When Chef Anthony smiles, it’s infectious. And those around him can’t help but smile too. Anthony has been through a lot of darkness in his life, but now he is walking in the light. His smile is proof of how God answered his prayers and guided him through very difficult times.
The chaplains and staff of Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission were there for Anthony when he first came to the Mission in 2014 after he faced a season of great hardship. He compares himself to Job from the Bible. Job was a rich man who lost all his wealth and many members of his family but remained a faithful follower of God.
In the midst of his trials, Anthony wondered why so many hurtful things happened to him. He was deeply discouraged, but he didn’t lose hope.
Anthony’s difficulties began when his marriage of two years ended. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with legal blindness from diabetes and lost his vision for six months, which forced him to cease his work as a private investigator. When Anthony’s mother, who was his primary caretaker, passed away from a stroke, the pain in his heart deepened. Things spiraled further, when a conflict arose regarding his mother’s estate that left him homeless.
Uncertain of where to turn, Anthony entered the city shelter system, until his case worker at Philadelphia’s housing department referred him to Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. When Anthony arrived at the Mission he shares that he was “hurt and broke down.”
“When I came, I told myself I was only going to stay a month,” he explains. “But each morning, instead of leaving the shelter, I would stick around until lunch to hear then Overcomer ‘Noodles’ Morris deliver the word. I started meeting the other Overcomers and stopped hanging out on Pearl Street. At the end of my 30 days, I spoke with the chaplains and joined the Overcomer Program.”
Anthony became an Overcomer in August 2014. Although entering the program was difficult at first, he started reading his Bible and became passionate about sharing his faith and his story with others.
“I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to share at chapel service,” Anthony recalls. “I would tell the guys how I lost my vision, and how that really put me through the ringer. If it wasn’t for the grace of God, I would not be here. The Lord used my time in the Overcomer Program to show me the miracles Jesus has done in my life. I can only give praise and thanks to God. He has changed my life around a whole lot.”
Today, over two years after coming to Sunday Breakfast, Anthony can’t stop smiling. The Lord has answered his prayers, and because of this, he is filled with so much joy.
After many surgeries, the Lord restored Anthony’s vision and provided him with a room to rent in a nice neighborhood. He also purchased a car and was hired as a chef at Sunday Breakfast.
“The Lord is doing good things in my life,” Anthony shares. “I had a lot taken from me: losing my marriage, my vision, my mother, and my house. The last several years have been really rough. Now, I’m starting to see the light.”