Volunteer Testimonial: Thomas


Hello, my name is Thomas. I’m not what I am because of human effort. I’m not what I am because of the resolutions I’ve made in my life. I am what I am, because of the presence of God living within. I chose to believe Him. There are many verses in Gods spoken word that leave me mesmerized and saying to myself "huh"?

Galatians 4:6-7 has been one I’ve wrangled with for many years, it says “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” This verse is Paramount in viewing ourselves as God sees and values us.

Growing up with addicted parents, hearing and seeing the things I saw equipped me with a certain slant to say and do those same things. At a young age, my brother and I were placed in states custody until momma bear sorted out her own inward agitation. We bounced around never really getting settled. She would eventually gather herself and we were reunited. The influence of those younger years would have an impact on my morals and values. My teenage years were something along the lines of what you see in a movie; drugs, sex, greed, depression, hopelessness. I was seething with resentment that was fueled by hatred for myself and anyone who opposed my decisions. As I graduated high school, the vice grip of multiple addictions began to suffocate and cleave anything positive in my life.  I turned 21 shortly after I was sentenced to 65 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections, I wasn’t released until I was 26. Sodden with anxiety, entrenched with depression, buried with loneliness so deep I didn’t want to exist. I was completely powerless to my life beyond the walls. I felt useless and overwhelmed. This place of reform slowly became the sequel to how I was living on the outside.

I’ve heard it said, “if you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done or you’re going to get the same results.”

I knew nothing about love, sobriety, peace, confidence, value, happiness or an old book called The Holy Bible. So, I reluctantly joined a biblical based program, not that I was interested. It gave me a “job,” longer yard time and .60 cents a day, for a grand total of $12 a month. The program was only an instrument for Gods spirit to split me open. It forced me to look beyond to surface where my true identity is found. Temporary changes took effect, but there were many deep-rooted issues that never got resolved. In 2014 my long-awaited release had finally come; I made a crucial mistake of leaving Jesus where I had met Him. I did well for a while, only drinking. But I was the gullible victim playing in the shadows slowly gravitating back into a rigorously practice lifestyle that I knew all too well. Norman Grubb said, “Until there is a conviction of need, there can never be a desire for change." I was deluded, fully convinced for many years that I was a worthless crook, a tempestuous junkie, hollow and immune to anything good. Things briefly looked up when I met the gal, who is unequaled. Two thoroughbreds were produced, Bryer Cole and Creedence Emmanuel. I could go on and on about them but for the sake of time I won’t.

One day Jamiee Lee told me “just because it’s something you’ve always done doesn’t mean it’s something you have to do.” Something so simple that I would’ve never understood it any other way, without her illustrating it on the little wooden blocks with the ABCs on them from third grade.  After my last relapse I realized “this ain’t it,” it was just different. It’s almost like the thrill was gone; it had lost its appeal. Honestly it weighed on me.  I knew and felt that it was wrong, and I wanted to do something different.

So, for the first time in 31 years, I asked for help. I reached out to a man who has poured himself out for me because of the Jesus that lives in him. He’s impacted my life in indescribable ways. We discussed options and I entered a year-long discipleship program called Adult Teen Challenge in November 2019. Rash decisions on my part extended my stay to a life altering 14 months. During that time Gods spirit removed and replaced things in my soul. He cleansed me, spoke truth into me and showed me the tedious task of being a son. I slowly began to see the price paid in blood for my soul and how much worth I was to Him. August 2021, I completed the program. Then I had the opportunity to become the housing Director of the House of Hezekiah, which is a discipleship house for the Working Men of Christ. I stepped down as director in March to a lesser role of a mentor.

In closing Psalms 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name.” Every day is an opportunity to walk with the Lord, to learn from previous attempts, to become better than the day before. The challenge lies in that uniting. There will be friction, scrapes, bumps, bruises but irreversible healing will take place by being obedient enough to what God’s spirit requires. Realign and remain firm. I can’t stress that enough. Will it be difficult? Yes. Insurmountable? No.  What an honor we have to represent the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ! Stay in the process!!!




With all that being said, my whole life I've always wondered why it was the way it was. Things quickly became clear as mud when a friend from a Bible study asked me to volunteer at a camp for foster kids and almost immediately brushed it off because of a hectic schedule. But the more I thought about it, I felt in some way that I could be relatable to these kids. I’ve potentially felt the things they felt and thought about the same things they have. I may be able to understand the things they’re going through. My wife has said in raising our boys. “Be who you needed when you were a kid.” I’m extremely thankful for the invite and that I took the time to do it. I had absolutely no idea what to expect going in, but my expectations were exceeded immensely. One thing that I took away from camp is that there was purpose in the things that I’ve been through, that someone can gather courage and confidence through me speaking about my experience and that it enables other to speak about theirs. Some people feel that they’re the only ones who have been through something or that nobody wants to listen. Just being present, focused on the conversation and at times not even talking is huge.

Lastly, if you were to ask me why I volunteer?  I would say that there is a great joy that I find while engaging in and carrying another’s burden. I know the feeling of carrying mine alone, I did for multiple decades, and I don’t want that for anybody! 

In His Grip, 


.section-header { text-align: center; }