Forty years ago, a sixth-grade teacher handed a Bible to a boy named David. Opening the front cover, he had written, “Rejoicing in hope, patient in times of tribulation and constant in prayer,” Romans 12:12. Underneath, he added, “I hope you will find comfort in this verse someday.” Those words came back to David as he sat in despair on the railroad tracks not far from here—homeless, addicted, and alone.
“I was scared,” David says, “I didn’t know who I was.” And he prayed for his life. God answers prayers: three days later he was in detox, two weeks after that he found a place open in the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s 12-month, faith-centered recovery program. David completed his year in the program and is employed at a local non-profit organization. “This place really has saved my life,” he says with tears of gratitude in his eyes, “and if I can be saved and helped, then there’s hope for others, too.”