Richard grew up in Southern California as the youngest son of Midwest parents who migrated to California in the 1950’s looking for a better life. Richard’s father was raised an orphan in the 1930’s. He was an abusive man full of rage, especially toward Richard. Richard’s mother, also a child of the 1930’s, was in complete denial of the physical and psychological damage her husband would inflict. This set the stage for a roller coaster of a life for Richard.
Richard joined the Navy out of High School and used alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with life. After leaving the Navy, Richard had a positive period in his life. He stopped using, graduated college on the G.I. Bill and decided to return to the military as an officer in the Air Force.
After leaving the Air Force after a few years, Richard’s life took a turn for the worse when his symptoms of PTSD began to manifest. They would eventually undermine his success for the remainder of his life. “I would work for a while, mostly office and paperwork, then crippling anxiety and depression would eventually overwhelm me. I never worked more than a few years anywhere in my life”. He left a trail of failed relationships, failed finances and defeat behind him.
Recently, a long time friend recommended Richard come to Las Cruces and stay at the Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission. He had heard good things about their services and thought Richard might benefit from staying there. “Fortunately, I heeded his advice”, says Richard.
Richard began volunteering at the Mission after being there a week. He enjoyed working at the Mission and saw the positive changes his stay was making in his life. “The staff and the volunteers have become my family for real. The truth is helping others also helps me”.
Richard reports that Jesus Christ has become an important part of his life. “I’ve had some good times and really bad times in my life. At some point I reached the end of myself. The mission has help me realize Christ’s forgiveness in my life. Fortunately, we have weekday bible studies and access to chapel services every day to learn and reinforce God’s Word”.
Richard’s plans for the future are still undetermined. “I can only take life one day at a time, like everybody else. All I know is that when I lay my head down on the pillow, I thank God for another night at the Mission.”