Renewal Story: James
Posted: January 16, 2018
James had been living on the streets for about five months when an act of kindness led him to Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County. “I was walking down the street and a guy I knew spent his last $5 to bring me down here to the Mission,” he recalls. “He just saw that I was sick and tired of being homeless.” James’ friend rode on the train with him and made sure James got a bed for the night.
That $5, so selflessly given, literally changed James’ life. Four days after arriving at UGM-TC, James joined the Men’s Program. That decision started a journey that took James from scavenging in dumpsters for food to pursuing a culinary career.
Working in the kitchen at UGM-TC, James discovered a passion for cooking. He recently accepted a position as a line cook and says, “I love feeding people. I like to see them happy. I want to become a chef, so I’m trying my hardest to get into culinary arts school with the help of God.”
Making positive choices comes a lot more easily to James since he joined the program. He has learned, “We can either let God open the window of opportunity and walk through it, or we can keep going backwards and not go anywhere. I’m going to do everything I can to keep moving forward."
One way James is moving forward is by reconciling with his three daughters, one of whom is soon to give him his first grandchild. “She needs me,” he says proudly.
Looking back on this past year, James says, “My journey with God has been great. Every morning I wake up and I thank Him for another day. I’ve accomplished so much and feel so much better about myself.”
James remains grateful to the friend who set his feet on the path to success with his last $5 and he plans to pay it forward. “If I had more to give to the homeless and to a place like this, I would love to.”
And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these brethren, you did it to Me.”