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“It’s all about grace and mercy”

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Kelvin grew up believing in God, but he went his own way. “I always had Him on the back burner,” he says. “It was always about me.”

When Kelvin was 13 years old, he started smoking marijuana. From there, his drug use only escalated as time went on. “When I turned 28, I tried crack cocaine. Right away, I couldn’t control it,” he says.

Kelvin’s addiction to crack cocaine lost him job after job, eroded his family relationships, and left him homeless.

He went through countless rehab programs, most recently completing a year-long drug treatment program in Los Angeles. “I went back out and used again,” he says. “I made my way to Long Beach, lost my vehicle and, after I spent all my money, I had nowhere to go.”

It was then Kelvin came to Long Beach Rescue Mission’s Cold Winter Shelter for the night and ended up entering our New Life Program. “I knew that I was in the right place,” Kelvin says. “­ is place is about grace and mercy.”

Since coming to the Mission, Kelvin has grown spiritually through daily devotions, chapels, in-depth Bible studies, and fellowship with other residents and staff.

“Each day we read Proverbs, and that’s where I’m growing a lot – gaining wisdom and insight,” Kelvin says. “I’m learning what God is calling me to and it has made my life a whole lot better.”

The program’s anger management group and other classes have helped Kelvin heal emotionally, as well. “I’m learning to communicate. I’m learning to be compassionate, to be understanding and to have a general concern for others,” he says.

As a result, Kelvin’s relationships with his family have been restored. “My wife and I, at least once or twice a day, talk on the phone and we go through the Word. My relationship with my son has been healed, too,” Kelvin says. “My family’s just ecstatic that I’m in here. They see the change in me.”

Kelvin gives back to the Mission by working at the front desk. “It’s the heart of the Mission because the first person you see when you come through the doors is the gentleman at the desk, or the first person you talk to on the telephone when you’re in need, is the gentleman behind that phone,” he says.

UPDATE: Kelvin has since graduated from the program and returned to living with his wife this year. Now, he is stable and knows he has a purpose. “The main thing I want to do is help people,” Kelvin says. “Through the people at the Mission, through the guidance of God in their lives, they gave me another chance.”

To read the rest of this issue of Rescue Review, click here.