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The Bohanan Family 2002
We love spending time together as a family and often work together in ministry efforts. We have made it a family tradition to serve others, especially through the Union Gospel Mission. Since Mark & Lauraís marriage in 1998, the family has devotedly handed out gifts to the homeless guests at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) for Christmas Eve and has handed out Hope Totes (toiletry goodie bags) for Easter. Faithfully, they support a friend who preaches at the Union Gospel Mission once a month and then serve the meal to the homeless guests.
As Mark & Laura have worked with youth over the years , they have exposed the youth to service at the Union Gospel Mission, a nursing home, the community around the church, Christmas in July (Immigrant Farm Worker outreach) and church members.
Several unfortunate events in my life as a child, led me to rebel against God. I spent 18 years wallowing in all kinds of sin, wrecking my marriage and sacrificing my relationship with my children. After I ended up homeless and out of work, I remembered a neighbor, who had spoken to me about God and the Union Gospel Mission (UGM). I decided to give God a try as everything I had tried had failed. Through the UGM Rehab program I came to know Jesus Christ and my life was dramatically changed. I have been greatly blessed by the Lord and He has restored my life. I have a new Christian wife and have worked hard to repair my relationship with my children. I have been blessed with several opportunities to serve in the ministry and I have devoted my life to serving the Lord where he places me. My hunger for Godís word has taken me through many programs, like Master Life, F.A.I.T.H and several discipleship programs, and Iíve had several opportunities to mentor young and new Christians.
As of January 2002, I have been employed as the Director of Programs at the Union Gospel Mission where I mentor, disciple and hold accountable the men on the Rehab Program. Prior to that, I was the Youth Coordinator at the Hillsdale Boulevard Baptist Church and before that I was the Food Service Administrator at the Union Gospel Mission. I love working with youth and children, as well as men in recovery. During my free time, I really like to work with my tools at home and I can sit for hours watching big tractors.
I am the first-born of two firstbornís . I joined the U.S. Army just because my Father said I couldnít. Although I did very well in the military, it fed my sins. I was proud and controlling, and if you crossed me I could be very verbally abusive. I was very self centered in my actions and I had no tolerance for incompetence, dingbat girls or children of any age. I would literally shut someone out of a conversation if they fell into one of those categories. After leaving the military, I was faced with the first crisis in my life I could not handle - the breaking up of my marriage. I realized for the first time that I really was not in control of anything. Despite being raised in the church, I knew who Christ was, that He was the Son of God, but that was it. Thankfully, one of my sisters was at my side and shared the truth of a personal relationship with Christ. Since that time God has made several dramatic changes in me. I now use my words to teach and share the gospel. Giving me a servantís heart, God has led me through many ministries in the past 12 years and an ever increasing contact with children and youth. I canít even express the love, patience, or compassion I have towards them now; it is only of God.
This June will be eleven (11) years for me with the Federal Department of Justice. In my job I work with juveniles and substance abusers and though I have to walk the Ďtough loveí route, I love it. With the exception of a few side jobs, my prior employment experiences include being a Military Police Officer in the Army (Korea, Panama - Just Cause, etc.), a Firefighter and medic, a student intern at a Police Department, and an Armed Security Officer. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, and almost a second degree in Psychology. I love meeting people from other cultures and countries and learning about their traditions. Right now I am learning how to speak Russian, and I hope to use is a lot in the Ukraine. Someday I would love to be a full time missionary there or in Russia.
Having been raised by two drug using parents, I grew up hungry and neglected. I was the youngest of three children and was a very angry child. I had a great hatred brewing in my heart and was upset most of the time. I did not like God and did not want to go to church, however, my Grandmotherís church always had food, so I went just to eat sometimes. As my father progressed on the program at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) I began to see a great change in him and I started getting curious about God. I went to live with my Father after he graduated the UGM program and we started to go to church. One Sunday, when I was 12, the Pastor preached about how much God loves us and wants the best for us. How heaven would be and that we could only get there through Christ. I wanted that. I wanted what my Father had - that joy and peace. Since accepting Jesus into my heart, I have learned forgiveness and more of Godís great love. No matter what life brings me now I have joy and a peace that settles my soul.
I will graduate this year - a year early - as Iíve worked hard in my Independent Studies. For my Regional Occupational Program (ROP) portion of school, I have been working at the Alphabet Ranch Child Day Care Center for about 20 hours a week. As a 17 year old you know I like hanging out with my friends, but what I really love is serving at the UGM and helping others. I enjoy drama and have been in several plays and monologues. I look forward to the day that God begins to use me to guide the lost to freedom in Christ.