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Our souvenir tech tee this year is AWESOME! It was designed Mission alumni, Elias. Elias graduated from our sister Mission, Market Street Mission, in April 2020 and continues to volunteer at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission! As Elias worked on the design for this year’s t-shirt, he couldn't stop smiling as he thought of the joy and peace he has in his heart today. Not long ago, his life was a much different story...
Elias first tried drugs and alcohol as a teenager. Everyone else around him was doing it — including his parents — so “it didn’t seem like a big deal,” he says. But then he became addicted to prescription pain pills, and life quickly spiraled out of control. He hit rock bottom when he lost his job and became homeless. “It was horrible and depressing. The only way I got through being homeless was to be high all the time.”
Then Elias heard about the Mission. He came with doubts and a disbelief in God, but the loving care he experienced at the Mission helped him discover a relationship with Jesus Christ. That faith has given him a strong foundation to rebuild his life.
“When you get stuck in your ways over time from drug use, it seems so difficult to get out. It’s a beautiful thing now to wake up with a smile on my face.”
Today, Elias is back working in graphic design — a career that he loves. He was thrilled when he was asked to design this year’s shirt! He hopes that everyone who is able will participate in this event to raise money and awareness so the Mission can offer healing to others just like him.
“It’s given me hope and a foundation to start over… it’s a life change program. To be able to start fresh thanks to their help is an amazing thing. The Mission absolutely saves lives.”
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