This past Sunday our Impact Story came from one of the eleven new members who joined the church that morning. It was as powerful as any I've ever heard because it was a story of how the church, quite literally, saved his life. And not just the church per se, but specific people in the church who, in their own way and along the way, took him from a difficult place to a better one. As I shared previously in this post, we don't have to wait for the perfect time to impact another person's life, as that time is wherever we are with whomever we're with. And chances are good that it isn't just their lives being impacted, but ours too.
Here's the story below - and thanks to both Greg and Tricia for agreeing to let me share it.....
I first met Greg when he came to Trinity during the winter of 2013 as a guest of our Room In The Inn program. Greg had been homeless, on and off, since 1996. As with a lot of folks that have experienced chronic homelessness, Greg suffered from addiction, but it’s never as simple as that. I won’t go into the other hardships Greg faced growing up that may have contributed to him spending 17 years with no permanent place to call home. I will tell you that Greg attributes his path off the streets and out of homelessness to his faith in God.
In his late teens and twenties Greg was an accomplished professional drag racer here in Charlotte. Once his addictions took over, however, his drag racing career came to an end. In 2010 he stopped using drugs. He never received any treatment. He said he relied on God and trusted that He would give him the strength to quit.
During Greg’s overnight stay at Trinity he met Noel Humphreys, one of the overnight hosts that evening. Greg remembers her kindness in helping him bandage a burn he had on his arm. He felt welcome at Trinity because of Noel and the other volunteers here that night. Something about this church left an impression on him. Soon after the Room In The Inn program finished for the winter, Greg was able to find permanent housing at Hoskins Park Ministries, where he still lives today.
After getting settled in his apartment, Greg came back to Trinity to visit. He was walking by the Friendship Garden when Gary Sugg greeted him and invited him to join us for worship on Sunday. Greg came back and has since gotten to know many Trinity members.
After so many years on the streets, it has been difficult for Greg to find permanent employment. Knowing that one of the ways Greg earned an income was from collecting scrap metal, a member of Trinity told him about the Scout Hut being demolished and that he was welcome to go in and collect any scrap metal he wanted. Greg did just that and recovered pipes, lawn equipment, chairs, and much more. Using 60% of the proceeds from the scrap metal, he was able to get some much-needed repairs on his car. He donated the remaining 40% to Trinity.
I asked Greg if he had any words of wisdom for the rest of us. His answer: “Follow God’s word. Block out other distractions. Listen in depth so you can focus on what God has to say.”
Greg has been a long time member of another church in Charlotte but continues to worship at Trinity at least once a month. Greg says the ministry here is next to the best and that Trinity is an inspiration to him.
I would just like to say to you, Greg, that your faith is an inspiration to me.