Human Interest Story: Jayson Bawcum

In October, 2014, after 3 years of struggling to come to grips with the unsettling diagnosis of a rare life-threatening blood clotting disorder, I found myself in a psychiatric institution. Scared, alone and wishing for the end to come…I was truly lost.

This was far from my first time in a facility of this nature as I had suffered the devastating effects of Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and contemplations of suicide since early adolescence.

This time around was different in that I was over 200 miles away from my home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico and separated from an environment full of faces and places which had become constant reminders of years of strife, turmoil and great loss.

Having recently lost my fiancé to a life-long battle with Lupus as well as my Mother, Grandfather, Aunt, and cousin within one year of each other I was at a breaking point.

After years of not being able to hold down a long term job due to more than 40 in-patient hospitalizations, I had become homeless and was on the streets of a city which had become one giant trigger for my anxiety, depression and chronic addiction to alcohol and drugs. I had indeed reached my “rock-bottom.” Having been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for about 14 years, I had become aware that my addiction stemmed from an inability to cope with “life on life’s terms” and my failure to maintain a meaningful and effective personal relationship with the God of my understanding.

Having been raised in the Catholic Church, believing that Jesus Christ was my direct connection to God and having the presence of Holy Spirit in my heart, I yet had lost the contact with the very thing that would and could deliver me from my misery. Upon release from the hospital, I immediately sought out the local AA clubhouse and the comfort it could offer me. There, I was to learn of the Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission and decided to check-in as a guest.

With discharge papers in-hand, I was welcomed at the Mission and allowed to remain on property during the day. This afforded me the chance to seek housing assistance from local agencies. The Mission provided me with safe and secure shelter, healthy meals to rejuvenate my body and pastoral services to nourish my soul. After a few weeks and a couple more hospital admissions for treatment of serious internal bleeding episodes caused by the potent blood-thinning medication I was prescribed, my housing assistance came through on the day of my 40th birthday.

For the next couple of years. I had secure housing until I again found myself hospitalized with life-threatening internal bleeding and blood clots. During my hospital stay the housing program I was in fell apart due to lack of funding and I was homeless again. All money that I had managed to save was spent on motel rooms until all funds were exhausted and I was on the streets once more. Sleeping in a run-down abandoned apartment building with no water, heat or working facilities, my depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation returned with a vengeance.

Due solely to my connection with my savior, Jesus Christ…I survived this stretch and was re-admitted to the psychiatric unit. Upon discharge I returned to the only place that I knew would be able and willing to help me, the Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission. I quickly asked to be part of the New Life Recovery Program. I had learned through prayer and meditation that in order for me to realize my potential as a child of God, I needed to be of humble service to others.

As a member of the program and working at the front desk, I am granted the opportunity to have contact with my brothers and sisters in Christ on a daily basis. The Gospel Rescue Mission continues to provide me not only with the basic necessities of shelter, clothing and food for mind, body and soul, but also graces me with a sense of purpose, a sense of direction and a reason for being…all of which come together to form the greatest gift of all, HOPE!

I thank the good people at the Mission for welcoming me as a member of their loving family and encouraging me to rely upon God, our Father, rather than upon earthly things in order to have happiness, peace of mind and a sense of fulfillment for the first time in a long while.

Once again I feel loved and appreciated and am able to feel and express the same for my fellow man. I am truly grateful for the Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission and my new found family!!!

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