The story of Jon

We are pleased to share the great news of the Lord’s redemptive power displayed in the life of Jonathan Gwynn.
Jonathan entered the New Life Program in October of 2014. Nearly two years later, on Sunday, September 25,
2016, Jonathan successfully graduated the program.

As Jonathan and I visited to remember his journey, he showed me a piece of petrified wood that he found in our
prayer garden. Holding it up, he said, “Wood in its natural state is good for building things and to be burned.
This particular piece of wood has had its very nature changed, and will be preserved in its present state forever.
As petrified wood, it is no longer fit to be burned. God’s promise is being shown to me through this, in a very
tangible way.”

Jonathan shared his story of growing up in a home as a child whose parents divorced. He kept bouncing back to
living with mom for a while, then with dad for a while. And they too kept moving from place to place. Jonathan
said, “I was a professional new kid. I learned to put on masks and fit in without ever really letting anyone know
me, and I didn’t want to get close to anyone. I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would move again.
Leaving people I cared about hurt. So I put up my own defenses to protect myself.”

As Jonathan grew up, he eventually started using drugs and alcohol to help him deal with the pains and
insecurities of life. This increased over time and Jonathan began to drink so much that he would have blackouts.
On a couple of occasions he woke up in jail, not knowing what had happened.

After moving to Salina, Jonathan was introduced to meth, and his world got turned upside down. He lost
whatever grip he had on reality, and the drug took over his life. Luckily for Jonathan, he was arrested during
another alcoholic blackout that landed him in the Saline County jail, for forty days.

During this forty days he asked for a Bible to read. He began reading daily and asking himself a lot of questions
about what this might mean. Also during his time in jail, another inmate told him about the Salina Rescue
Mission and their New Life Program. Soon after getting out of jail, Jonathan came to the Mission and joined the
New Life Program.

Hebrews 10:14 – For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made Holy (NLT)

Jonathan shared that while in the New Life Program, this verse from Hebrews was significant for him. He said,
“This was a milestone verse, because it helped me to see that my sin is not piled up in front of me like garbage,
keeping me from God like an obstacle (which is what I used to think). God is standing right next to me and he
is looking at it with me, He is comforting me, and saying it is alright, we will take care of this together. This is
not who you are anymore. I am good enough, in the eyes of God. And He is continuing to make me better.”

He continued, “I began seeing the promises of God given thousands of years ago, that are coming to fruition in
my life. It is real. I finally knew what the truth was. We love God because He first loved us; which means that
I am worthy of God’s love, because He loves me.”

Jonathan finished by saying, “I learned what love actually is, what hope really looks like. I learned to be
content in all things because I am in the Lord.

Jesus is my best friend, and I can talk with him any time I want. He is always going to be there for me, he is
never going to leave me nor forsake me.”

On behalf of Jonathan and every other man that the Salina Rescue Mission reaches out to, we want to say
thank you for giving to the Mission so we can continue this life transforming ministry God has blessed us to be
a part of.