Jamie: A Life Transformed
In July of 2011, I walked through the doors of the Christian Care Center Men’s Residence, and life as I knew it would never be the same. I remember getting the phone call in jail from my mother stating charges would be dropped if I agreed to go to this rehab on a church campus. I hesitated for a few days thinking I might prefer staying in jail rather than living in a church. I was an atheist, and so-called Christians were not the type of people I wanted running my treatment. But I decided to get myself out of jail I would go to the interview and be sure to give them all the wrong answers. Fortunately for me, God had other plans in store. Walking through those doors, I knew something was different about this rehab. After God started tugging at my heart in the interview, I surrendered my freedom and was accepted into the program. As I sat in class, I looked around at all these so called “Christians”. I thought I was going to use my time in this place to prove how gullible these people were in order to believe this Bible. Once again, I learned God had other plans. As I dove deeper into the Word to disprove it, God dug deeper into my heart to prove Himself to me. Finally, after three months of being that stubborn client, God had me right where he wanted me and I surrendered, not my freedom this time but my life and my heart to Him. After completing the program, I knew I needed to stay in His Word but I also knew how stubborn I was. I knew I wouldn’t want to pick my Bible up every day, so I enrolled myself in Bible College. This way, I knew I had to stay in the Word if I wanted to pass. I had no money for the college, but by faith I signed up and before long I was sponsored for my entire two years. From there I was called as a youth minister at a small church. That small church then took over the school payments, and I was sponsored all the way through for my bachelor’s degree. During that time, this once-stubborn atheist became an official ordained minister.
For full-time work I served over at the Children’s Shelter and soon became the Director of the shelter. I still stayed connected to the Men’s Center since there is where I was given life. God began tugging at my heart and working the pieces of the puzzle to bring me back to the Men’s Residence. Nine years after walking through those doors, I found myself walking through them once again. However, this time instead of being a client I was walking in as the Assistant Director. Serving on staff here has been such a blessing. To be able to give back to the very ministry that brought me life has been both humbling and gratifying. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Looking back, I can see God’s plans being worked out to this very day. I might not know what He has in store for me in the future, but I trust He has the plans!
Just recently, a client named Bob Wilkes came to our program. As I heard him on the telephone, I could not help but think how he reminded me of my former self. When he was walking through the door, I laughed to myself saying, “Here is my mini me!” And a few weeks later there we were at church, in the baptismal pool. This time I was the one doing the baptism – nine years later – what a picture of grace and mercy for all to see! Once I was lost; now I have been found! Once a client; now on staff of this ministry that gives life. If you would like to partner with the Men’s Residence either through donations, volunteering, or prayer please contact our Men’s Residence Director, Jay Walsh, at JayWalsh@Christiancarecenter.org.