Kenneth always knew that God didn’t create him to be an addict. But he idolized his dad, and as a young teenager, he followed in his father’s footsteps down a long destructive road of drinking, drugs, women, prison, and homelessness.
“I probably spent most of the past 20 years up and down the East Coast, living out of cars, in abandoned houses, and jail,” Kenneth says. “But the thing is, I hated that life. And once you start down that road, it’s hard to get off. I was miserable. I started getting so high I hoped I’d never wake up. But I always did.
”Through it all, the one person who always believed in Kenneth was his mother. She refused to give up on him. For years, she prayed for him and always welcomed him with open arms—especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He never missed going home for the holidays—until the shame finally got to be too much.
“One Christmas, I was so far gone in my addiction, I stayed completely away from my family. They came looking for me, but I was so filled with guilt and shame, I didn’t want them to find me. I just wanted to get high so I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.”
Shortly after that, however, Kenneth’s mother died. “It felt like the end of the world,” he says. “But that’s what finally made me take a long hard look at myself—and it’s what brought me here to Old Savannah City Mission.
”Finally, God got hold of Kenneth. “When I heard that God gave His only Son to die for me, it hit me. Because of what He did, I could finally get off that road to death. I could live a brand-new life. I mean, this Christmas I’m a new creation, man! There ain’t no gift better than that. God is good. And as a donor, so are you for making this possible for me. Merry Christmas!”