Read Steven’s story to discover how God pursued him even while he was running. Your gifts provide deep healing.
Steven was born into a family of five in Seattle. Traditionally, he would introduce himself as “a grandson of Chief Red Feather, the son of Jim Pephyrs.” Even though his father raised him as a “white man,” he still suffered from racism and had low self-esteem as a child.
Sadly, Steven’s image of God was destroyed at age five when he was molested behind a church. Steven learned everything about relationships from the street and he began drinking.
As an adult, Steven recognized he had a drinking problem and ventured into an AA meeting. They told him he had to have a higher power for the program. And over time, he found Jesus.
But Steven still had a lot of unresolved pain from past wrongs that were done to him and sins that he had committed.
He explains that during that time he felt “there’s something still wrong. I’m still missing something. I could have stolen this line from Forrest Gump, ‘I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.’ He was smarter than me because I had no clue what love was.”
At one time, Steven had up to 15 years of sobriety and was living for Jesus and involved in Christian community. However, he was pulled back into his old lifestyle and turned away from God many times.
Later on, he ended up in prison. “When I came out, I had a purpose. I had this burning desire to know my father, God.”
Eventually, Steven found himself at the Mission. “When I came to the Mission, I was very skeptical. I didn’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t talk about things.” He ended up joining the Mission’s New Life Program. He’s learned about forgiveness and has even been able to forgive the man that molested him so many years ago. The support he received gave him time to heal other deep issues that kept him from fully experiencing God’s love and being able to really love others.
One such issue Steven dealt with was being illiterate. He had a terrible time in school, and was punished because of it. “That really hurt me. I know it’s God’s love that allowed me to express and walk through that hurt with him.”
Steven goes on to tell about a time in the Program where there was a lot of tension. He called out and God asked him to wash the feet of the other program members, which he did. It was later discussed in a class, and “then, it hit me… I can now say that I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.”
For Steven, staying at the Lighthouse Mission gave him the support he needed to address much of the underlying trauma he experienced. “It took me all those years to get to this point. I’m not alone anymore. I’m in a safe place now.”
We asked Steven what he would like to say to you and other Mission donors. He says,