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From Street to Staff!

When he first came to the Mission, Shawn was only looking for a place to stay. Previously from Iowa, he’d moved to Niagara Falls with his girlfriend and eight-year-old son. But when the relationship went south, he didn’t want to go back to Iowa—he wanted to stay close to his son. Staying at the Mission was his only option.

“My life was tumultuous before,” Shawn explains. “I was a bad drinker. I drank a 30-pack of beer every day, starting at 2:00 in the afternoon.”

After just two weeks in the emergency shelter, Shawn decided to join the Discipleship Program. At the time, he was the only one in the program, but he didn’t let that discourage him. He did all the work by himself. His days were full: attending the recovery classes, spending time with his son, studying. He was a busy man … in all the right ways.

“I dedicated my life to Christ, and He changed me,” Shawn says. “When I first got saved, everything got better for me. The Bible calms me. It makes me level-headed. I’ve learned patience and compassion here. I can’t think of a better place to be than here at the Mission.”

When Shawn graduated from the program, his goal was to become a staff member. He moved upstairs to a transitional apartment and began serving as a volunteer. Four years later, he was offered a staff position and for the past two years, he has been working at the front desk, cleaning rooms and helping unload donations.

“My favorite part of this job is talking to the guys looking for a bed. I love helping them and making them feel welcome and safe.”

But now, someone else needs his help. Shawn is moving to Minnesota to help take care of his dad. He knows it’s time, but it’s hard to leave.

Shawn tears up as he says, “I know I’m going to miss everyone. I love you all!”

God has delivered me from so much!

When Bill graduated from NGM’s recovery program in August 2021, he decided to stay on as a resident assistant. He wanted to give back and knew his own story of overcoming addiction could encourage other men to do the same. He loved leading devotions every morning, helping out in the kitchen and just being there to lend a listening ear to anyone in need.

But when Bill developed serious heart problems, he was told he needed open heart surgery.

Bill remembers, “Before I went into surgery I said, ‘Lord, you have delivered me from so much already, I know you can get me through this, too. But if you choose, you can also take me home to be with you.’”

The surgery went well, but a post-operative infection has taken a serious toll. Bill continues to struggle but is persevering, strengthened by a sense of responsibility for the men he ministers to, and his desire to continue seeking reconciliation with his children.

Please continue to pray for Bill as he struggles to regain his health. And thank you for making stories like Bill’s possible.

The Lord saved me for a reason!

The grip of addiction had a powerful hold on David* and he eventually overdosed and   was dead for four minutes before being miraculously revived by the paramedics!
Once released from the hospital, David came to the Niagara Gospel Mission’s emergency shelter and immediately started attending chapel services and weekly classes.
Now David can be found reading his Bible at all hours of the day and going to the bus station to evangelize and tell others what God has done in his life. “The Lord spared me for a reason, and I believe that is so I can go and share the Gospel with others who struggled like me and need the freedom Christ gives.” Praise God for David and the difference his story makes in the lives of others who need to know that new life is possible through Christ!!
*Names may have been changed to protect privacy.