Aaron’s Story: When It Rains, It Pours
Hurricane Ian robbed Aaron of his room. It’s not the first hardship he’s faced.
When the world shut down and COVID-19 spread in 2020, Aaron’s life imploded. After years apart and a thousand-mile separation, he and his wife finalized a divorce. Meanwhile, the start-up for which he worked in Gainesville let him go.
His spiral accelerated. His landlord sold the property where Aaron was living, and the nine-month contract job he landed ended after three, leaving him with no funds. Aaron shared, “I gave into a routine of hopelessness.”
A combination of drinking and medication brought on severe health complications. Medical bills depleted all his founds, and he became homeless.
Then, in November 2021, he found the Mission and entered its discipleship program. His work entails registering men seeking emergency shelter at Project Hope, our men’s home.
After almost a year at the Mission, Aaron’s health has greatly improved. Attending the Mission’s Conquering Chemical Dependency class inspired Aaron to quit drinking and make healthier choices. His weight and fluid loss are evident, and he no longer needs to visit the hospital for fluid drainage. Additional classes like the Mission’s Master Life Class, Celebrate Recovery and Step Class continue to lead him toward long-lasting recovery.
Aaron now has real hope for a future. Yet, his current circumstances still present challenges.
On September 29, Aaron woke up at 5:00 a.m. to flooding waters in his room. He started putting all his belongings on top of his bed and the tallest furniture. The water from Hurricane Ian inundated Project Hope that night.
Aaron’s room is one of 17 irrecoverably damaged due to flooding. Demolishing and rebuilding remain the only option.
Aaron, however, stays positive. “They put me and my roommate in a small almost finished, but not quite finished, room. There is grout on the floor. They haven’t put the baseboards back up. But, it has A.C… and it will do in a pinch.”
The adage “when it rains, it pours” usually implies amplified adversity. Aaron has certainly seen his fair share. However, God can also rain down blessings. Despite his upheaval, Aaron shares his thankfulness for donors like you who make possible the food, amenities and even the software program he uses to register the homeless for emergency shelter.
He knows if he hadn’t faced hardship, he would have missed out on his biggest blessing, “Without the elimination of my hubris, I don’t think I would have turned myself back to Christ the way I did when I had absolutely nothing.”
Hurricane Ian may have robbed Aaron of his room, but it cannot rob him of his newfound hope. As we make plans for the rebuilding of Project Hope, Aaron is a reminder to us that God is working every difficult circumstance into something good — and for this we give thanks.