Meet Thomas

Thomas Wagner - Summer NewsletterThank you for loving your neighbor, Thomas, and giving him hope for the future!

“My life-long addiction had cost me everything…”

I’m 70 years old and I haven’t been able to look at myself in a mirror in years. I can’t stand who’s staring back. That’s what a life-long addiction to cocaine will do to you. Cocaine cost me everything – including my dignity, self-esteem, and self-respect.

About six months ago, I was in a hospital about 400 miles from Evansville. They told me I could get help at the Evansville Rescue Mission. I figured I had one more chance. It was time to do or die. I have a son and daughter, a granddaughter, and two great-grandsons, and I want them to be proud of me before I die. So, I spent $450 on a cab ride to get me here.

“The love I feel here is more important than anything else.”

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical at first. But from the day I got here, the people here embraced me with so much love and compassion that I was overwhelmed. They clothed me, fed me, held me accountable, and got me back in touch with God. I’m surrounded by folks who’ve already recovered from various addictions – I’ve heard their stories, and they give me hope that I can do it, too.

After 70 years of doing the wrong thing, it’s not easy to do the right thing. But they’re teaching to walk day by day, choosing to do the right thing moment by moment.

I’ve been sober now for six months, and I’m learning to live with myself again. I’m learning how to respect myself, how to treat myself better, and how to give the love I’ve received here to others. The love I feel here is more important than anything else.

That’s why I’m also grateful to donors like you. Your support helped me put my life back together. Thanks to you, for the first time in years, I can look in a mirror again – and like the man who’s staring back.

To read the full newsletter, click here.

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