Larry Recalls Lessons Learned at Mission
Larry was preparing to graduate from high school in 2006 when his family was given an eviction notice. His mom was the sole supporter of the family and simply couldn’t cover all the bills anymore. Larry credits her deep faith in God for how the family responded to the news.
“She was calm; she knew God was going to fight for us,” Larry recalled. “That helped my sister and me realize everything would be OK.”
The next day, the kids were tasked with moving everything out into the yard while their mom picked up a moving truck. They put their belongings in storage and moved in with a family friend. Within a week of researching places that could help the family, Larry’s mom found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission and quickly applied to move in.
“The way they cared for us removed any stigma that might come from staying in a shelter because the Mission wasn’t a shelter,” Larry said. “For that time of life, it was our home. (Living there) was an opportunity!”
It was at the Mission the entire family learned the importance of saving money, getting an education, and using self-discipline.
As Larry finished high school, he began to ponder his future. He decided to join the Army Reserves as a way to help support his family. His family remained at the Mission until the end of 2007 and Larry would when he wasn’t in training. During his time in the Reserves, Larry was able to graduate from the University of North Georgia and is now a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He is preparing for his first assignment in Texas.
Larry attributes much of his character to what he learned from his mom and people he met at the Mission. His mom had taught him the Biblical principles he saw lived out among some of the male staff and volunteers.
“The staff had a high standard for us,” he said. “One male staff member, in particular, lived a life for Jesus in such a way that I wanted to model my life after him.”
Though Orlando is no longer his home, Larry returns regularly to the area and makes it a point to come back to the Mission and volunteer with the kids.
“I come back because you need to help the community that helped you,” he said. “I love working with the kids because I want them to know that their situation doesn’t have to defeat them. It can teach them how to achieve their dreams and live like Christ.”
Although Larry is an adult serving his country miles away from Orlando, he hasn’t forgotten how the Mission was there for his family when they needed it most. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Larry’s. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.