Marcus Molinar came to the Topeka Rescue Mission full of pride and an attitude of rebellion. It was a place he said he would never come because he could fix his own problems. Like many others who come to our doorstep, Marcus’s life was marked by losses, mistakes and trauma. But after six months of coming in and out of the mission, God showed Marcus two things: ‘the people at the mission really want to see you do good’ and ‘what he was doing to his body, was killing him’. That’s when Marcus committed to the program. He is now a proud graduate of both the Servants in Training (SIT) program and the Center for Biblical Leadership Development (CBLD). Marcus works for the TRM Maintenance Team, married Miranda Huske (also a SIT graduate) this past August and is now preparing their new home.
Marcus was recently highlighted in a press conference about TRM’s critical financial shortfall. He started his remarks by joking about this being a unique experience where he was in a room with law enforcement and didn’t need to flee the scene. It was a wonderful moment that connected his past to his present and had a dozen officers smiling at him. Marcus grew up in the Oakland area of Topeka with a sister and both parents. Marcus and his sister learned how to adult early as they helped care for their mother who struggled with diabetes. He recalled many nights he woke up to red and blue lights as AMR took her out on a gurney. She always came back the next morning - until the morning she didn’t. Marcus lost his mom when he was 13 years old and his father struggled to cope with the loss. Marcus and his sister were taken in by both sets of grandparents and eventually his father’s parents gained custody and raised them.
He found stability and love as his paternal grandfather taught him how to be a man of character and integrity. His grandfather was a fit, barrel chested man who kept busy. So it was a shock to everyone when he had a heart attack. Marcus was 18 years old and about to graduate from high school and join the air force. It was another deep loss for Marcus that proved too much. He started spending time with his dad, which led to a lifestyle of drinking, dealing drugs and trying to numb an onslaught of feelings he didn’t know how to manage. We all deal with loss in different ways. Marcus said maybe he feels so much so strongly that it’s hard to handle. And like most who come to the Mission, Marcus felt defined by his past and wondered if he mattered. Marcus has been clean three years this month and recognizes now that his past mistakes brought him to the Mission, but his identity is in Jesus Christ. He realizes there was purpose in everything he went through and is excited to some day counsel other men coming from similar circumstances.
TRM has focused on early intervention through the Children’s Palace. We have learned how amazingly resilient children are, especially when they are loved and valued. Marcus’s grandparents were the stability and love in his life. While he made some detours, today he is a man of integrity and character who cherishes his new wife. He has a relationship with his son and can pass on what he was taught. And, some day soon Marcus will counsel other men in the midst of their struggle. He will be one of the ‘people’ who really cares about those in need and wants them to succeed.
There are hundreds of unique Marcus’s at the Mission with similar stories of loss and trauma. TRM has a unique ability to meet immediate needs of food and shelter while working with each individual to help them find their success. Will you partner with TRM to ensure that every Marcus has access to vital programs that will feed, shelter, provide physical and mental healthcare, educate, train, and finally equip each individual to know they matter and they are loved. The heartbeat of TRM is to love everyone who comes through our door or camps near them - no matter their color, gender, orientation, ailments, challenges, or past mistakes. With your help, financially and in prayer, we will continue to love them and show them that they matter to this community and to God. Thank you for your faithful support. †