Sam came to Agape by way of his brother Q. He started sleeping over at the Agape Gateway house even though Gateway residents were not allowed to have overnight guests. Agape staff encouraged Sam to apply to be a Gateway resident if he wanted to stay there. Staff, along with his brother, also encouraged Sam to attend the Agape Young Adult Retreat. “I didn’t want to go at first,” says Sam. “But the day before the retreat God told me to just go. And I’m glad I went. It changed me.” Sam had been staying at a shelter before coming to Agape. He felt that the chapel services at the shelter were forced on him. It reminded him of his childhood when he was obliged to read the Bible or sporadically attend church. But coming to this retreat was different. “It was my own decision. The retreat changed me.”
After the retreat, Sam applied to the Gateway program and was granted admittance. He has been living in the men’s Gateway house since May of 2016. Quickly, Sam sought employment with the Agape Property Repair Team. As a requirement of this employment, Sam attended Workfaith’s Bootcamp. He experienced God there as well. “God helps people who struggle. Even though I struggle, God is not far from me.”
By the end of the summer, Sam was ready to leave the repair team to go back to school. He attended the end-of year staff retreat at the Craig lakehouse. During a night of sharing, Sam praised God for bringing him to the Gateway program, the young adult retreat, and the repair team. He recognized that it was God’s grace that had brought him to where he was, and he wanted to live his life for Christ in gratitude for what God had done.
One Sunday, Sam learned about baptism through a sermon by David Hill. Yet, for weeks he put his baptism off, thinking he had to be perfect first. However, Sam realized that he could get baptized to show that he needed God to help him get his life together. He was baptized at the Restoration Community Church at the end of September.
Sam desires to finish high school or get an equivalent diploma. He’s looking for a job that will support him and the daughter he has on the way. He understands that to follow Jesus means to submit his whole life under Christ’s Lordship. Please pray for him in all these endeavors!
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