In 2009, LTN Team Members were serving with a local homeless rescue mission. Josh-Riley had come to the rescue mission after losing his job and going through a difficult divorce. Josh-Riley’s family stopped speaking to him. When he first arrived, Josh-Riley was very hard around the edges. He was argumentative and struggled with his “people skills”. He had recently been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (more commonly known as part of an Autism Spectrum Disorder). The odds of success or even stability were stacked against Josh-Riley. He was frustrated and desperate.
After he arrived at the rescue mission, LTN’s Team Members befriended Josh-Riley. They gave him a lot of their attention and time and provided a safe space for him to be accepted and loved. As his relational security grew, he got a part time job, became more involved with his local church and experienced a profound growth in his faith in Christ.
Our LTN Team Members have continued to be a part of Josh-Riley’s life over the last 5 years. At least twice a month, he goes out to dinner with a few of our alumni. Last year, I was able to see Josh-Riley read scripture at one of our Team Member’s weddings. In fact, he recently invited an LTN Alumni, my 4 year old son and myself to join him for a baseball game!
Josh-Riley (in back) w/ LTN Alumni Darrell Johnson and Executive Director Jesse Eubanks and his son at June ’14 baseball game.
I praise God for the love and presence that our Team Members gave to Josh-Riley over the years. They didn’t have all of the answers to Josh-Riley’s struggles but they did have the love of Christ and they gave this to him with care and consistency. This relational love helped Josh-Riley to experience the love of Christ first-hand who has given him a transformed life.
You can hear Louisville Rescue Mission’s more in-depth version of Josh-Riley’s story HERE.[starbox id=jesse]