A Happy Accident

Ken would tell you he came to The Gospel Mission in September 2021 by “accident.” He was driving through Sioux City when his truck broke down, and while waiting for it to be fixed, he was mugged and had to go to the hospital. After they stitched him up, an officer brought him to the Mission.

“I just needed a place to stay for a couple days. My truck had been hauled away, and I only had 20 bucks in my pocket. But they saved my life! I’m an alcoholic and they gave me the accountability to stay sober. That’s why I’ve stayed so long.”

Ken hasn’t had an easy life. He spent 22 years as an Airborne Ranger, mostly overseas, but left the military after his parachute failed on a jump. He miraculously survived, but the injuries ended his military career. Now he lives on disability and an army pension. Military life also took a toll on his relationships; he’s been married five times—two of his wives died and three divorced him.

“I’ve survived my life by alcohol and drugs. After my last divorce, I just got in my truck and went from town to town. I’d work to make enough money to fill the tank. I’d stop in bars and drink and think ‘that’s good stuff’ and buy some more. Then I’d set up camp somewhere else and do it all again.”

The Mission gave Ken a job in our laundry room, and it became his sanctuary. It provided structure and opportunities to talk to others. He took pride in folding the men’s clothes and delivering them to their bedsides. Ken is also getting back to reading his Bible— something he stopped doing in the military. He is finding answers through studying God’s Word and realizing that choices have consequences.

“I’m learning that I don’t have to go through life alone. I can trust other people. I’ve always struggled with that but being here has mellowed me out. It’s reawakening my humanity.”

Because The Gospel Mission was there, Ken’s life has completely turned around … and that’s no accident! Thank you for giving so these happy accidents can happen at The Gospel Mission!