Poverty’s Symptoms: What is the relationship between drugs and poverty – the answer is not a simple one and I will leave that up to the psychologists to decide. There are many reasons for drug abuse and drug abuse can be found in the inner city, suburbs and rural community however I want to focus on what we see at the Mission. The drug abuse we are confronted with often comes from an attempt by our clients to cover up past traumas; to hide from their pain and aguish. Many of those traumas could have been long past but still drive behavior today; abuse as a child from a supposed trusted adult, domestic violence from a partner or parent, and/or lack of love and caring. Think about it – even as adults we can look back very quickly to our past and see trauma that happened years ago and bring it forward like it happened yesterday. That feeling can drive our behavior and often drive us to a feeling of inadequacy which is often exposed when we are put into other high stress situations like poverty. Drug abuse or addiction of any kinds exists within a large percentage of our population at the Mission and we know this addictive usage has to be stopped before our client can have any hope of changing their life. How do we do it at the Mission – we don’t, God does. I mean it. The men and women come to us after years of addictive behavior, broken, hurt and hopeless. We humans can do little to end their history of addiction, but Jesus can do anything and we see these miracles daily. Our clients often initially come to use for a meal, a bed and maybe even some clean cloths which are all made available through the generosity of this community. They come not with hope but pure hunger and are bone tired. It is from this point that Jesus Christ starts his work. Jesus works through our staff and our clients to offer these man and women a message of hope through their actions, smiles and soft kind words; men talking to men and women talking to women – God works through each of them to pass on the message of hope, often not by quoting scripture, but by their actions. Think about it – your down and out and are devoid of hope, who best knows your plight then someone who was just there. No games, no lies – just the bare honest truth. “…if you want something different this place can show you the way…” Many of our men and women in our long term recovery programs got started based on an initial conversation with other more tenured clients in the program. Some stay and some leave but often they come back and start asking questions. No tricks, no gimmicks – just God working through men and women helping other men and women. When given a chance everyone wants to help. These man and women who come to the Mission are little different from you and I. They were born and someone was excited they were alive and the picture were taken and everyone was brimming with pride; then life happened many times based on the place they lived, the food they had or didn’t have, the healthcare they got or didn’t get, the love they got or didn’t get. Question: When you were little and you woke up in the morning did you know someone cared about you and loved you? What if your answer to that question was NO. How would you feel about yourself? How confident would you be when you went to school? How excited about life would you be? You just wanted to be loved. What if your love came from someone bad? Someone who used you? Someone who made you work for them? It wouldn’t matter; because any love is better then no love. Our answer to the situation our clients find themselves in is to provide them someone they can trust and who never lies, someone who is always with them; someone who loves them unconditionally – and that someone is Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Savior will always be with them – He will provide love, hope, forgiveness and guidance. We at the Mission guide our men and women to walk in Jesus Christ’s path, how to live a life He would be proud of and how to pass on His blessing to another just like ourselves. Our true blessing is that Jesus died for our salvation and for that He asks us to spread the Word. You may be asking what can I do to help and the answer is first “Pray” for all the men, women and children who find themselves living in Poverty. You can also volunteer you time and/or provide financial support to any organization that touches the homeless that would have a direct positive impact on this challenged population. Believe me any amount helps. We get donations that range from two quarters taped to a 3×5 card to large personal checks and each help our daily mission. Even if your path with the Lord is short or non-existent, get involved through the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brother, Big Sister, any organization that helps the men, women and children who find themselves in Poverty. If you aren’t sure what to do call me and I will try and help. God bless you.

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