22 Feb Thank you for giving Shane a new beginning.
Thank you for giving Shane a new beginning.
Because of you, he has joy in his heart this Easter!
“I never thought I’d get this far…”
Anyone who comes to the Mission hungry and looking for a meal is sure to leave well-fed and nourished, thanks to Shane. As the Market Street Mission Kitchen Manager, Shane has the opportunity to put his past cooking experience to work in a new way – to serve others and glorify the Lord for the new life he has been given!
When Shane was five years old, he contracted spinal meningitis and developed a learning disability. He stopped caring about school, so at age 18, he decided to join the National Guard. He became an infantry cook and learned all about food preparation. But upon joining the Guard, he also began abusing substances.
With both his mother and stepfather struggling with alcoholism, Shane’s home life was difficult. On top of that, his brother also struggled with alcoholism and eventually committed suicide.
“I drank to cope with life,” he said.
Over time his drinking escalated and led him to start using drugs, too. “I experienced homelessness quite a few times in my life due to my addiction and just making the wrong choices,” he explained.
One day, life became too much for Shane to handle, and he too came close to committing suicide. But at that moment, in his darkest place, he felt God nudge him to call the police instead. He made the call for help and was taken to the hospital, and he knew then that he needed to change his life.
“With God’s divine intervention, I made it to the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission,” he said. Shane joined our addiction recovery program at our sister Mission in Asbury Park. He was scared and confused at first, but the warm welcome and support from our staff and other residents helped him start focusing on the healing he needed.
In the beginning, he didn’t want anything to do with God. “I was lost. Completely. I thought He had cursed me, because of all the things I’d been through,” he said.
But as he started attending church services and spending time in fellowship with the other men in the program, he began to learn more about God’s love for him.
“I’m grateful now,” he said. “I believe in God, and every day I don’t stop thanking Him or praising Him!”
After two months at the Jersey Shore, Shane transferred up to Market Street to finish our program here in Morristown. He worked as a cook in the kitchen during his time at both of our Mission locations, and when he graduated, he became a program intern to continue serving in the kitchen.
Now, he’s been hired as part of our staff and works as our Kitchen Manager! His cooking experience from the National Guard prepared him well with the skills he needs to make sure all our community guests and program residents have plenty of food each day.
“I can basically cook anything, any kind of way – just throw it at me!” he laughed.
This Easter, thanks to your generous support, Shane is celebrating the new life he found in Christ. From his time in our program, he developed a relationship with God and learned how to stay sober – two things he is grateful for every day. He has learned to be more humble and caring toward others, and the good friends he has made help him continue to grow and focus on his goals in life.
And he still has more he wants to accomplish! Recently, he took a course to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist so he can use his experiences with addiction to walk alongside others going through the same struggles he once faced. And whenever it’s time to retire from the Mission, he has another goal in mind: “if it’s God’s will, I want to get a food truck and tour the country a little bit. That’s a part of my bucket list,” he said.
But for the time being, Shane finds joy in giving back to others what was freely given to him. “I’m thankful to the Mission because it has shined a light on my life, and I never thought I’d get this far at almost 60 years old,” he said. “It’s all thanks to God – I couldn’t have done it myself.”
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other people like Shane…
Shane’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women find healing. Will you provide this help to others?