With a good job in the autobody industry, Johnathon and his high school girlfriend decided to have a baby when he was just 18. He went on to start a career painting aircraft, where he traveled the country painting new models for Boeing.
Johnathon loved his work, but the shifts were long, often 14 or 15 hours. “After a long night, I was having a couple drinks with some of the guys and (tried cocaine). That was all it took. It became my go-to to stay up and keep working.”
Johnathon noticed his addiction getting out of control. “It was bad, health-wise. When I wasn’t doing it, I felt like all my energy was drained.”
Johnathon and his daughter’s mother split. He quit his job to be closer to his daughter, who is now 6. He met a nice girl and tried to sober up, working from home and avoiding old friends. “I was isolating myself, but it was still too hard,” he said. “I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t stop on my own. It was horrible.”
Johnathon got to the Mission almost six months ago. “It wasn’t hard for me to adjust at all—it was awesome,” he said. “The brotherhood is so great. I’m close to my daughter and my parents, and I got my girlfriend to go to church with me! I feel so different. I don’t have the urge to do what I used to do. I know that God is going to pull me through this.”
“Pastor John (program manager) always has the time to mentor me and he always answers from Scripture. His door is never closed.”
Johnathon plans to attend the Fire Academy. “I feel like my old job would be a gateway back to what I used to do. And I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter, since I was a little kid.”
To those who are struggling, Johnathon offers this advice: “Surround yourself with people you want to be like,” he said. “Any problems in your life, give them up to the Lord, trust and believe in Him. The Lord changes lives and saves lives.”