Sketching out a new life

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Valley Rescue Mission is one of the organizations we’re teaming up with in our Holiday Heroes campaign.

News 3 wanted you to hear the story of someone who has been changed by their ministry.

Derek Walton used to be homeless.

“I slept on the streets, at the park at the Riverwalk,” says Walton.

He depended on the Lord for protection.

“Psalms 27:1 says the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? I used to read this before I laid down at night not knowing what would happen during the night,” says Walton.

Derek found refuge at Valley Rescue Mission.

“I never knew about the Valley until I came and had something to eat and I knew that they had a men’s mission. So I asked what it would take to just sleep,” says Walton.

Derek has just recently gone from being homeless to renting a home not far from Valley Rescue.

“They helped me through the PASS program to get here with the help of the Valley. So far I’ve only been here two months but I’ve been managing to keep it,” says Walton.

His living room is where Derek likes to draw. He’s been working on a picture called the Lord’s Supper. Derek’s artwork is even more amazing when you consider he’s battling serious eye problems.

“Glaucoma in my stage is like looking through a straw or binoculars,” says Walton.

One thing Derek will always see clearly is how he’s been helped by Valley Rescue. And a rose that was growing in front of the mission serves as a constant reminder.

“I was watching that rose every day that it was a little bud, and it bloomed. There was only one. So I snuck around and I took it and I’m putting it in my Bible,” says Walton. “It reminds me of the struggle I was in being homeless and being by myself, just like that rose was that day.”

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