For 12 years, William “Willy” McMullen gave nothing but heartache, strife and brokenness to the world around him by operating a methamphetamine lab in South Phoenix. “The people I served… they’d lose all common sense,” remembers Willy. “They’d give up their children, lose their home, lose everything they had… and I was a part of the problem. I wish I could take all that back.” Even Willy himself wasn’t immune to the destruction caused by his “business.” He gave to himself right along with his customers and fell victim to the same downward spiral. He was arrested in 2007, spent a year in prison, only to go back to using as soon as he got out. “I was still addicted, but I knew I couldn’t keep doing this. It was an insane way to live and I was tired of always looking over my shoulder. I went to 1,000 addiction meetings, checked in to a secular recovery program, but nothing stuck.” That’s when Willy remembered a chance meeting he had with our Hope Coach Coordinator Chaplain Cliff years ago. Willy remembers, “He told me about this Christian recovery place called the Phoenix Rescue Mission. I figured it was my last shot.” That’s when Willy received a gift that changed his life forever. “I always knew there was a God, but I never knew Him personally,” admits Willy. “It was here that I found the solid relationship with Jesus Christ that made all the difference.”
And what a difference it has made! Today Willy is a graduate of our men’s recovery program and a new man. He’s completely sober; he’s even quit smoking, and is currently working through our Ministry Training program. But what gives him the most joy is his position at the front desk of our welcome center, where he’s able to guide men and women fresh off the street to the services they need to start a new life.
“As men come into the program, I get to speak life into them by telling them what Jesus has done for me. I let them know that there is hope. I aim to spend the rest of my life doing that, if not here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, then somewhere else where God can use me.”
And here’s some more of the story: Right around a year ago, Willy was involved in a VERY serious motorcycle accident. I woman ran a stop sign and Willy T-boned her vehicle on his small Harley. I went to the hospital after being called by a nurse from Phoenix Memorial. She found my card in Willy’s belongings and I was the only one she could get a hold of. Tough to see your friend fighting for his life! But many of you have prayed for Willy and he is now back working night security and intakes at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Willy is truly a walking, talking miracle!