During the first two hours of his day, he listens to God during his time of prayer. As he drives the shuttle every couple of hours to take New Life Program participants to their job interviews, doctor’s appointments and other errands, he listens.
“Honestly, I don’t do a whole lot of talking,” said Tim, who is a driver at Harvest Farm, a 100-acre farm and rehabilitation center for men in Wellington. “Sometimes these guys have to vent, and sometimes they’re just looking for an ‘attaboy.’”
He finds joy in watching them regain their driver’s licenses, start new jobs and make progress in their journeys of recovery. When he attends the Farm’s daily devotion, he listens to the prayer requests of men who are going through struggles that hit close to home.
Tim started smoking and chewing tobacco at the age of eight. His alcohol use ramped up throughout his teenage years, and when he reached his early twenties, it had started to form a stronghold over his life. “I was chronic,” he said. “I couldn’t function.”
“It had reached the point where it was life or death,” Debbie said. “You could tell that he was living an empty way of life, yet God had special plans for his future.”
Feelings of fear evolved as Tim’s sister, Debbie, watched her brother suffer from a destructive addiction for more than three decades. But she never stopped praying for him, and when she recommended that he join the New Life Program, he listened. “It had reached the point where it was life or death,” she said.
During his first couple of months in the program, Tim worked in the kitchen as part of the work readiness phase, which helped keep his mind off of using substances. “The whole idea of the program is to start changing the way you think, act and behave,” he said.
After 13 months of diligently meeting with his chaplain and counselor and surrounding himself with solid peers and a strong community from his church, Tim graduated from the program and walked wholeheartedly into a new life. “The Farm saved my brother’s life,” Debbie said.
Now, Tim is a daily encouragement to the men who ride in his shuttle. He is in the process of becoming a Certified Addiction Counselor and has been certified as a Peer Support Specialist, an individual who has lived experience with a substance use disorder and can help others in their journeys of recovery.
In the thick of the pain that Debbie felt during Tim’s addiction, she wrote his name in her Bible next to Psalm 56:13: For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
This Easter, Tim is celebrating almost four years of sobriety. Today, he walks before God in the light of life. Today, he’s walking in victory.
“Jesus died on the Cross for me. And for you,” he said. “Listen and ask for His help. Real change comes through Jesus.”