Want to Know What the Joy of the Lord Is? Ask Alan

From Hard Times to Hope

Alan is one of the most enthusiastic people you might ever meet.

Ask him to pull onions from the garden on a hot day, plow a field, plant seeds or drive a tractor and the answer you’re like to get is a happy, “Yeah, boy! Let’s do it!” bellowed out in his deep, southern Mississippi drawl. Alan, you might say, has the Joy of the Lord in his heart. But it wasn’t always that way.

When he first came to John 3:16 Mission in the cold days of January, it was on the back of yet another depressing job loss.  
“I was working the third shift at my job – a temp job – and I got laid off,” he says. “I was able to find work, but they always ended with layoffs instead of a permanent position.”

Knocked on his heels by the layoff and with no family in Tulsa, Alan was at a loss of what to do. He also had been using meth (an illegal stimulant) to get him through is late shifts. With money running out, Alan ended up in the streets. Hungry, he heard there was a place called John 3:16 Mission that served up really good, hot food.
“What attracted me was the food,” says Alan,
“But the Christian based recovery is why I stayed.”

Alan stayed overnight at the shelter for two weeks last winter and during that time some men in the recovery program told him his life could change if he also committed himself to the program.
Reclaimed Life Alan

I Could Not Recover On My Own

“They told me it was a real chance to get on my feet again, to pause and figure things out. I realized I could not recover on my own. I needed help. I needed Christ.  “I said, ‘Lord, I’m going to do it YOUR way!’ and I became a student in the program.

In a few short months, Alan had kicked meth and cigarettes and his life, indeed, was changing dramatically. He threw himself into every counseling session and activity he could, including work therapy at the Mission’s Refuge location near downtown Tulsa.

The Refuge is where John 3:16 Mission operates a small farm operation that includes various crops and an apiary (beehives).  Alan, a native of Jones County, Miss., excitedly helped to prepare, plant and harvest the ground through the spring and summer.

“What could be better than being out in nature, in His creation, working and planting and harvesting?” he asks.  

Alan recently achieved Phase 3 in the Mission’s 5 Phase New Creation recovery program. His plan is to graduate from the program around the end of the year and become a trucker. In the meantime, he is grateful to YOU for the second chance you gave him to encounter Christ.

“Being here has transformed my life,” he says. “If you read the bible and let God in, I promise he will show you things. God will give you what you need! I know He has for me and I can’t thank Him enough!”