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The tale of 2 Shawns + a Sean

Once upon a time, the Mission welcomed in two Shawns and a Sean to our Recovery Program... each of them leaving behind a past of destruction, and searching for a future of hope. These three men are alike in name, yet have very different stories...


“God is working in me… strangely and slowly, but surely.”shawn-matthews_small.jpg

Favorite verse: John 3:16

Nineteen-year-old Shawn grew up in a Christian family, but when tough times hit, he had no one to turn to. “My father died when I was 17,” he says. “After that, everything fell apart.”

Shawn discovered that alcohol and marijuana could numb his pain. But after time, his problems only worsened. He got involved with the wrong crowd and became estranged from his family. “I drank so much, I shouldn’t even be alive right now,” says Shawn. For a couple years, he floated around with no purpose and no hope for the future.

Luckily for him, “God had another plan… Hiway 80 Rescue Mission!” Shawn came to the Mission and joined our Recovery Program, hopeful that it would better his circumstances.

“One of the pastors asked me on the first day, ‘Are you ready to do whatever it takes?’ and I told him, ‘Yes.’” Since that day several months ago, Shawn’s been sober and is pursuing the Lord! “Every day, I am fighting my addictions with His help,” he says.

The support, counseling and prayer he finds at the Mission are giving Shawn immediate help and eternal hope.


“I always knew there was something bigger than me…”shaun-davis_small.jpg

Shawn was born into a violent family, with an abusive, alcoholic father, and a mother who was always the victim. “I never knew anything apart from violence and pain,” he says.

Shawn’s father died when he was 9 years old, and he began experimenting with drugs and alcohol in his teen years – no one was around to give him direction.

For the next 22 years, he hurt everyone in his path. “I was like a hurricane – leaving a seemingly unpredictable path of destruction wherever I went.” From alcohol and drugs, to unemployment and homelessness… Shawn eventually hit rock bottom.

At 32 years old, he found the Mission. “They helped me understand what God is really about,” he says. Through our Recovery Program, Shawn learned how to apply Biblical principles to his life and how to leave his past behind. “Every day was a small step towards independence, and a big step towards reliance on God.”

Since Shawn graduated, he has been sober for one year, and has so much more to look forward to! Shawn’s life went from one of darkness, pain and rejection to one of opportunity… from fear of the next day, to excitement and gratitude to get up in the morning.

“I believe God called me to the Mission, and I wouldn’t be alive today if I hadn’t listened.”


“I’m here to change my whole way of living.”sean-mcneil_small.jpg

Sean was raised in East Texas, and was baptized in church as a child. “I didn’t know my father until I was 11, and he got out of prison,” he says. Unlike his Christian mother who tried to guide Sean the right way, it was his own father who introduced him to alcohol and pot. “My father encouraged me to experiment with drugs!”

By 12 years old, he had tried hallucinogens. By 15, he was drinking every day. When he tried to get jobs, he would quickly lose them. “I wasn’t committed to anything,” he says. “Even though I went to church sometimes, I was still drinking and using drugs.”

Then, at 17, Sean discovered methamphetamines. Everything went even more downhill, as he had a daughter he was hardly prepared to take care of. “I tried numerous times to quit using, but nothing ever worked.” So the pattern continued for years.

Over time, Sean realized he wouldn’t ever have a relationship with his daughter if he kept it up. And when his daughter had a son, it was even more of a wake-up call. “Now I’m trying to take my life back and change my whole way of living.”

At the Mission, our Recovery Program has shown Sean that his future does not have to be the same as his past. Through Chapel, life-skills training and counseling, he has discovered newness in Christ.

“This program is what I need to stay sober and restore my relationship with Jesus Christ. After those things happen, everything else will fall into place!”

No matter the name, our residents experience transformation here, from the inside out!   

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