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I came from an alcoholic family and I started drinking at the age of 15. I moved to Tampa from West Virginia in 1982 while I was working with the carnival. I am a concrete finisher by trade and had steady work back in those days. From 15 years of age until my 44th birthday I was a drunk and addict and I lost everything because of it. I lived with an elderly lady by the name of Carol Louise who passed away in 1992. When she passed away I lost it. I became homeless and lived in a patch of woods just north of citylife church (formerly known as University Church of God) sleeping on the ground and having nothing.
Other homeless people told me about the church and said that the church would feed me. I resisted their invitations, until one day could not do so any more. But let me tell you, when I went into the church the first time I felt something happening but did not know what.
I kept coming to church and making use of UCM’s, Operation Jumpstart Program’s food, clothes, showers and services. I began to notice myself getting closer to the Lord.  However, I still had my bad habits and I could not quit.  I kept praying and getting to know my Lord better. One day in August of 2001 in the church, I got down on my knees by the pew where I was sitting and asked the Lord to take the drugs and alcohol away from me. I had never done that before. That has been eleven and one-half years ago and I have not had a drink or hit of drugs since and pray that I will never again.
Since then my life really has gotten better. People started to treat me differently and with more respect. I started to get more work opportunities. I guess they saw a change in me.
The Lord can and will make miracles happen if you stick by Him and keep faith always. This I know because I’ve seen it. The power of God is above all. Just one example: I had owed the IRS $6,600 in taxes and was on a payment plan. When the balance got down to $1,500, work got slow and I could not pay them for several months. This scared me so bad that I started thinking I could go back to my drugging days and in just a couple of deals I could have it paid in no time. I talked to a couple of people and prayed to God and was encouraged to call the IRS to tell them my problem and work out a payment plan of maybe sending them $50 a month rather than the $200 I had been sending to them. To my surprise and amazement the lady told me I had been paying so much a month that the IRS owed me a $1,100 refund and she will be sending me a check in the mail. Wow what a relief and what an amazing God! The Lord can and will make miracles happen. I’ve seen it.
Thank you for helping me change and my thanks to all who help the homeless.
God Bless you,


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University Community Ministries

PO Box 280024 Tampa, FL 33682

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