Bethesda News

Renewed in Spirit: Born Twice in Harrisburg

God has been using your support to make an impact on men, women, and children in Harrisburg. Learn how your donations of time and money have directly helped Carl at our Men’s Mission.

Carl grew up in Harrisburg on Reily Street. He remembers playing on the steps of the Men’s Mission when he was a kid, oblivious to the work being done inside. Now, he sees it as a place of shelter and salvation.

Carl faced difficult battles in his youth. Both his father and mother struggled with heroin addiction. Through their struggle for sobriety, his mother ensured that he and his eight siblings always had what they needed. They stuck together as a family, and God provided them with food and shelter.

Carl and his mother were close. He recalled finding her after she was finally freed from her addiction. “I came into the room, and she was in the bed,” Carl said. “She said, ‘I’m going to be okay this time.’ As I went to grab the blanket to wipe her forehead, I saw that she was clutching a Bible to her chest.” God transformed his mother’s life, and she passed after being 29 years sober.

Over the years, Carl tried to show her that he wasn’t an addict. He saw the damage it did to people and relationships, and he never wanted that for himself. Still, he found himself struggling with the same addiction as his parents. He ended up in rehabs and penitentiaries, but neither brought long-term healing.

After Carl’s sister passed, he struggled with depression. He met Cecil McCray, our Manager of Mission Services, at a Celebrate Recovery meeting. He learned more about God’s call to “come as you are.” So Carl went.

Carl first came to the Mission in 2021. He learned how Jesus freed people and that no one has a perfect walk with the Lord. “I felt like I had arrived, but I fell back into addiction [after my brother passed].” Carl found himself once again struggling with anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Now, Carl has returned and is “truly blessed and grateful to be back. I’m back to get help, but also to help others. God will deliver us. God will water those that diligently seek Him.”

Buried and Raised

Carl has found peace. He has no problem expressing his struggles, and he no longer wants to isolate. “Staying in the Word of God has made me a better brother, uncle, father, and grandfather. I love to fellowship and listen to people.”

Keith and Art, two of our Life Coaches, have worked alongside Carl and are continuously planting seeds. “Art says, ‘Don’t look for the good brother; be the good brother,’ and Keith always reminds me to ‘be content in all situations,’” Carl recalled. “They, along with the Word, are creating guardrails [in my life].”

Cecil recommended that Carl develop a foundation of fellowship outside of the Mission. They began attending Tabernacle Baptist Church together, and Carl was baptized in 2023.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl looks forward to spending more time at his granddaughter’s track events and overcoming struggles with Christ’s help. “I want to come back and serve or work to help others in need.” On January 16, as a result of surrendering, he received his 9-month sobriety chip.

Carl also has a message for donors like you that provide the opportunity for recovery for so many people in need. “Thank you. Thank you for helping change lives. Thank you for helping change my life. Thank you.”

Your support helps us partner with and serve people like Carl every day. Please consider making a donation and continuing our work together for those in need. You can use the link here to donate.

Thank you, and may God richly bless you!

Scott Dunwoody
Executive Director

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