Bethesda News

Faithful Fatherhood

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1).

Your gifts of time, talent, and treasure enable total-life transformation for those at Bethesda Mission. Together, we can share the Father’s love with our guests, help them find rest and restoration, and prepare them for a future of challenges and blessings.

Growing Pains

Before coming to Bethesda, Anthony was heavily involved with drugs; he bounced from couch to couch. “You don’t have friends when you live like that,” Anthony reflected. “Once you’re out of money or drugs, it’s time to go.”

Anthony has been to the Men’s Mission three times since 2007. He completed the Helmsman program during his first stay. He remembers cooking with Al Ciervo and being one of the go-to guys to help with other needs.

After graduation, Anthony was supposed to move into the Trinity House (our then-transitional housing facility), but he unfortunately relapsed back into drug use.

He reentered our program briefly in 2023. He was employed at the time, which prevented him from fully focusing on the recovery process. Finally, he returned on March 4, 2024, committed to doing it the right way. “I knew the mercy of Bethesda,” Anthony said. “That [the staff] would help me.”

Since then, Anthony has been studying the Word and working in the kitchen. He is also taking our New Beginnings class. “I’m like a sponge,” he stated. “I want to get to know God better.”

Becoming a Faithful Father

“I never had a good relationship with my earthly father,” Anthony said. “Because of that, I didn’t learn how to be a good father myself.”

Anthony’s battle with addiction and his consequential incarceration prevented him from being as present as he wanted to be. His relationship with his five children, especially his three sons, was rocky.

“I grew into a man I didn’t want to be,” Anthony added. “I’ve made reparations [with them]. There was a lot of pain.”

Now, Anthony is closer with his kids than ever. “We talk every day. On Mother’s Day, I had my son kiss his mother and sister for me since I couldn’t be there.”

Anthony’s relationship with God has allowed him to grow as a father, providing the example he needed growing up. “I’m beginning to understand the [scope of] love that God has for his children,” Anthony noted. “Growing closer to God has strengthened my relationship with my kids. They see the difference.”

Anthony’s life coach, Keith Hunter, agreed. “I have great hope in his recovery, especially as he continues to connect with and receive support from his family.”

Once Anthony graduates, he hopes to start a youth outreach program. He is already brainstorming ideas with his son.

“God has saved my life,” Anthony concluded. “So has Bethesda Mission.”

Your support helps restore and reunite families as fathers positively reenter their children’s lives. Please consider aiding the men in our shelter today, whether by praying for their growth, serving a meal, or even by donating here. We are truly grateful for your support!

May God bless you and keep you!

 

 

Scott Dunwoody
Executive Director

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