Shining a Light

In 2012, Ron was in a car accident that should’ve ended his life. In the chaos and trauma, he recalls feeling something strange. “It’s like it was God’s presence right there with me,” he remembers. “It was the first time in my life I’d ever felt anything like that.”

But after the accident, he wondered why God had spared him. “I’d done so much wrong in my life—why would God want anything to do with me?”

The years both before and after that scary incident were filled with brokenness. Struggles in his childhood left him lonely and hurting, and he found the acceptance he craved on the streets—a dangerous situation. His life began to spiral out of control as he became addicted to alcohol and methamphetamines. He lost custody of his daughter and found himself homeless.

“When you hit rock bottom,” he says, “it feels like you’re drowning. Drowning in a sea of despair, of self-hatred, guilt, shame . . . and you’re fighting just to breathe, to keep your head above water.”

Eventually, Ron wound up in a hospital psych ward. While there, he was given a list of places he could go—and Hope Ministries was on that list.

The decision that changed everything

When Ron first walked through the doors of our men’s shelter a year and a half ago, he wasn’t interested in our recovery program. But that quickly changed as our front deskman gave him a tour and spent time talking with him about what had led him to Hope Ministries.

“He proceeded to pray for me,” Ron recalls. “It touched me because no one outside my family had ever done that for me before. And he didn’t know me from Adam!”

Ron spent the next few days thinking about their conversation. “I looked back at my life and all the choices I’d made, the holes in my soul that I’d tried to fill through my addictions. I surrendered my life to Christ and that’s the one choice that has changed my entire life.”

One life-changing decision led to another: Ron chose to enter our life recovery program, and he hasn’t looked back since.

The joy of restoration

“Through my sobriety, the Lord has restored parts of my life back to me,” Ron says now. His relationship with his parents is stronger, and he’s been allowed to be a bigger part of his seven-year-old daughter’s life. One of his favorite moments of 2020 was when his daughter said, “I love you, Dad.”

Ron has also found a lot of joy in the friendships he’s developed—both with fellow recovery residents and staff. “Talking with them showed me I’m not alone in this. They’ve shown me genuine love,” he says.

During his time in our program, Ron enjoyed his work skills assignment, which included working at the front desk of our life recovery center. In July 2020, he reached eleven months of sobriety—the longest stretch he’d ever gone since he began using.

That same month, Ron graduated from our program. He had a job lined up, a home to move into, and a support system in place. “That’s the most vital part of life beyond these walls—staying connected to your church, your life team, the people who support you.”

The light of hope

Ron’s goal in life now is to share the hope he’s found with others wherever and however he can. “Loving and serving others—I’m clinging to those values so tightly,” he says. “That’s what I want to do with the rest of my life—serve others and show them there is hope in this world and there is love that truly exists.”

“Before I came to Hope Ministries,” he adds,” I had no hope. It was such a foreign thing to me that I thought it wasn’t even achievable. Now, hope is the way I live my life.”

And as he reflects on his life, he can’t help but think back to that car accident in 2012. To the questions he had about why God allowed him to live. “I see now that God had a purpose for me. He had more for me.” And that more, Ron says, includes sharing his story . . . and shining his light.