MartyHe’d lost his kids, his money, his car, and then both parents to cancer. Homelessness followed. His biggest blessing turned out to be getting arrested. That’s where our Prison Ministry team met Marty.
Marty puts it right out there: “The reason I got into drugs,” he says, “is because I knew where it was going to go — jail or death. I tried really hard for the death part.” He’d lost his kids, his money, his car, and then both parents to cancer. Homelessness followed. “That’s when I started doing anything I could fit into a needle.”
Marty admits he worked for an evil person. “I didn’t know what he was doing,” Marty says. But one night, it all changed when Marty became one of the victims. Marty’s nightmare is more terrible than we can say here. But we can tell you he was savagely beaten and actually woke up to find his attacker digging his grave.
What followed were six freezing winters on the streets of Seattle. When asked how he stayed warm, he replied, “I didn’t. I walked around and I froze, and I suffered, and I hated life.” By the time he came to the Mission, Marty had just 150 pounds on his 6’3” frame.
“Many times I went hungry,” Marty said. “One of my lowest points was when I was looking at a rat trying to figure out how I could make it taste good.” To survive the icy cold winter, Marty broke into a business for warmth . . . stole a van . . . ate out of dumpsters . . . stayed awake for 22 days, only to fall asleep and have everything stolen again.
During this time, Marty became increasingly depressed. He overdosed many times, and even sat in the middle of I-90 hoping to get hit by a car.
His biggest blessing turned out to be getting arrested. That’s where our Prison Ministry team met Marty. When he got out, Marty joined our Men’s Recovery Program, a place where he could finally feel safe with food and shelter.
“I owe the Mission my life,” he said before graduating recently. “I wake up every day, and I thank God for my life.”
Since coming to the Mission, Marty received a devastating medical diagnosis — the result of the attacks he suffered while on the streets. But with the help of medication for his condition, nutritious food, and consistent exercise, Marty has gained 75 much-needed pounds. During his time at the Mission, Marty has found real purpose in life through helping others still out there in danger.
“I love Search & Rescue, I love outreach. And that’s my best way of paying back a promise to God. And it also is my best way of helping people the right way.”
One day while serving on the Search & Rescue Van, he came face to face to one of his attackers. “I served him a blanket and sandwiches,” said Marty. “I’ve learned that I can love everybody.”