“I like having integrity, being responsible, paying rent, and being a productive member of society. And I know I could not have done it without Harvest Farm.”

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“I was attending Butler Community College,” Jeremiah says glancing across a field at Harvest Farm, “and I found out I could make more money selling drugs than with an associate’s degree in business, so I left.”

But over time, Jeremiah lost control. “I became a monster,” he says. “I just did what I wanted, regardless of how it hurt people.”

Drugs and alcohol weren’t anything new in his life, though. His mother was an alcoholic and addicted to heroin when he was a child.

He also struggled to find acceptance. His teachers didn’t understand his high energy caused by ADHD, and at home, he endured physical and emotional abuse. “A lot of people told me I was a bad person,” he says. “And I started believing it.” Eventually, Jeremiah found the acceptance he was searching for—in gangs.

For 16 years, he used and sold larger and larger amounts of drugs. “I was using drugs to escape,” he says, “and I found a false sense of power.”

But the power he felt came with a price. In February 2009, his house was raided by police, and his son was taken. Two months later, the boy’s mother died of an overdose in Jeremiah’s arms. The loss of his son and girlfriend left him shaken.

He started following the court’s orders, went to a treatment facility and fought for custody of his son, but in the end, the court ruled against him.

“I felt like I failed as a man, as a father and as a human being,” he says. Depressed, Jeremiah returned to the only life he knew—drugs and crime. “I didn’t care if I lived or died,” he says.

Fortunately, while he was at the treatment facility in Dodge City, he developed a community at First Christian Church. “A woman there was like a mother to me,” he says. “She told me I had spent my entire life going this way [in drugs and alcohol]. For once, she wanted me to try going the other direction.”

Out of respect, he agreed, and they contacted Harvest Farm.

But when Jeremiah first came to the Farm, he struggled to let go of old habits and aggressive behavior. As a result, he was dismissed from the program for thirty days after just two and a half months.

“I was homeless in Fort Collins … and I ended up fighting off a 40-pound raccoon with a rock—over a sandwich,” he says enthusiastically. “A lot of people think it’s funny, but it was a wake-up call for me.” When he returned to the Farm, he wanted to change but didn’t know how. “I was over in a field on my knees. I was crying. I didn’t know what to say or how to pray. So I just said, ‘Help.’”

“I’d been fighting all my life,” he said with tears in his eyes. And for the first time, he put his hands down in surrender. "I had to trust that the staff at Harvest Farm were not going to hurt me,” he explains. I had to trust that they were here to help me, they didn’t want anything from me and they weren’t here to judge me.”

Jeremiah says the Farm gave him a safe place to make mistakes and work through things, and this time, he was finally able to listen. “I didn’t necessarily believe everything that they were teaching me, but I stepped out in faith. And the more I did, the more my life began to change,” he says.

When he came to the Mission, he was hoping to just learn to be a better person and find peace. What he found instead was Jesus.

“There were so many seeds that were planted here … like compassion, empathy, meekness, strength, and forgiveness,” he says. As he learned from the Bible, he began to see how God used broken people to do amazing things and bring Him glory despite their weaknesses. “I started to believe that maybe He could do that for me,” he says.

Today, Jeremiah works on the facilities and maintenance staff at Timberline Church in Fort Collins. “I’ve been working at Timberline Church for close to two years now, and I love it,” he says. “I like having integrity, being responsible, paying rent, and being a productive member of society. And I know I could not have done it without Harvest Farm.”

Thank you for being a part of planting seeds of change in Jeremiah’s life. Because of your faithful support, men like Jeremiah in our New Life Program are able to receive the support, guidance and spiritual foundation they need to make lasting changes in their lives.