As Sister Diane and Marcus ministered on the street, near 63rd and Cottage Grove with the Feeding the Homeless for Christ Outreach Ministry, Marcus’s first thoughts when he saw the tough, hardcore, tall man coming in their direction was that one of the other ministers had probably spoken to him already, or that he would say “no” and keep walking; but in obedience to the Holy Spirit, Marcus stepped forward in the man’s path, greeted him and asked if he would like prayer. Kurt (not his real name) responded “Yes”. His prayer request was, “I want to do what is right.”“…I’m tired of being in this stuff…having to watch my back all the time.”
“I have been shot several times. My grandmother passed away recently…she took me to church when I was young (he is now 31 years old). I have a son…he’s 15 years old. I want to get out…”
Diane joined Kurt and Marcus. As they joined hands to pray, another Christian man on the streets joined them. After Marcus prayed, his heart was both joyful and grieved. He was joyful that Kurt had indeed stopped and accepted the invitation for prayer, despite the busyness and distractions of activities around them. Also, Kurt knew and shared that he had received Christ at 14 years of age. However, Marcus was grieved that Grace Beyond Borders—a Rescue Mission—is not funded and operating yet to meet the needs of men like Kurt who are plagued with unemployment due to involvement with street gangs, drug trafficking, violence and more.
Kurt certainly wasn’t the first man with this kind of story, but one of hundreds of men with similar stories in Northwest Indiana and the Greater Chicago-land area that Marcus has encountered, which is why he believes the Lord called him to open a Rescue Mission. Men and women need the support, love, deliverance, healing, forgiveness, and salvation that come only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Your prayers and support
are urgently needed!
I received an honorable discharged, after serving in the military for 3 years. An inability to grasp responsibilities led me to a life on the street. To fit in and be accepted, crack cocaine was the natural thing to do. All my money went to the drug dealer. One day, my mother said to me: “Why are you wasting all your money on drugs?” What she said made sense to me, and I stopped using crack cocaine, but shifted to drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol allowed me to fit in with my friends. Being accepted by others was important to me. My abuse of alcohol also led me to become homeless. Intoxicated, I came home to my apartment; and in the process of trying to cook some food, fell asleep. The sound of the fire and smoke alarm woke me up, and realized my kitchen was on fire. I was evicted from my apartment. My mother and one of my sisters were deceased. So, I didn’t have anyone to turn to help. During the day, I drank alcohol with my friends. At night, my friends turned their back on me. After suffering illness, I was no longer able to perform manual labor. I lost my job and income. I needed help, but I was too proud to ask for help. My preference of being with friends and drinking alcohol was my priority.
Three years ago, I met Marcus Martin. He came out to the streets regularly. Marcus was the Executive Director and Founder of Grace Beyond Borders NWI, Inc. He would come to the streets 2-3 times per week; looking for me. He would take me out for breakfast or lunch. We talked about my situation and discuss solutions. I began helping him by passing out program and special event flyers to the homeless and near homeless men and women throughout the city. I knew everyone. I looked forward to helping Grace Beyond Borders, but still continued drinking alcohol daily. I would be embarrassed at times when Marcus would encounter me being intoxicated. I would apologize, but he never condemned or judged me. I started attending the Celebrate Recovery (CR) program that Marcus conducted weekly. CR focused on helping those struggling with addictions.
Marcus encouraged me to go into a homeless shelter for veterans and helped enroll, but I did not go. I did not want to be away from my friends. So, I remained homeless; sleeping outdoors, from house to house, police station foyer; wherever I could. Finally, my brother allowed me to live with him, which helped me stay sober. After a month, my brother had medical complications and died. I became homeless again.
Grace Beyond Borders never gave up on me. Marcus asked me to meet with his case manager, Dr. Sylvia Monagan. She introduced me a 2nd time to the shelter for homeless veterans. I agreed to go to the shelter, but still struggled with leaving the street life that I called home. But Dr. Sylvia worked hard on my behalf to move me from homelessness to VA benefits such as SSI and healthcare for his addiction.
Now at the shelter, I’m happy and get along well with everybody. I’m on a new journey to sobriety, and in the near future, my own apartment. I thank GOD first, then Marcus and Dr. Sylvia for not giving up on me.