Written by: Greg Miller
A Marine veteran who was addicted to heroin for 5 years after returning home from Afghanistan shared his story at Uncommon Grounds Cafe. He had come to participate in “Church in the Margins”, a ministry where people not yet ready to enter church life can come and learn about Jesus.
This Vet had been searching for help but had been looked down on by churches because his appearance was too rough. However, he couldn’t stand his life of addiction so, when a policeman asked him how he was one day, he blurted out “I’m a Marine vet addicted to heroin and I’ve got a needle in my pocket”. A bit taken aback, the policeman sat him in his car and called for another officer. It turned out that there was a warrant for his arrest. Apologetically, the policemen explained that they had to take him to jail. He willingly complied.
After his attorney arranged for him to be released he went back to his girlfriend and started shooting up again. Old habits die hard. Nevertheless, he didn’t want to fall back into his lifestyle of addiction so he found a piece of paper that one of the policemen had given him. On it was the policeman’s name and phone number. “Call me if I can ever help you out”, the policeman had said. The Marine wanted bus fare to go to rehab so he called and asked the policeman for $2.50. The policeman met him and said “I’m going to give you $25.00. You have two choices to make. You can either go buy some heroin and continue in your old lifestyle or you can get something to eat and get yourself to rehab.” He was stunned. No one had trusted him like that before. He couldn’t let the policeman down so he went to rehab. In rehab he met Jim Skal. Jim MC’s at Open Mic night and runs Outdoor Immersion, a ministry that ministers to Vets. Jim talked to him about Jesus. The Marine came to faith, was baptized, and became a new creation in Christ zealous to learn about his new walk with Jesus.
This is just one story about lives changed that we hear at the Uncommon Grounds Café. It is a modern day Les Miserables tale. It is a story of grace and redemption and new life in Jesus. It reflects the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. To God be the glory!!