Dillon’s family life took a 180° turn when his father came home from prison. It’s just that Dillon didn’t make the turn with them.
“For the first ten years of my life I was surrounded by drug dealers, gang members, every kind of drug and alcohol, porn and sex. Somewhere in those years Dad went to prison. While he was in there, Jesus got ahold of him and changed everything. When Dad came home, all that raunchy stuff was gone. Dad wouldn’t stand for it. He tried to force God on us, and the more Dad did that the more I pushed back.
“And when I got mad at Dad, I got mad at God.”
Dillon and his father were in a constant feud for years to come. Dillon finally softened toward the Gospel and professed Jesus as Savior when he was 13. Yet that same year, Dillon became a drug addict. He spent six days a week acting out his rebellion toward his dad and God by drinking and abusing drugs, then went to church on Sunday to repent. It stayed that way for years.
Finally, the double life had to stop. Dillon said, “I came to Open Door Mission ready to end the addictions. I was tired of the pattern of being successful for awhile and then losing everything with one choice to use again. My uncle, who was in the New Life Recovery Program, told me to drop everything and get started immediately. So I did, and I learned again and again that through Christ, all things really are possible.
“It was possible to stop living a double life. So many of the staff at the Mission reminded me about 2 Corinthians 5:17, and that I was a new creation that could break the old pattern. Everything here was a reminder that the love I was looking for would never be found in chasing what the world system offers. The love we all need comes through choosing Jesus over everything else. That’s how we get integrity. That’s how we truly love ourselves, how we know our worth.”
Today, Dillon continues in ministry as a Support Worker at Garland Thompson Men’s Center. He’s reconciled with his dad. He welcomes men who are considering entering the New Life program, and those who are just at the Mission for a day or two, with a handshake and a smile. “Everything we do at Open Door Mission – on the streets, handing out water, sharing faith, welcoming people who need help – lets me live out my calling to serve Jesus. My double life is over.”
Thank you for your help in transforming Dillon and so many others to pursue a life of integrity through choosing to follow Jesus Christ.
Read more stories like these and Mission happenings HERE.