I have been participating in Men of Bethany in America Men’s’ Series 33, since October 1, 2019, at the Open Door Mission. Before this, I was in the Douglas County jail and the Men of Bethany in America men started me in the Men’s’ Series 33. It was great to able to continue this journey of study. We meet every Monday evening for two hours. Men’s’ 33 is different than anything I have experienced before. This is the best program I have ever been involved with. So you know me a little better let me disclose who I was. I was a young man who exposed myself to meth, weed, alcohol, promiscuous sex, guns, starting all at age 11. Now when I look at my 11-year-old and couldn’t imagine him doing the things I have done. I grew up in north and east Omaha. since I have attended Men’s 33 I have had the opportunity to meet some great men. One of my mentors stands on how he relates to me. He is a retired police officer who worked in my area where I grew up. He is there for me every week and knows what it was like working on the other side of the law. I have issues I can trust him with and he relates back to me a better future. He has opened up my eyes. The program has given the second chance to see how great life can be. I am a new creature who has been forgiven for my sins and giving my life over to God. My path has taken me to a new time where I have become a friend with a man who probably was chasing me at one time during my teenage years doing stupid things.
I asked him if he knew my name? He responded with a yes. The name was well known. That really had me thinking about how I was raised. My goal in life then was to be the toughest, going to prison, robbing families in my area. All the families living in my area were probably part of the criminal element. I thought things I did and wanted to do were normal. Men’s 33 will touch you with issues and problems in the past and gives you the path and source to deal with them by identifying the source where it could have been father, mother, childhood or something else. Once you realize the key issues you can start doing the right and start the steps to fix or work on changing in the future. It has changed my outlook on serious life issues and has changed me for the better. I think Men’s 33 is also going to be something I am going to part of for years to come.
Dr. Gary Carlson is a long time educator who has dedicated much of his professional life to serving and helping people in need. His knowledge and wisdom has been a blessing from the experiences he has been given through the Holy Spirit..