Give a man who is desperate a chance and he will get it right for the golden years of his earthly life – stepping into faith, intervening from the Holy Spirit, called to be a token of faith, hope, change.
Struggling for many years, I did not have a divine purpose. Today, I finally do. I am a servant in message to what God and His son Jesus did, and to become as compassionate as Christ Jesus. As the Apostle Paul (selected by God to spread the message – the Gospel) did unto all the nations. That’s pretty good, and big shoes to try and fill. I can’t make people walk on water, but I will not watch them drown. Leaping into water is easier than leaping into faith to serve God at the highest level.
Transparent I will be. I have nothing to hide, especially my history of drugs, alcohol, incarceration. For a long time I have been labeled a common criminal by the state and government. I am way much more than that today. I am employed at Goodwill on Patton Ave. Eight months ago today (Feb. 11th), the Career Center got the ball rolling along with the Buncombe County Reentry Council , with the help of the sole individual that pointed to these establishments that support folks who are on parole and seeking help.
From Haywood Street Congregation, now “Holy Chaos”, I can testify to the daily operation of the Respite and the regular feedings on Wednesdays and Sundays. I can also say that Christians have tempers. Yes we do. We Methodists rock. Pastor Mark Siler pointed me to the Buncombe County Reentry Council, Brent Bailey and Lindsley. First came the reconnection to my dear friends on Jan. 7th. Dave Holland was the first person from Haywood St. that I saw. I stepped into faith, humility and most important of all, patience. Knocking on the door of the Buncombe County Reentry Project got the ball rolling, along with my contacts and Boone United Methodist Church. I was confident enough with my courage. I thought everything was going to be rough at first, but it wasn’t. Humility goes a long way. There was no rejection. God and I were in control the entire time. Asking God for help is easy. Being disobedient is not. Look at Jonah, who was selected, but disobeyed God’s commands. That was the bitter end for Jonah. Wishing death upon yourself must have been a deep bottom in life and complete despair with no hope.
With my determination and drive, a can-do and willing attitude, Eric Stecyk is a free man. Glory be to a good God this day! Walking the way with the Goodwill Center, Mike, Joel, Mary, Rihana, the front desk man, mostly Ryan Lenskic and Jordan Knight who got the Goodwill opportunity started. Also involved were Cathy Pialo and Dave Holden and all my lead co-workers and simple fellow co-workers, I fit right in like a ball in glove. I sure did…amazing.
What happens when Eric changes his bitter hard-hearted attitude and becomes gentle, caring, compassionate and mostly loving? Life is not the same. Change is hard but necessary when others sense one is desperate and ready to change. All doors and systems are green – truly amazing. I will stay focused. This reentry time has been easy, nothing hard about it. I have wonderful friends and well-wishers, and the key is prayers for change, hope, becoming and being born again.
I will never forget how important the letters of hope and inspiration were while I was incarcerated. They let me know that others, some who were complete strangers, did love me and cared for me and wanted what was best for me. They hoped and prayed that I would change. The prayers were answered. Comparing my old life to my new life fills me with feelings of gratitude. Knowing that this is my new life could be simply described as finally living before I die. Now I have appointments to eat breakfast with my friends, go bowling, eating out, going to movies, hiking, visiting the Pisgah National Forest, going to work every day. Keeping in constant contact with my friends has added so much more meaning to life. It is a privilege to be given the key to life.
Again, so many thanks to all. Today, I think of what Eric, and all followers, can do for the community and the people with “no hope.” Just continue to believe that change is coming but sacrifice is needed. Pray for God’s favor. If you are truly ready, you will receive God’s favor. So will you? Thank you.
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