All Things New

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Each year, we hold a banquet to provide insights into how we have been blessed, how we have helped those in need, and our vision for the future. This year, we will be focusing on how God is making all things new in the lives of our guests and at our organization.

New Hope

Ed Hurley first came to the Men’s Mission in 2020, struggling with addiction. He had been drinking and smoking weed for years, but after the sudden loss of his fiancée, he began taking more hardcore drugs. He couldn’t get into a traditional rehab center because he didn’t have health insurance, so he was directed to the Mission. Over the course of a year and a half, he worked through the program, was freed from his addiction, and graduated as a Helmsman.

Though free from drugs, he wasn’t pursuing his faith, and he was dating a negative influence. Ultimately, he decided to end that relationship and see if he could return to the mission for additional guidance and support. It was during this return, by the grace of God, that his faith grew and transformed him.

“[Before I came to the Mission], I had no hope. I wanted  to die and was living day to day not caring if tomorrow came. Now, I recognize the freedom in knowing you can give it all to the Lord with no judgment. I was able to gain knowledge from the staff, see their success, and learn to believe in myself.”

Ed is now three and a half years sober and just passed his certification exam to become a peer specialist (CPS). He wants to assist those with psychological issues and hopes to eventually return to serve at the Mission. “I want to spread hope. That’s my biggest thing. I never want anyone to feel like they are alone.”

New Life

When Jean arrived, she hardly interacted with others. She would go to meals, eat as quickly as possible, and then return to her room. “I hibernated in my room for the first three months. They used to say I’d ‘dine and run.’” After over a decade of isolation, she became socially anxious and found it difficult to interact with others.

For 15 years before coming to Bethesda Mission, Jean Lopatic was a stay-at-home mom, taking care of four kids and an alcoholic. During the pandemic, they suffered financial difficulties and were forced to move. Her partner was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and given months to live. With mounting medical bills, they found themselves homeless in under 4 months. Jean came to the Women’s Mission alone on December 23, 2021.

After months of prayer and hard work (alongside Counselor Victoria), Jean began to open up to others. She has become a self-described social butterfly, and her faith has been renewed. “We went to church growing up every week, and my faith is stronger than when I was young. I have become more positive.”

While she once self-sabotaged, she now has a new perspective: “I am able to do anything I put my mind to. I [once] told myself that I was a nobody. I was my own worst enemy [back then]. Jean is currently attending HACC and studying English with the hopes of becoming an author. She also wants to be reunited with her kids and show them how far she has come.

New Opportunity

Haneef, Elaine, and Joyce have been part of our Community Center for six years and have been transformed through their participation in our programs.

Haneef has become a great leader in the Reach program, influencing his peers for the better. He came to faith during a retreat and has continued to be active in the church with his mom and sister. He said, “[The Community Center] has helped me to be a better person and stay out of trouble at school. I don’t react the same way anymore.” Haneef hopes to play professional basketball or become a detective.

Elaine has become more outspoken since she joined the program. For the first couple months, she rarely spoke with others. Now, she is more open and demonstrates her heart of compassion when working with the younger kids. She shares her snacks and seeks to defend those who have been mistreated. “I’ve gotten to know what a true friend is,” she reflected. Elaine dreams of working as a cosmetologist.

We hope to see you at this year’s Celebration Banquet! You can reserve your spot today on our website at

May God richly bless you!

Scott Dunwoody
Executive Director

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