“We’re supposed to serve!”
Most of the guests at New Orleans Rescue Mission are here because they’ve hit the bottom: no job, no family, no home…no hope. Gerald is different. He looked down, saw the bottom and decided he wasn’t going there. Educated, an Army veteran and a certified chef with 30 years of experience, Gerald seemed to have everything going for him.
But he was also a self-described recreational drug user. Gerald knew he was headed for a hard fall unless he surrendered everything and found something worth living for. “I started doing a little research and a lot of people directed me to the Mission,” says Gerald. Gerald left his home and job behind to recover from his drug dependence and most importantly, to reconcile with God. “I’ve gotten back in connection with my savior Jesus Christ. That’s really what I came to the Mission for,” says Gerald. “I got that foundation now and I’m building on it.” Enrolled in our Discipleship program, Gerald was able to focus on the personal issues that had led to his drug abuse and pulled him away from the Lord. “I had a lot of resentment built up towards some people, but mostly a lot of resentment towards myself,” he says. “How did I allow myself to get so far off track?”
Now a proud program graduate, Gerald is putting his culinary skills to good use as the Mission Lead Cook. “I’m running about 16-hour days right now, but this is the way that I’m giving back. Jesus was a servant when He was here, so that’s what we’re supposed to do: serve.”
Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially rewarding times for Gerald to serve. “It was nice here!” Gerald remembers. “People came in with so many donations we were overwhelmed, food coming from everywhere. Then you got all these different ministries and neighborhood organizations bringing food and clothes and hygiene products. It was really a blessed time.” Gerald looks forward to preparing those delicious holiday meals again this year, thanks to caring friends like you who help to provide food and other services. “It helps a lot of people, not just people in the Mission,” says Gerald. “They have an outreach program where they take food out to the neighborhoods and they pray with them. This is what God wants us to do. That’s what it’s all about, so keep giving because it’s going to the right places, believe that!”