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Harbor Graduates Share “Ah-Ha” Moments

We recently celebrated the graduation of three men from the New Life Recovery Program at The Harbor. At their graduation, these men shared some of the most significant moment’s from their journey of hope.



Bradley thought he could do things on his own. “Before I came here, I fought everything of any consequence that would help me,” he said.

At the Harbor he had an “Ah-ha!” moment when he realized God was real and present, that “He is there and has a plan,” he said.

“You suddenly can relax and enjoy life and not really worry about it, knowing that all your needs are taken care of, knowing that nothing but good is in front of you.”

Bradley wakes up with that perspective each day, and it has changed his life.
“Bottom line: I’m blessed,” he said. Now working for a local tow truck company, “the future for me looks good and my hope is huge!”


Jesse remembers rock bottom. He wanted to give up. He woke up outside near his tent and couldn’t get himself the shelter. “I was pretty riddled with infection, too much pain to actually lie down,” he said.

“That was the moment I realized I had pushed everybody in my life away from me, everyone important…I needed to do something else and I couldn’t do it myself.”

That was the “ah-ha” moment that helped propel him towards The Harbor program at Portland Rescue Mission.

Coming into the Harbor, Jesse learned to lower walls and receive help and the advice of others. Faith has been a struggle, but Jesse held  on to the truth that God is love. “If God is love, then I see it all over; I see it in the room right now.”
Jesse is extending that love. He serves 30 hours each week at The Burnside Shelter for his Service ministry. “Jesse is instilling hope because he has received that hope,” said Bob Rapp, His Growth Leader.


James’s “Ah-ha” moment happened about a year ago when The Harbor staff and residents went rafting at the river.

“It was fun, sober fun, and I probably hadn’t had that since I was 14,” he said.

James was used to a life of partying. With a drive to succeed, he was a successful and hard-working man. “The more I worked, the more I partied.” He kept partying until “finally the wheels started coming off.” That led to the realization that he needed help to get his life back on track.

The Harbor program for men at Portland Rescue Mission was the answer. “I’ve been shown a lot of patience, a lot of grace here, a lot of forgiveness,” said James. “I made it and succeeded! I’ve completed, and I couldn’t have done it without the staff.”

“Today James is walking in his gifting in a way that’s new,” said Ben Olsen, James’s Growth Leader. “He’s taking back some ground in his life that was lost to the enemy. He’s using those gifts, that zeal, that willingness to just dive in no matter what, and he’s growing!”

Congratulations to our graduates and thank you for making it possible for Bradley, Jesse and James to find hope and discover a restored life. Your gifts, prayers and time volunteering make a huge impact on each man, woman and child that comes through our program. We are deeply grateful for you.

Learn more about our New Life Recovery Programs: Shepherd’s Door for women and children and The Harbor for men.