The Face of Grace – Success Story: Cody Sims – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

The Face of Grace – Success Story: Cody Sims

 In Newsletter Story, Story, Success Story

One year ago, Cody Sims was sitting in jail, and today he’s clean from all drugs and alcohol and is a trusted disciple at Project Hope, the Mission’s men’s home. From the age of 13, Cody had experimented with so many kinds of drugs that he was known as “Stoner” by his friends. Yet somehow he managed to excel in gifted classes and graduate from high school with honors. But daily alcohol abuse took its toll, and as he lost jobs, moved often, and continued his drug use, his future looked bleak. Eventually he woke up in the hospital following an auto accident he couldn’t even remember because he had blacked out while driving. His blood alcohol level landed him in jail for 10 months, and once he left, homelessness was added to his continuing alcohol abuse.

A friend urged him to go to the Mission and get help, and on March 20, 2023, life turned around for Cody. Every night, Cody and the others in the discipleship program attend classes in conquering chemical dependency, Christian ethics, and relapse prevention. Three times a week they attend chapel services and listen to speakers who share the gospel and encourage them. The Mission’s case workers counsel them, and Cody has built a strong bond with many, especially Pastor Shane, who has been a great encouragement to him. “We have the greatest conversations in the world,” Cody said. “Every single one of the staff members have been anointed by God to do the job they do.”

“I have found a real calling, a real purpose at the Mission,” Cody says. “I’ve taken so much time away from God that I need to do everything possible to make that up to Him.” Because of his work ethic and dependability, Cody has been given more responsibilities, and he has earned a reputation for getting things done correctly and on time. He helps with the audio system at the Mission and Celebrate Recovery meetings. Now he’s often asked by Pastor Richard to lead prayers in these meetings. “A year ago I was sitting in prison, and now I’m being asked to lead prayers,” he said.

Cody’s job in the laundry room at the Mission has been a great blessing to him. Every day 48 “overnighters” are housed, fed, and given a place to shower and sleep before heading back out for the day. Every morning Cody washes all the sheets, towels, and pillowcases for those 48 beds. “I am blessed beyond blessing in the laundry room. I can talk with God, do devotions, and listen to sermons. After that, I have time to volunteer in other areas at the Mission.”

The men’s home also has a work extension program, where men with jobs can live for free while putting 75% of their earnings into a savings account for the day when they can live on their own. Looking back on his life, Cody can see God intervening, leading him to this place of healing. “I am eternally grateful not to be on the streets anymore,” he said. “The Mission is doing God’s work. This place is the face of grace. It’s where criminals and addicts can find grace and mercy and true love. It not only saves our physical lives, it also saves our souls and shows us the way to everlasting life.” Today, thanks to the work of the Mission and the donors who support that work, Cody is a new man, reconciled with his family and friends, grateful for the saving grace of God, and enthusiastic about sharing that good news with others.

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