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Serving up New Hope

0517_fmel_nl_02.jpgWhen Jim remembers his past, he remembers the joy of becoming a chef. He also remembers his struggles with alcohol.

His employer recognized that Jim was struggling. “They gave me an ultimatum: get help or leave,” he says. “I was in denial, but to keep my job, I sought help.”

His denial lasted until he attended Alcoholics Anonymous and found himself nodding along. “The stories sounded awfully familiar.”

“Alcoholics Anonymous brought me back into my spirituality,” he says. “I didn’t have the power to defeat my addiction, but I knew I’d whip it with God’s help.”

Jim did just that. And when he retired, he wanted to keep cooking. So he began working with our Culinary Program, which provides work-skills training for our long-term residents recovering from addiction, abuse or homelessness.

“It’s teaching a trade,” Jim says. “The sooner they can get back on their feet and on their own, the better for them. The Culinary Program helps with that.”

Jim teaches his kitchen crew the basics: sanitation, safety, food preparation and even hospitality. Their training culminates with catering the meal for the Mission’s Annual Volunteer Banquet.

Jim often shares his own story with chefs-in-training. “Had things been a little bit different, I could have gone down that path… that’s part of why I do what I do here.”

Jim is grateful for the chance to teach those in our Culinary Program… and for what they teach him too. “We often don’t realize how blessed we are until we look around... and here, you don’t have to look very far,” Jim says. “The Lord has provided for myself and many others in the community – and He asks us to take care of our less fortunate brothers and sisters. One of the best ways we can do that is with a donation to the Mission, whether it’s monetary or goods or time.”

WITH YOUR HELP, men and women can discover that God’s hope and healing are for everyone, regardless of their past or circumstances. Thank you for your generous support!

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Help other people like Jim…

Jim's story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women in Michiana find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?