“Do you believe in miracles?” the doctor asked Daniel.
For most of his life, Daniel would have responded, “No.” From a young age, he had been convinced that God had it out for him; a theme that would continue throughout his life.
Right out of high school, Daniel joined the Marine Corps, following his father’s and grandfather’s legacies. He served for six years including time in the Lebanese Civil War, during which he survived a battle that took 241 of his brothers.
“I couldn’t bear wearing my purple heart, knowing my brothers were wearing theirs in their caskets,” said Daniel. “I wouldn’t admit the war had affected me, so stuffed my feelings, which made me a good Marine. But I turned to alcohol for help sleeping and forgetting.”
Out of the Marine Corps, Daniel began a family with a woman who was “out of [his] league,” but he was never emotionally available. When his wife confronted Daniel about his alcoholism, he quit, only to turn to drugs.
“Addiction has a way of taking you to rock bottom and making you think things aren’t as bad as they seem,” Daniel said. “It should have been the best time of my life, but I couldn’t appreciate it because I was so angry.”
In 2017, Daniel was arrested, and found himself feeling relived because he was tired of living this way. After 54 days in jail, his left foot began to swell and Daniel was diagnosed with a bone disease so a judge released him to Open Door Mission.
“As soon as I arrived, I met a staff member who told me, ‘You’re in the right place,’” said Daniel. “When I went to devotionals the next morning, that staff member was leading them! I was starting to see God’s hand in everything.”
Daniel soon began the New Life Recovery Program, and it was in one of his Bible classes that he gave his life to the Lord. Pat, the Men’s Center Director, baptized him shortly after.
Through all of this transformation, Daniel was still suffering from pain in his feet and legs. At Open Door Mission’s Free Health and Healing Clinic, he met Dr. Dale Agner, a faithful volunteer in the clinic.
“Dr. Agner was such a blessing – he prays with each of his clients,” said Daniel. “He told me that I would most likely lose both of my legs, but he took the time to walk me through the process and connect me with doctors to help with my amputation.”
Daniel lost the lower part of his left leg this past June to prevent the disease from spreading.
“All that anger at God came back,” said Daniel. “Why would He take away my leg as I’m trying to devote my life to Him? But Pat told me it was the other way around: God knew this would happen and brought me to the Mission to develop a relationship with Him before going through it.”
Throughout his time in the hospital, Mission staff member after staff member came to visit Daniel on their own time.
“At Open Door Mission, I am somebody, not just a number filling a bed,” said Daniel. “The team cares about me. My friends in the past just used me, but these people love me for who I have become.”
After recovering from his amputation, Daniel went in to have his right leg tested to see how far the disease had spread. This is when his doctor asked, “Do you believe in miracles?”
There was no sign of disease at all – Daniel’s right leg had been completely healed! He no longer even needed corrective shoes!
“Open Door Mission is a place where you can truly see God’s miracles every single day in the staff, donors, and volunteers,” Daniel said.
In September, Daniel received his prosthetic leg, and he couldn’t be prouder of it.
“I like to wear shorts whenever I can to show it off,” said Daniel. “This leg truly is the greatest blessing God could’ve given me because without it, I would’ve run right into the grave.”
Daniel graduated from the New Life Recovery Program in December and is now working on staff in the Garland Thompson Men’s Center, ministering to men who were lost in hopelessness like he once was. God has been providing opportunities for Daniel to minister both to fellow veterans and amputees, using his story for His glory.
Because of friends like YOU, Open Door Mission truly is a place where miracles can happen every day. Thank you!