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New Life Ministry

Nicholas finds victory through baptism at The Harbor, Wi-Ne-Ma Camp

Nicholas, The Harbor, Portland Rescue Mission, Wi-Ne-Ma Camp

Nicholas celebrates with Randy Archer (Life Skills Lead at The Harbor) after being baptized at Wi-Ne-Ma Camp on the Oregon Coast.

Nicholas came out of the water feeling victorious.

After thinking long and hard about who he is now, where he’s at in his journey and who he wants to be in the future, he made the decision: He was going to get baptized at Wi-Ne-Ma Camp. Life at The Harbor, our New Life Ministry for men, had changed Nicholas, and it was time to communicate his transformed life to all that witnessed it on that cold, gray and windy shore of the Pacific Ocean.

I decided it was time for me to publicly show my faith in Jesus Christ and the rebirth of my soul as a person,” he explained.

Before coming to Portland Rescue Mission, Nicholas had spent years trying hard to succeed at something, but he struggled to do so. Despite dealing with what seemed like countless disappointments and failures along the way, Nicholas is in the process of becoming the person deep down, that he has always wanted to be.

The Harbor men pose for a group photo after baptisms at their retreat at Wi-Ne-Ma Camp.

The Harbor men pose for a group photo after baptisms at their retreat at Wi-Ne-Ma Camp.

“After Randy [Archer, Life Skills Lead at The Harbor] dunked me in that cold ocean water, I came up out of it with my hands in the air knowing I just conquered something,” Nicholas said. “It felt really good to do that because I knew at that moment that I conquered a lot of my own personal demons and issues.

“After I was done, and I started walking out of the water, I wasn’t cold anymore … it reassured me of my faith in Jesus Christ and is one of the most significant steps in my life up to this point.”

Where there was once a void of hopelessness and dread in Nicholas’ life, now there is a stirring joy and jubilant anticipation of what’s to come—both in his addiction recovery journey at The Harbor, and in his growth and development in Christthat will serve as a foundation for many years to come.

“I’m really taking responsibility and diving into all aspects of my faith and belief in Jesus Christ,” he explained. “I’m attending church, a regular Bible study and small group … I’m reading Scriptures daily and working through the whole of Jesus’ teachings slowly, and just doing the best job I can at the program by putting my best foot forward and soaking it in.”

One step at a time, Nicholas’ life transformation is not only in motion, it is full speed ahead and gaining more promise every single day. Nicholas is currently in the third of the five phases of his yearlong program at The Harbor, and continues to have his life rebuilt and restored with the help of compassionate, loving and knowledgeable staff.


MATTHEW 13:31-32 (NIV): Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”


“I love the ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed’ because as we go further along in the program, it’s a good reminder that we are moving forward when we continue to grow. This parable talks about how though the mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds there is, it grows into such a hearty plant. It’s very strong and durable—so much so that birds even land on it and make nests in it. It shows what kind of growth is available to us.”

MATTHEW 22:36-40 (NIV): “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


“This passage is so important to me because it’s such a simple and basic teaching from Jesus. It helps me make sure I’m really making an effort to develop good relationships, and it reaffirms the fact that I’m here for a reason.”