Wayne had moved from Ontario to Edmonton to be closer to his children. He had worked a variety of jobs in his life, including 23 years in the medical field. In Edmonton, Wayne became employed as a grave digger. He had struggled over the years with drinking and gambling, and had even tried Hope Mission’s recovery program before, but fell back into addiction after going back to work. “Sometimes my pay cheques would last 4 days… normally it was around 48 – 72 hours. The only smart thing I did was buy bus tickets to get to work.”
It was an encounter in Churchill Square that finally started pushing Wayne towards the life change he knew he needed. A Hope Mission staff member recognized Wayne and asked him how he was doing. Wayne tried to shrug off the staff member’s obvious concern. “I said I was still working. He told me ‘You may think you’re okay on the outside, but it’s the inside that counts.’ I walked around and that just kept popping into my head.”
With his last $20, Wayne purchased beer and cigarettes. Drinking the beer didn’t quiet his thoughts. He couldn’t stop thinking about how his exterior didn’t match his tumultuous heart.
Wayne ended up sitting alone in an inner city parking lot, regretting how he had wasted the last of his money. “I was thinking, why did I buy the cigarettes and beer when I should have bought food? I’m so hungry.” Suddenly, a young man pulled up in his car and offered a sandwich to Wayne. The simple gesture overwhelmed Wayne. “That was a blessing. I started crying. I thought, you know what, God’s calling me again.” Wayne knew he wanted to come back to Hope Mission.
Through the Herb Jamieson Centre, Wayne was connected to a supportive recovery community. He has found hope and healing, and a sincere and earnest faith.
“I’m not afraid to say I love God, I love Jesus. It doesn’t bother me a bit. It makes me proud.”
Today, Wayne’s easy smile and friendly nature are easily recognizable around Hope Mission. He isn’t sure what the future holds, but wherever God calls him, he wants to help people. Because of your investment in him, Wayne has the community and stability to bring hope to others as weary as he was.