At 15 years old, Joe moved to Grand Rapids. Coming from a small farm town, the mid-sized city felt like a jaunt in the Big Apple. There were so many things to do and places to go, but all of them required money. It wasn’t long before his group of friends started to change and his desire for more money and the ways in which he earned that money strayed down a path of drugs and violence.
Joe eventually earned himself four years in a state prison, effectively losing everything. While it might have felt like the end, it was just the beginning of his walk with God. Upon his release, he found his way to Guiding Light. “I wouldn’t call Guiding Light a shelter,” he says, “It’s a program.” A program made possible by the generosity of others, the hard work and dedication of people like Joe, and the love and grace provided by our Heavenly Father.
Joe’s story is one that fills us with pride and reminds us why we are on this mission. But we can’t do this alone. With God’s grace and gifts from donors like you, we’re able to help rebuild the lives of men who need it most.
“This place is different,” Joe reminisces about his early days at Guiding Light. The time, resources, and monetary gifts were things he wouldn’t have had if he tried to do it alone, and he understands that his transformation would not have been possible without it.
“Thank you to Guiding Light, everyone who donates, and most importantly to God for the work He does through you all.”
It’s more than a place to stay or a bus pass to and from work. The donations we receive allow us to make Joe’s story a reality for so many others. We’re on a mission to change lives, but just like our daily walk with Christ, we need community and a little help along the way. If you feel called to give, Guiding Light will graciously accept what your heart is willing to offer and use it towards a God-filled community.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17