT HELPS

Stats jan 2018 pic

 

 

 RESOLVE TO HELP OTHERS THIS YEAR

If your New Year’s Resolution is to serve God and get more involved, we’re here to help. Here’s five ways to partner with the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to change lives:

1. Pray

The most powerful thing you can do for the Rescue Mission is pray for us. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” The only way the men and women on the recovery program can change their life is with God’s help.

2. Give

Because we receive no government funding, personal contributions are the lifeblood of our ministry. We offer many ways to give, including online giving, planned giving, onetime or monthly giving options, and automatic credit card or ETF contributions. With 87 percent of all donations going directly to programing, Charity Navigator has awarded us four stars, their highest rating and Guide Star has rated us as Gold.

3. Volunteer

If you’re new to the Mission, we’d love to sit and chat with you, give you a quick tour and allow you to experience our ministry firsthand. Ask us about the myriad of volunteer opportunities available at our facilities. To volunteer, please call us at 801.355.1302. To schedule a tour, or for ministry information email Dennis Dickerson, our Community Relations Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. Food, clothing and household items

The Rescue Mission accepts food, clothing, and household items, paper products and hygiene items. Visit the “Our Needs” page of our website for more information.

5. Partner

We’ve designed programs and opportunities with varying ranges of commitment for churches and businesses wanting an ongoing, deeper level of involvement with the Rescue Mission and our homeless friends. Give us a call for more information on our partnership opportunities.

 

 

 

pdfRescuer- January 2018

 

Looking for more testimonies? You can find them all in our Archives. Also, check out our Videos.