He could be your neighbor or an old teacher. Everyone’s story is different. You never know who has come upon a difficult time in their life and is looking for a chance to start over. That’s one of the things about Guiding Light, there are a variety of individuals who need assistance, each and every one of them deserving of a second chance.
“Be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
That help, support, and forgiveness is what men find inside when they join us at Guiding Light. Our doors are open to men who are ready to fulfill their God-given potential. Despite their past, we focus on their future. Our hope is to rescue and recover, but just as importantly, re-engage men back into the community.
We are on a mission to change lives. With opportunities like our Recovery Program, Back to Work, and Iron House, there are many chances for men to step back out into the world with confidence. There isn’t one kind of person who comes to Guiding Light, just like there isn’t one kind of support. Our goal is to provide many options for starting over. Our donors provide money, time, and resources, while others provide advocacy by sharing our mission and offering legacy gifts.
Donations to Guiding Light are used to bring about change in someone’s life. Every donation is a spark and every donor is a spark of God’s light shining through. Gifts help provide traction for someone to get started down the road to recovery. A chance to begin adding value back to their life and back to the community. We are so proud of the men who walk through our doors and we know God is smiling down upon them.
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