This year, local KING 5 News has been following a group of men who are residents at one of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission‘s men’s shelters and were training to climb Mount Rainier this year. One of those men was Scott “Scooter” Sowle, an intern at our Downtown Seattle church who’s spent time as a resident at UGM .
The other day, the TV station profiled Scooter as he told the story of one of his lowest moments, spent under the Magnolia Bridge, homeless and contemplating death—and the Community Group that came alongside him and pointed him to new life and hope in Christ:
Scooter: It was a rainy night in November, probably 30-35˚, it wasn’t snowing but it was just sideways rain and not good. The bridge really didn’t give you much shelter, you still got wet and soaked. I continued to find cardboard to put over the top of me to keep myself warm and dry as much as possible. I just didn’t really care.
I just laid there and didn’t even want to get up. Wanted to get to the top of the bridge to actually jump, but I couldn’t climb to the top of the bridge at that time. I mean, it was hard for me to even stand up, I was wobbly [from detox], and I had no strength, and didn’t care to have strength—the hope and stregnth and just anything in my life, it was gone."
KING 5: How’d you get out of it then? How’d you decide not to [jump] and how’d you walk away from this place? How many days were you here?
Scooter: I was here for three days. I just laid here, really wanting to die.
But I had remembered that I’d been going to a Community Group through Mars Hill Church, and that particular group actually met at the Union Gospel Mission. So I went back up to the library and I thought, “Well, I’ll get a hold of the leader of that group”—who actually had been in the Union Gospel Mission before—and just try to talk to him and just see, if maybe he could help me out to actually figure out what’s going on, whether this is the end of my life or whether I actually had an opportunity to have purpose and meaning in life.
So I went up there. I tried gettin’ in touch with him, wasn’t able to, so I actually walked into the Community Group that night, and they’re all lookin’ at me, all cheerful and happy. And first thing, I just looked at them and I said, “I need help and I need it now.”
Here is Scooter’s full testimony, which was the story of being left by his mother to being a ski bum in Utah to homeless in Seattle, but now is the story of how his life has been changed and redeemed by Jesus: