The Value of a Meal

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If you ever wondered if you were really making any difference, let this story – one of hundreds we experience every month – confirm that your gift really does matter.

Bill’s brother was killed suddenly and tragically. The family was overwhelmed by the loss, especially Bill. Following his brother’s funeral, Bill chose to walk home rather than ride with the family. Bill chose to walk away from his life and family and lose himself in the streets of Knoxville. His family notified the police that he was missing, but he was never found. He has been listed as a missing person for 8 years and his family believe he was dead.

Over the last 8 years Bill has come into KARM, particularly when it was cold. He’d often take a meal with us, and would occasionally spend the night. He rarely spoke to anyone and he often volunteered for chores whenever he visited. Earlier this year, he finally began to open up to one of our care coordinators. It took months of encouragement, but Bill finally agreed to enter KARM’s LaunchPoint program and begin planning how he could get off the streets for good. Through LaunchPoint, Bill began to identify his core problems and where he could get the help he needed. He also mustered up the courage to reconnect with his family. His mother said that she lost two children that week 8 years ago, but today feels like she’s the mother of Lazarus who was raised from the dead.

Bill is now getting the mental health care he desperately needs and is trying to reenter the work force (it is a challenge to explain an 8 year absence). In the meantime, his family has surrounded him with support and love and the Bill who rarely used to speak will now share with anyone who will listen what God has done to restore his life. Bill will also tell you, that it was the promise of a hot meal that got this restoration process in motion. A hot meal that this church family helped to provide.

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