Ramy Kodja’s Testimony about his stay at Calvary

Ramy only got to be with us for a short time, but it was just what he needed, when he needed it the most. He is originally from California where he ended up homeless due to drugs and alcohol. He left there and was in Arkansas while transporting drugs. He was saved while in prison and later led his wife to Christ. Once released, he had a job until he was injured away from work and hospitalized. While in the hospital, he lost his job, his home and his wife.

Ramy came to Memphis to seek work and get his life on track. He started attending Woodland Presbyterian Church and his Pastor brought him to Calvary while he looked for work. Ramy said, ” The minute I walked through the door I knew that I was where I needed to be. God was here and I could just feel the joy here.” Ramy was able to get a job at our Job Fair with Staff Line and went to work the very next day. Because he is a military veteran, Catholic Charities assisted him in getting a home of his own, and he is now back on the right track after a month at Calvary Rescue Mission!

Edmond(Eddie) Gwisdalla’s Testimony

Eddie came to Memphis from Detroit, MI. without knowing anyone here or why he was coming here. He felt as though he was surrounded by evil where he was and he needed a change. His friends there told him that he should stay away from Memphis because it was in the “Bible Belt” and everyone would “beat him over the head with the Bible”. He came to Memphis on a bus and soon found Calvary Rescue Mission, but he passed on by. He saw the crosses on the new building and didn’t want to come in and feel condemned by others at the mission. He slept in Gaston Park, just south of the mission for three nights before he finally came to Calvary on an invitation from another man. Instead of condemnation he found acceptance; instead of being shunned, he found men who were much like himself; and instead of the Bible being “beaten over his head” he found a very real desire to learn more about God and God’s Word. Eddie says that the speakers who come to Calvary Rescue Mission speak about life and help him deal with the trials of life. Eddie said, “If I had to describe Calvary in one word, it would be easy! I would simply say, “Awesome”!

Greg Branham’s Testimony

Greg came to Memphis in 2009 from South Carolina. He had no job and very little money, but felt the Holy Spirit’s call to come to Memphis. He had been recently saved and had no idea at the time why he was being called to Memphis. When he arrived at the Memphis bus station a taxi took him to another mission because it was the only one he knew about. Greg stayed there until his money was gone. A new friend told him that he could stay at Calvary free for 3 nights so he came here and loved his time here. He said that having been recently saved he was hungry for God’s Word and was so glad that there was a sermon every night. He said that everyone was more friendly at Calvary and it felt like the staff really cared about everyone.

He said, “Calvary is more than a shelter; it’s a safe haven.” He went back to South Carolina when his dad became ill, and he inherited the house following his dad’s death. He felt God’s call back to Memphis, found a job with a plumbing company and now worships at Kirby Woods Baptist Church. Greg attends chapel at Calvary at least once a month and is willing to share his testimony. He tells the men that Calvary is not the end of the road, but a launching pad for a new journey.

David Downs Testimony of Calvary

David Downs is a unique guest of Calvary. He is what many would call a “repeat client”. David said that he loves it at Calvary and has been here 5 times, but only for a few months at a time. He works as a foreman for a company installing guardrails on the highways. That keeps him very busy from April through November every year, but the crews are laid off in December and not brought back to work until late March (when paving contracts are issued). Each year when he is laid off he stays with us at Calvary because it helps him stay drug free.

David is an Navy brat from a family of 10 kids, who were all brought up in church. His dad was and E-9 in the Navy so he traveled a lot, but was a functioning alcoholic. David followed his dad’s footsteps with substance abuse and struggled with drugs for many years. He says that it was God’s grace that saved him from drug abuse and he has found that by staying at Calvary when he isn’t working helps him stay sober and enables him to draw closer to God.

David Collins Testimony

David is a Native Memphian who attended Carver High School. David had a problem with drugs and a friend suggested he come to Calvary Rescue Mission. Bro. Perkins was preaching one night and David gave his heart and life to the Lord. David is a 2012 graduate of the Discipleship Class here at Calvary. He said he always felt welcomed here by the magnificent staff. He said Calvary was a haven of rest where he could have peace of mind. David has had his own business, Shine Window Cleaners, for 25 years washing windows both for residents and businesses. We praise the Lord for his changed life!

Michael Cousins Testimony, in his own words, about Calvary

“I was born in Chicago, in 1957. I was one of 8 kids in my family. I moved to Lambert, MS in 1998 and married, but it was short lived. I was sent to Memphis in ’99 with only $7.00 in my pocket. I was angry, depressed and feeling hopeless. I landed at Calvary where I saw God working, and the Holy Spirit was drawing me in. In 2001, I found a job and a home. my seemed complete, but it wasn’t and I began self medicating. This led to my incarceration on 1-28-15. While in prison I was able to attend Bible studies everyday which helped me to renew my faith in God. On May 23, 2017,  I was released. I made a bee line to Calvary. I was so thankful to find staff that were familiar to me and so many more volunteers! Currently I am in school at a wood shop. I plan to return to work and continue following God with help from my friends.

Rebuilding the Lives of Homeless Men in Memphis, TN