Written by Tryna, Mission Volunteer

My experience as a family member starts a few years back. My brother was deep in the clutches of alcoholism, he had hit bottom so many times, it was heartbreaking.  Nothing that any of us said or did could change his ways.  I prayed that he would be safe, that he would have a good life, that maybe I could have a sign that he was OK.

Fast forward past the ugliness of that life a few years –  My Dad got word that he had been accepted at Harvest Farm (a ministry of the Mission).  He kept in contact with him. As part of a healing process to get closure and to ready myself to eventually meet with him, I served at Denver Rescue Mission. I was terrified to look into the eyes of these men that would be in the exact physical and mental place my brother had been. I knew the Lord wanted me to be there. I felt like I was recreating the same scene my brother must have stepped into. I was put at the front of the dining hall and tasked with handing silverware and counting each dining guest at the Lawrence Street Shelter.  I offered a sincere greeting to each person, these men all belong to someone and I wanted to let them know that I also cared.  As the meal progressed, I had some great conversations with these gentlemen. I wanted to give them the same hope that I had for my brother. I have volunteered since and it is always a moving experience.

Three years ago, my brother graduated the program at Harvest Farm. In April 2013, I got to see him again.  I wasn’t sure how the meeting would go. I was scared that it would end up with one of us hurt or angry, like in the past, or worse that the past would be re-hashed to live over again and the anguish would come back.  I prayed so hard and my prayers were answered. As I hugged him, I looked into his clear blue eyes and the hardness and anger was gone and I had my sweet brother with the heart of gold back. I was no longer interacting with his addiction, it was gone. He wasn’t angry anymore and he was back! 

I will always and forever be grateful for the work you do and the lives you change through Jesus. I will never be able to give enough time, money or resources to repay you for this cherished life to be returned to me, my family and those that cherish him.