George was an extremely talented carpenter and a drug addict who hit rock bottom. After being connected to the Lamb Center for a while he wrote us this email in desperation:
“Well it’s all over. The van died and I can no longer make it to work at the church. Can’t finish the side job I was working on due to not being able to get there. We are being evicted again and will lose all we have worked for. My wife can’t get the medical help she needs according to Human Services. Haven’t received food stamps yet. Out of food. My wife and son are going to Canada to live with her cousin in a two bedroom apartment that has six people living there already.
“As for myself, I give up. I can’t go through this again. I am waiting on death for that is all that is left for me. I have failed as a husband, father, provider and in life. I want to thank you for all you have done for us in the past two years. The only positive thing is that I will die clean and sober.”
George did not die and he did not stay clean and sober. In fact, his live grew even worse as he struggled with addiction and the deep pain of his past. George spent times living in abandoned buildings in South East Washington, DC, and his drug use ended up destroying his marriage and further separating him from his son. George would come to the Lamb Center and our Bible Studies gave him the desire to turn his life around. He moved out of the drug houses in South East and into the woods of Fairfax but he still had not completely surrendered his compulsion to use drugs to Christ Jesus. During this time, George committed some crimes and he came to us before turning himself in to face the consequences. He wanted to end his life because he was sure he would never see his son again but he was also ready to surrender.
About five years after sending the email above, George turned himself in and was sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary. While incarcerated, he had a true spiritual awakening. He would pray each morning and attend AA meetings despite the ridicule he received from other inmates. When George was finally released, he was sent not to a halfway house but to the streets of Fairfax County. We assisted George in getting into an Oxford House (a sober house for those in recovery), in getting a bike to get to work, and eventually in getting a cargo van for work. Eventually George started his own business, remarried a woman with two children, and sought to be reunited with his son who now lives with his ex-wife’s family in Illinois.
George recently called to tell us about the outcome of the court proceeding for receiving custody of his son who is now fifteen. When he applied for custody of his son, the attorney appointed to represent his son told George that after reviewing his extensive file that she strongly opposed to him ever having custody. A phone conversation a few days before court did not go any better. The day before court, this attorney spent three hours at George’s house talking to him, his wife, his step children and reading a pile of letters from pastors, military officers and many others who have come to know and respect George.
During the court proceeding, the tone of this attorney had been completely transformed. She apologized to George and the court because she realized that after years of dealing with cases similar to this, her heart had become calloused to the point where she would judge by the files presented to her and not by getting to know the person behind the files. She strongly recommended that George be awarded custody of his son. The judge told George that he should be proud of himself for the way he had turned his life around. George told the judge he was not responsible for this transformation and when she questioned him on this, he said “it was my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” The only way the judge could respond was with a “hallelujah.” The day after court, George came by the Lamb Center to pick up one of our guests who is now working for George. Another guest was blessed by and angel with steel toe boots and gloves so she can start working for George as well.
George also found his sister through a Google search three weeks ago and contacted her. He had not seen her or even knew where she was living for the past fifteen years. His past addiction and arrest record broke their relationship but now all is forgiven. George and his wife went to see her last Sunday and they were welcomed with open arms. In George’s words,
“Christ has healed me and restored my life and family and has given me a new life so much fuller than anything I have ever known before. All praise and glory to our Father in heaven!”
The names and photos have been changed to protect the dignity of those involved.
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