“If not for The Union Mission I’d be on the street. I was destitute, not knowing where to turn and heavily doubting God every day. I’m extremely grateful to be here.”
Martin was born in the Philippines. His family moved to Saipan and then to Guam where they obtained U.S. citizenship. He attended college, moved back to Saipan and got a sales job. When the owners retired he returned to Guam to care for his parents.
In 2017, Martin’s brother was stationed in Norfolk with the Navy and invited him to come here. He lived with his brother and worked at Subway, but the job only lasted three months. He applied for another job and on the day he was to start, he had a stroke. Martin spent four days in the hospital and transferred to a rehab facility. When he went home he had lost 40 lbs. and was so weak he had trouble climbing the stairs to their second floor apartment.
Martin got better and got another job, but his brother moved to Houston and he was in no shape to go. Then he was laid off and couldn’t pay his rent.
With nowhere to turn, he found The Union Mission. “It was difficult and intimidating because I had never been homeless, but I was encouraged that it was a Christian ministry. The staff welcomed me and helped me get settled. I was relieved I had a bed and roof over my head.”
Then Martin joined the Damascus Program, moved to a room with two other men on the 3rd floor, and worked on getting disability. “It’s very different from being surrounded by so many men. Three to a room is a lot better than 16-24 to a room. There’s more time for reflection, solitude, and meaningful communing with God.
Pastor Jeremiah (Program Director) told us, ‘If the only reason you want to come to the 3rd floor is to get a bed and a smaller room, that’s all you are going to get. It’s up to you to make that extra effort. The question is, how much of yourselves are you willing to let go?’ He said having security in things goes to one’s head and corrupts one’s heart, but fulfillment enriches your soul, your heart, your mind, and enriches others.”
Martin is doing well and says, “I want to see a more focused, more motivated me, with a stable job, a thoroughly changed personality that communes with God as easily as I take a breath.
If not for you, Martin and others like him wouldn’t have the hope they need for a brighter future. Thank you!
Pamela was born and raised in Norfolk by both parents, one of six children. She graduated from high school and went to college earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs. “I worked at Thalhimers, Sun Trust Bank, SEACEP, ODU, and Norfolk State University.” She got married in 1979, then …
Wesley was raised in Virginia Beach with two half-brothers. He graduated from Green Run High School and went to college for a bit. “I partied too hard and dropped out.” He didn’t do drugs in high school or college; not until later. He tried to go to community college for a while, but mainly he …
Michele was born and raised in the Cavalier Manor section of Portsmouth by both parents. She has two sisters and a brother. Her father died when they were teenagers and her mother died in 2008 after a long illness. She graduated from Manor High School and attended Norfolk State University for four years. She didn’t …