My Name is Gary and I'm Never Going Back

tedguysLast night we celebrated the Homes of Hope Graduation of our intern, Gary. Gary was one of the older men in our program and was known to be the “grumpy old man” with a heart of gold. An expert painter, he provided valuable mentorship to many of the other men in the program as they completed various painting projects on our housing. After a year with us, Gary has a handful of job offers where he can utilize his brilliant painting skills. But even more than the hope of a great profession, Gary leaves Homes of Hope with something even more important: purpose.

“I’m far from perfect, I surely am. But I feel that my life is going to be a lot better. I know where I can stand with the Lord, and I know where I will stand without Him. I have a purpose today,” he shared.

During Gary’s graduation he shared his testimony with all in attendance. He explained the challenges of his past, the struggle to successfully “get it” while being at Homes of Hope, and the beautiful moment where he fell to his knees in prayer asking for deliverance from the baggage he had been tiredly carrying for decades. That moment was the turning point for Gary during his stay at Homes of Hope. The following few months were some of the most growing times for him.

garyjasonGary’s testimony was truly special. He individually thanked each staff member and fellow interns with words from his heart. The room seemed to buzz with excitement as Gary confidently claimed the Word of God over his life. And as he made the declaration of his plans to move boldly forward, he ended the evening with a closing statement that won’t easily be forgotten. With joy and fortitude he declared, “My name is Gary and I’m never going back!”

Amen, Gary! We will miss you!