Kenny Returns To God After Homelessness, Losing His Daughter
A decade ago, Kenny was in a dark place. “I lived a life of depression and doing drugs—it was really bad,” Kenny said. “I became homeless. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I hit rock bottom.”
Kenny had a relationship with God, he said, but it “wasn’t a good one. I was mad at the Lord.” He had lost a daughter two weeks after she was born. “Going through that was really hard for me,” he said. “It put me on a downward spin and got me all depressed. I don’t wish anyone to go through that. When there’s nothing the doctors can do and you make the decision to turn off the machines … when a child dies in your arms … no one deserves that. I wanted to be a dad so bad. That was what got me on the path going downhill with my life.
“I didn’t care about a lot of things,” Kenny added. “That’s what got me to where I was, with nothing, being in a terrible situation all the time.”
Kenny’s brother was worried about him, and looked online for a program. “He found the mission and told me to go check it out and see about joining. I was 40 when I got there.
“It was something I really needed,” Kenny added. “It was great. The program really brought me to the Lord. I give him credit first for everything that I’ve come to—getting together with God, my pastor, brothers from the program. It was really, really great. It got me away from everything bad and showed me I could be somebody and I could turn my life around. And I sure did.”
Kenny weighed over 300 pounds when he was at the mission. After graduation, he started working and lost weight. “I started a new life. I’m truly a new man. I feel great. I have a career. The Lord comes first—then I’ll say it was all the program that really got me on track.”
Kenny was inspired by helping others while at the mission, both through the outreach programs and at the thrift store. “That really helped me with perspective,” he said. “But the biggest thing the program did for me, the best part, was leaving with the understanding that I was God’s child. Because of the bible teachings, I was able to understand God’s love for me.”
Kenny moved to Texas after graduation, where his brother lives. “Within six months I found a job, and I’ve been working for the same company (the local school district) ever since. I started as a part-time bus driver, and I’m now a full-time, fleet tech-three mechanic. I owe it all to God. He sent me to the mission’s program, and I’m very grateful.”
After suffering the loss of his child, Kenny didn’t think he would ever turn back to God. “But I did,” he said. “The Lord got me back. Pastor John (Schmidt, program manager) helped me change my views and my feelings toward the Lord, and I put him back in my heart.”