Liam started drinking and doing drugs when he was only 13. “I progressed to using heroin by the time I was a senior in high school,” he says.
However, he got clean and sober when he was 19 and maintained his sobriety for more than 10 years. “I became a school teacher, and was doing very, very well,” Liam says.
Six years ago, after being clean and sober for 10 years, Liam relapsed. “I severed relationships with family and friends. I couldn’t even look in the mirror for the last six years,” he says. “It was as close to hell as possible.”
Liam’s wife asked him to move out and he found himself living on the streets of Newark. “It was about 10 days I was out there and, to me, it was a lifetime,” he says.
It was then Liam’s wife brought him to the Market Street Mission and our Life Change Program. “Coming here was just a means to survival at the time...but somewhere along the line, my mind opened up to the possibility of having a better life,” he says. “I saw the serenity of a few people in this building and I wanted what they had. When I talked to them, they told me they knew Jesus Christ.”
Liam didn’t understand what that meant. So he set out on a journey to understand, listening attentively at chapels, church, and Bible studies, and reading everything he could find. “I would be at the library, taking out books like crazy, trying to find out who Jesus is and how I could know Him,” Liam says.
Then one day, in a church service, he surrendered his life to the Lord. “Since that time, the more of Jesus that I’ve come to know, the more I seek,” he says. “I’m at peace.”
Since coming to the Mission, Liam’s relationships with his wife, mom, and sister have healed, as well. “They see evidence of a change in my gratitude and humility,” he says.
Liam gives back to the Mission by working in the Learning Center, where he conducts assessments and helps residents reach their educational goals. “A lot of guys don’t have GEDs or high school diplomas and we offer them that opportunity,” he says. “I’ll do whatever I can to get them started.”
Liam is now in Phase Two of the Life Change Program. When he graduates, he plans to go back to school to earn his master’s degree in social work. “My goal is to work with troubled teens – people at turning points who have a chance to go right or left,” he says. “The Mission has changed me and now I love reaching out to others."
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other men like Liam…
Liam story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our Life Change Program exists to help other men in Northern New Jersey find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?