2022 Holiday Newsletter

God Had Big Changes in Store for Donavon

Donavon thought the rest of his life was set in place. He was married to a wonderful woman, his construction career was booming and his house in Kansas City was almost paid off. Then his wife passed away unexpectedly at home and everything changed. Unable to stay in the house that now held such an unhappy memory, Donavon signed it over to his stepson. Then he took a job as regional manager with a nationwide construction company that would keep him on the road for weeks at a time. In March, Donavon was onsite in Sioux City when he was struck with severe swelling in his legs. Within days, he was in the ICU being treated for a collapsed heart valve. The swelling had destroyed most of his muscle, and when he was released three weeks later, he relied on a walker to get around. Unable to work, Donavon looked for a temporary place to stay and found The Gospel Mission. “I called and talked to Pastor Nate for 45 minutes,” he recalls. “I’d never had any handouts. I’d always worked hard for what I had. But Pastor Nate said to come and check it out, so I did.” Within a couple of weeks, Donavon was back at work — in the Mission’s kitchen! He had been volunteering when he was spotted by Executive Director Paul Mahaffie. “He saw something in me,” Donavon says, “and hired me full-time as a chef. I have some background catering events, so I can cook for a crowd.” But God had more changes in store. Impressed by Donavon’s work ethic, Paul asked him to become the Mission’s Director of Thrift Store Operations. Today, Donavon is in charge of our three thrift stores in Sioux City, a distribution center and a clothing warehouse. His health is greatly improved not only physically, but spiritually. “This is where I’m supposed to be,” he says. “I won’t get rich here, but I’m not doing it for the money. What I have in my heart is the big payoff for me. I hope I’m making a difference in people’s lives, bringing them closer to Christ.”

We are blessed and very thankful that God brought Donavon to The Gospel Mission!