My Aunt put us up here in Knoxville.   The top of a mountain is a much different place than the suburbs of Miami.  It's beautiful.  

Outside of banana pudding and eclair pie, Tennessee has been amazing because of this place.  True Purpose Recovery is a group that is helping men clean up their lives after the disasters that come with drug and alcohol addiction.  Their hearts are so tender.  They are thankful.  They had to be some of the most genuine people I have ever met in my life. Alot of these guys are coming from tough situations and life threatening addictions.  You would expect them to be calloused and hopeless.  On the contrary, they seemed to be some of the most pure examples of unconditional love I have ever met in my life.

The thrift store helps fund the recovery program.  In the program, all the guys live, eat and work together.  They generate the money through the store and jobs, like mowing lawns, and spend the rest of their time learning how to live a more controlled life and growing spiritually.

The guys we got to work with were awesome.  Their stories left me in tears.  We hope to have footage up soon.  We asked one of them what love is.  The answer was so genuine.  He was one of the most loving people I have met.  He told us his story, which included almost losing his life to drugs, doing prison time, and getting shot in both of his legs in a drug deal gone wrong.  He described it as a miracle that he was alive and walking today.

He's been through so much and because of it, he was so thankful.  He went on about how great it is just to be alive.  He looks forward to finishing the recovery program and being the dad he has always wanted to be for his baby boy.  He said that just being alive was reason to be happy.  He said that even a smile can be loving someone.  That day, I saw him greet everyone that came into the store so lovingly.   He really cared about people.  He said if his smile and his reaching out to the customer could brighten their day, that's all he wanted.

 As we left the store, they were so kind to us.  They told us that coming their and helping without expecting a thing really touched them.  I think they changed me more.


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