My name is Aaron Wadin, and I feel very blessed to serve as the new Executive Director of the UCAN City Mission, and have a heart to serve Jesus Christ in all that I do.
I have an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Trumpet Performance, and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music in Trumpet Performance. I bring diverse experience to this position from being a manager in the financial and mortgage industry, business development for hospice and skilled nursing home care, as well as managing teams serving those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I am proud to have grown up in Randolph, NY where the Gail N. Chapman Elementary School is named after my grandfather. My wife, Sheryl, and I have been married for 22 years and have lived in the Chicagoland area, Cincinnati, and most recently moved back to the local area from Albuquerque, NM. We have a 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son and we enjoy watching local high school soccer and basketball games.
I personally feel called by the Lord to serve in this role as I was and am the least, the last, and the lost. The Lord has shown me so much love, grace, and mercy in my own life that I desire to show and tell others about what having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and receiving His free gift of Salvation means. I lived the experience as a high functioning alcoholic caught up in the sinful habitual cycle of addiction with guilt and shame for many years. I lived a double life for as long as I could as a “Christian” and was completely miserable trying to sustain my pursuit of numbness in a bottle to block out past disappointments and anger with God. I am very fortunate to be married to a praying wife who kept pointing me to Christ and never stopped praying for me. My family and I just celebrated my 10 years of sobriety in October. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” With obedience has come much blessing!
This gift of sobriety is only possible because I chose to finally take the 1 step approach and get down on my knees and call out to Jesus Christ and ask Him for forgiveness for my sins, and to rededicate my life to living for Him. I accepted His free gift of Salvation and deliverance from addiction because I know that He died on the Cross 2000 years ago for my sins and rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus says in John 14:2 “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”
With understanding that verse, we are all actually homeless because this earth is only our temporary home, and I believe that our permanent eternal forever home is in Heaven. The Bible says in John 14:6 that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” For this reason, I believe that at UCAN we must not only help these gentlemen with their emergency temporary housing, but also present the Gospel to them. Then they can also have the wisdom and discernment to make a choice if they so desire to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ to make life changes and also secure their permanent eternal home with God in Heaven. If we as staff at UCAN do not show the love of Jesus in our actions and words to everyone who walks through our doors, and help them look long term to their eternal home by establishing their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then we have failed. If we want to have our community thrive, it must first start with all men in the community on their knees in prayer seeking the will of God in their lives.
We have fantastic tenured leadership and administrative staff at UCAN and they are there for the right reasons. We have a very knowledgeable case management team that effectively serves and a talented kitchen team providing nutritious food. Our community continues to bless us with prayer, monetary, clothing and food donations. I look forward to serving our guests, staff, board, and community. I absolutely know that this is where the Lord wants me to be.
If you wish to give financially, you can go to the UCAN website at ucancitymission.org and select the Donate button. Due to the community’s generosity, we are currently at a point where we are no longer accepting clothing donations. We love to have volunteers come in and serve in a variety of areas from bringing a warm breakfast or dinner dish, to helping with cleaning, speaking or presenting on a topic of their interest, or simply playing games and interacting with the guests. If you are interested in volunteering please call 716-488-7480. If you are interested in joining the UCAN staff, you can email your resume and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.