“Every day I am smiling on the outside, but sometimes crying on the inside.”

It certainly wasn’t John’s plan to wind up homeless. But in spite of all the trouble he’s faced, his smile is unforgettable and his laughter is contagious.  When hard times come, John shares, “that’s when I sing. I sing and I pray.”

“I have slept in ditches, on bridges. But I also have a joy within,” he says.

John, 42 years old, wants to be a Gospel singer. He has a lot to sing about.  He was born in Mississippi and dropped out of school in the 9th grade.

He has seen so many places and met so many people.  Since high school, he’s been to West Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina in search of work opportunities.  A friend told him about some work in North Dakota. Yet that didn’t pan out either.

Then someone told John about Northlands Rescue Mission.

“When I walked into the Mission I could just tell there was something different about it. There are really nice people here and they really care,” says John. “I want to take advantage of all that the Mission offers. The community really embraces this place. It’s really a blessing.”

“This is going to be my year. I know it,” John hopes.

He’s made friends at the Mission and encourages some of the young people there to stay on track. He shares this motto: “It’s not the swift, not the strong, but the humble.”

“This is the best mission in the world,” says John. “I’ve told a lot of people about this place. I have a lot of friends here. I get involved and encourage them,” he says. “I tell them that ‘God watches over you and will pull you through. He’s helped me make it through and he can do the same for you.”

Your donations have given John something to sing about. He tells everyone. Today you are giving hope to men and women who have seen so much struggle.

Will you give today?  Together, we can give John and so many others a chance at hope.  

*Out of confidentiality and respect, John’ real name was not used.