Yusufu was born the second of six children to a loving mother and father. They practiced the Muslim faith and lived in Zimbabwe. Everything changed when his father passed away.
He moved to the United States to attend college, with dreams of finding a job that would support his family back in Zimbabwe. A hard worker, driven by this passion to help his family, Yusufu excelled at everything he put his hands to. Looking back, he sees now that it was God blessing him. He worked as a caregiver for several years, eventually becoming a manager. Soon he married his lovely wife, and they had a son and daughter.
Heavy on Yusufu’s mind was the well being of his family. His ultimate goal was to be a good provider for his wife, his children, and his family back home. One day, Yusufu received word that his little sister had passed away.
“That was when everything went downhill for me,” said Yusufu. “I had nothing to hold on to, no faith. What I prided myself on, in being a provider, turned out to be a failure. So I slipped into a depression and stopped working.”
Yusufu never dealt with his father’s death. The death of his sister compounded his grief and he began to drink more and more. Overwhelmed and unable to work, Yusufu moved into subsidized housing. It was there that a kind friend told Yusufu about Open Door Mission. His friend drove him to the Open Door Mission campus to join the New Life Recovery Program.
“That was my lowest point,” said Yusufu. “I thought, ‘Did I come around the world for this?’ But being at the bottom was the beginning of something beautiful. I looked around the cafeteria one day and saw faces of every age and race, all in need, but all at peace. There must be something special about this place. That’s when I decided to open my heart and give the program 100%.”
Last January, Yusufu was baptized at a local church that he still attends. “I found myself at the Mission,” said Yusufu. The faith he had followed since he was a boy always had something missing, and that was the truth about Jesus Christ. Now his relationship with Jesus, is what drives Yusufu, not his pride. He is in awe of the fact that Jesus came to earth as a baby so that He would one day die for the sins of the world.
Yusufu graduated in June and has full time employment. He has rebuilt his relationship with his son and daughter. They attend church together on Sundays. He looks forward to what God has in store for his life.
“I finally have hope again,” said Yusufu. “If there were more places like Open Door Mission in the world, there would be more peace and less war. I still can’t believe that I found happiness at a homeless shelter, but I am so grateful.”