When Grace Breaks Through, Lives Change! – John 316 Mission
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When Grace Breaks Through, Lives Change!

What do you do when someone seems bent on self-destruction and taking everyone down with him? That’s the question many families have had to face, including Nate’s.

It had been 20 years of pain.

Now, Nathan was waking up, cold, hungry and bewildered, in an empty field.

His longsuffering wife finally had issued an ultimatum: get out and don’t ever come back until you are clean, sober and serious about changing your life.

“At that point, I had lost everything,” recalls Nathan. “I had lost my wife and kids, my job, my car…it was all gone.”

The bright young man from Pryor had become a full-blown drug and alcohol addict, incapable of holding down a job for long or of being the husband and father he knew he ought to be.

“I had been on a reckless path,” admits Nathan. “She couldn’t take it anymore.”

It never seemed likely that Nathan would end up a homeless drug addict. He had been raised in a good Christian home, attending church frequently. Although his parents split, he nurtured dreams of one day becoming a lawyer. Gradually that dream slipped away and so did the influence of the church. As a teen, he rebelled against what he saw as a rules-bound, legalistic faith he could never live up to. So, instead of trying, he went the other way, experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

“It started out as fun, then it turned into a lifestyle,” he says.

For years, his life revolved around how to get high and keep the party going. He went through a lot of jobs and caused a lot of turmoil in the lives of his loved ones.

Finally, after a lot of tears and pain, grace broke through with his wife’s ultimatum. Nathan realized he had to do something to change or remain homeless and maybe spend the rest of his life cut off from the ones he loved.

“Walking through the doors of John 3:16 Mission – that was the beginning of hope. I wanted God to be part of my life. I wanted Jesus back in my life,” he says.

Since arriving at the Mission in September 2017, Nathan has been clean and sober for the first time in two decades. He has rededicated himself to Christ, this time focusing on Grace rather than church rules and demands.

“I’ve realized that all those years, I was trying to fill a void in my soul with drugs and alcohol. The only thing that can fill that void is a relationship with Jesus Christ,” he adds. “The whole thing is to stay connected to God and to others and to become a mature man in Christ and that’s what the Mission is enabling me to do.”

Today, Nathan has reached Phase 4 of the Mission’s five phase program. This means he will be graduating in a few months. When he leaves, he’ll have a job, a home, and sobriety – for the first time in years. Best of all, he’ll be able to start anew with his family.

Nathan now wants to get a Bachelor’s degree and, one day, give back to those like him who used substances to fill the God-shaped void in their souls.

Nathan has no doubt about what his fate would have been without the support you provide to John 3:16 Mission.

“The people who donate to the Mission…

you saved my life.

Everyone who gives had a part in saving me and for that I am eternally grateful. My wife has a husband again; my children have a father again. Thank you doesn’t seem enough for somebody that’s saved your life!”

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