Please pray for these men and let their stories inspire you to love more, give more, and serve more.
Richard: The Shock of a Lifetime, Eased with EASTER HOPE
Most cancer patients we think of are surrounded by family and friends. If they have the finances, they receive care at the best facilities, and rest after chemotherapy in the comfort of their own beds.
But what if you get the diagnosis and you’re homeless?
It’s a reality that seven men at Everett Gospel Mission are currently facing.
While cancer is one of the most horrible illnesses known to man, it’s amazing how the love and support of friends like you can soften the shock and provide real and lasting HOPE. With your help, Easter can be a celebration of new life, even for Richard who installed drywall until the housing market collapsed — then he lost everything. He was an athlete all his life, a hard worker who was always prepared for any situation. He was often called “Boyscout” by his friends. But when he lost his job, he lost his confidence, too.
“Not being a drywaller anymore hurt,” he said. “This is who I am. Now what do I do?”
Richard couldn’t find work anywhere. His savings dried up. Soon, he faced a reality he’d never imagined: being homeless.
“I called 9-11 and said ‘I’m about to be homeless. Where do I go?’” Richard recalled. “They said, ‘This is not an emergency.’ I said, ‘It is for me!’”
Richard came to the Mission hoping to start his life over. Instead, bone and joint pain led him to the doctor. Hoping it was related to old drywalling injuries, Richard was shocked when the doctor revealed the real cause: He had lung cancer that had metastasized to his bones and joints.
Nothing could have prepared Richard for what came next. Weeks of tests, debilitating treatments, and excruciating pain, all while living at the Mission. Bravest of all, he allowed people to help him — something he never wanted to do before.
But, even as he fought his hardest to go on to a new life, Richard’s body lost its battle. Sadly, Richard Molleker passed away on December 30, 2013.
The support of friends like you made the end of Richard’s life more comfortable and filled with love. Thank you!
Even in the face of death, there can be HOPE — that is the promise of Easter! Jesus is alive! He has conquered death! This is the HOPE we share with everyone who comes to the Mission. One day, the Lord will wipe away every tear and sickness will be no more. Until that day, we are called to be generous and loving towards those in need.
People like Richard and the other homeless men who are fighting cancer at the Mission can experience the love of Christ in a tangible way though your prayers and support. There is no better time than today to share the Easter message of new life.
You can read more about Richard on our blog at: egmission.org/blog
Dan: Bus to nowhere leads to hope at the Mission
Dan’s* father and grandfather drank. When he found their alcohol he took a few sips and was hooked. He was just ten years old. Alcohol became a regular part of his life and led him down a dark path of destruction, violence, debt, drunkenness and even homelessness.
“When I didn’t have a job I stayed with a friend or in the back of my truck. The longest I was homeless was eight years.”
He hit rock bottom when he came to Everett to stay with a friend. When the friend never showed up to get him at the bus station, he was homeless in a strange city. He came to Everett Gospel Mission for food and shelter. But he also knew something had to change. He gladly enrolled in our recovery program and has gone on to stay sober for two years.
But just as life started to turn around, years of chewing tobacco took its toll. A biopsy of a lump in his throat brought horrific news. It was cancer.
He has surgery and radiation treatments ahead of him. But for now he has HOPE, with a place to call home and a “family” at the Mission to stand alongside him.
Ryan: The unwelcomed Christmas guest we’ve come to love
Ryan was married for 17 years, but the last months were full of fighting. On Christmas Eve, he was hoping to have Christmas dinner with people he thought were his friends. Instead, they dropped him off at the Mission.
Ryan was welcomed, ate Christmas Dinner and was offered a place to sleep. Thankful, he accepted. As he began making a plan to rebuild his life, he just couldn’t shake feeling sick. Finally, one of our staff members got him to the doctor.
After several tests and x-rays, the test results were in. He had cancer. The doctor told him he likely had just months to live.
“I’m not going to be 85 years old with a bunch of grandkids running around,” he said in a recent interview. “I plan to try to make the best of it.”
Your support today will help suffering people like Ryan live life to the fullest by helping them when they need it most and extending HOPE in the love of Jesus Christ.
Charlie: From combat overseas to battling PTSD and leukemia while homeless
Charlie was once a combat medic. But when he got out of the army, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) set in. He also suffered a series of tragedies — his son and his brother died serving their country. His wife died in childbirth. His sister died from lupus. It was all too much.
He began self-medicating with alcohol and serious drugs. He was getting in trouble with the law, too. Then, one day, God called to him.
“I had my spiritual awakening one morning. I realized what I’d done with my life,” Charlie said.
He wanted to get into a program and start over. He knew that God had more in store for him. He arrived at the Mission and was eager to begin a new life.
But a month and a half later, he fell violently ill. He couldn’t keep food down and had severe abdominal pain. Charlie found out he had a mass near his liver. Even worse, a biopsy revealed the source of the growth: leukemia.
“They said it’s terminal,” he recalled of the day his results came in. “It’s gotten into my spinal fluid and on its way to my brain. They’re just treating the symptoms.”
Despite the grim prognosis, Charlie has a profound faith in God, impacting everyone around him. He has confidence in his future.
“The Lord showed me that as long as I surrender and do His will, He’s gong to take care of me,” Charlie told us.
Most touching of all, is how appreciative Charlie is of the help he has found at the Mission. “I felt like I belonged here from the very first day,” he declared.
“I like the man that I was, the man that my wife knew,” he added with tears in his eyes.
Please pray for Charlie as he grows closer to God and touches the lives of others by sharing his story and the HOPE he has found.
*Names changed for privacy.