Robert’s journey started with the choices he made as a teenager. “It was easy to find trouble with the people I chose to associate with,” he says describing how his friends introduced him to alcohol. But shortly after graduating high school in 1988, Robert made a different choice and asked Jesus to forgive him and begin guiding his life. Despite his growing relationship with God, he continued struggling to remain sober on and off for the next 24 years.
In 2012, he started drinking again after being sober for 18 months. Disappointed and upset, his girlfriend kicked him out, forcing him to live in his truck. Two days later, Denver police arrested him for a DUI when they found him drunk and sleeping behind the wheel of his truck. “I remember lying in the holding cell thanking God,” he says. “I knew my journey toward healing had begun.”
Though he was facing a year in jail for repeated DUI convictions, Robert was given the opportunity to participate in a recovery program instead. When he chose the New Life Program at Denver Rescue Mission, the judge agreed.
But God’s plans weren’t what he expected. After joining the New Life Program, Robert began to develop neurological problems and had difficulty walking and swallowing. In August 2014, doctors confirmed it was the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS). “Despite the struggles, I know God’s hand is in all this,” he says. “After all, developing MS before I entered the New Life Program would have been a disaster.”
In the New Life Program, Robert learned to accept himself as he relied more on God and to find fulfilment in his relationship with Jesus instead of filling that void with a girlfriend or alcohol. “Just being sober for over two years has been monumental,” he says. “I relate better with people now.”
During the program, his MS symptoms grew worse, interfering with his work therapy responsibilities and causing him to lose the ability to walk altogether. But with the Mission’s help, Robert found a doctor who prescribed special medication for his MS. Eventually, he was able to walk again, but not without some difficulty. “Stairs are almost impossible for me still,” he says. “But the medication has helped a lot.”
Robert graduated the New Life Program in February 2015. Today, he is a machine operator for a small display design company that makes custom shelving units with integrated LED lighting. “It’s like a family,” he says. “It’s nice to have that acceptance and closeness with my coworkers.” Outside of work, Robert attends Flatirons Church and still maintains the relationship he built with a volunteer mentor at the Mission.
“It didn’t go the way I’d have done it,” he says laughing, “but God knew what I needed. I’m so grateful for the Mission. Being here was a huge blessing. Nothing that can compare with the joy I have now.”
Thank you for making Robert’s life-changing experience possible. Because of your faithful support, people like Robert receive something better than a drug rehab program. They receive the healing, education, support, case management, counseling, and spiritual guidance they need to make a lasting life transformation. Thank you for being a part of the healing journey of so many of our homeless friends and neighbors by supporting Denver Rescue Mission.