Brothers Found Their Calling as Teens at the Mission
The first thing Michael (age 13) and Jesse (12) noticed when their mom brought their family to the Mission in 2004 was the friendly demeanor of everyone they met. Michael expected his family to get the basic necessities, but didn’t anticipate the level of compassion he found here.
“I thought we would be sleeping in a giant room and eating soup three meals a day,” he remembers.
But the boys soon discovered that not only were they able to stay in a private room with their family – and eat much more than soup – they also would find a few men on the Mission staff who would serve as the father figure that was missing throughout much of their childhood.
When they first moved in, their mom had trouble getting Michael and Jesse into school right away. While the problem was being sorted out, the Mission allowed the boys to go with their mom to the Victorious Life Program during the day. This two-week course is designed to teach Christian principles to adult residents staying at the Mission.
Though Michael and Jesse weren’t there for long, the instructor taught in such a way that something stirred in both of their hearts. had heard much about what it meant to believe in God and have a relationship with Him, so they soaked up every word that was spoken.
Once the boys were in school, they began attending the afterschool programs at the Family Life Center (FLC). The youth director of the FLC quickly won the admiration and brotherly affection of Michael and Jesse. He was able to continue sharing with the boys about what it meant to have a relationship with God and how to be men of character.
“Growing in my relationship with God helped me so much during my teenage years. Because of God using men like Pastor Dave and Matt (the youth director), I stayed away from a lot of things that people are drawn to during that time of life,” Michael said. “I would have done a lot of things I would have regretted.”
Jesse agrees. “We would stay hours after the FLC closed, helping clean up after the day. It was our way of spending more time with them,” he said.
Today Michael and Jesse are in their early 20s and are eager to pass on what they experienced as adolescents. Both started volunteering in 2011 and later were hired as full-time employees at the Mission. They are investing their lives into the children at the Mission the same way other staff members invested in them.
With much of their lives ahead of them, both Michael and Jesse are eager to pursue the lives God has called them to live. Michael is pursuing a Business Administration degree at Seminole State College. He also is exploring future opportunities with Compass Ministry, an organization that helps people manage their money in a Biblical way.
Jesse attends the College for Natural Health, where he is studying for his massage therapy license. “I am so grateful that the Mission invested in my family and gave us a chance to reach beyond our circumstances,” Jesse shared. “When people take the time to love you and spend time with you, it builds you up and makes you excited to do that for others. That’s what Michael and I want to spend our lives doing.”
Michael and Jesse are important members of the Mission team. Your generous support helps make it possible for them to mentor young people who are in the same position they were once in. Each gift of $26.82 provides a day of life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child right here in Central Florida!