A story of redemption
Tony loved to ride his bike. He rode to and from his job, putting in long hours every day as a custodian at a Pensacola theater. He was careful, but one day, Tony was nearly killed.
“I was hit in the morning, and then I was hit again that night,” he recalls. “I lost my right leg and my neck was broken in two places. I wound up in the hospital and I lost my job, so I was really just at the mercy of the Lord.”
A chaplain visited Tony in the hospital and told him that Waterfront had a place for him. Once he completed respite care, Tony moved in and began the difficult process of rebuilding his life.
“I needed help,” Tony says plainly. “I’m just grateful that I could come here and find food, shelter, clothing and financial help all in one place. The Mission has been a really big help to me. I’m thankful God opened the door for me to come, because if I hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have made it.”
Slowly, Tony recovered. He moved from a sling to a wheelchair to a prosthetic. His neck brace came off, and he began to regain some mobility. Little by little, his heart began to heal as well, and Tony reclaimed the faith of his youth.
“I grew up in the Word. I know God says that He will never leave you or forsake you, and I find that to be very true. I’ve always believed that no matter what you’re going through, Christ will be there with you. I should have been a goner, but the Lord kept me for a purpose.
“Without Christ, you aren’t going to make it,” he says. “The older you get, the wiser you’re supposed to get, and I have learned my lesson. I know for a fact where my help comes from!”
Through the programs at the Mission, Tony was able to save some money, and today, he has an apartment of his own. He’s back at work, and he has also returned to something else he loves.
“I’m getting my license restored, but I still ride my bike!” he laughs. “It just didn’t seem right for me to say I’ll never do it again. God has really blessed me.”
Friends like you make Tony’s story possible. As we celebrate the ultimate story of redemption this weekend, I hope you will partner with us and offer the new life of Christ to everyone who walks through our doors. He is risen, indeed!