The fear that grips a father’s heart has nothing to do with ghosts or goblins. When we were little and things went bump in the night, for many of us there was one person we could count on to keep us safe. He was the bravest of the brave, the strongest of the strong – no spook or monster ever dared show their face when he stepped into our room. Dads are famously fearless in the eyes of their children. But little did we know that there’s one thing, common to most fathers, that can quickly cause our dad’s heart to melt with terror.
When Bob, a father of five, came face to face with it last July – it nearly destroyed him.
Bob has never been afraid of hard work. He’s been an electrician, he’s owned his own transportation business and later, formed his own consulting firm. In the midst of it all, he even found time to settle down and raise a family of five, a family he cherished. But in January of 2017, Bob found something to fear. Without warning, a large contract at his consulting firm was cancelled due to a change in management. It was his only contract at the time. Suddenly Bob was afraid, and not because he was now unemployed. He was afraid of what his wife Linda would do when she heard the news. “After 14 years, there were cracks forming in our relationship, some larger than others. I knew things were beginning to wane. So when I lost the contract, I decided I needed some liquid courage before I could face her. A drink or two, or ten, sounded like a good idea.”
The news wasn’t well received. Shortly after, he and his family were forced to give up their home. On moving day, when the boxes were all loaded and the moving truck was ready to go, Bob heard some of the most chilling words a father could ever imagine. “You’re not a part of our family’s moving plans.” In an instant Bob lost his family. He stood there dumfounded – his worst fear realized. As he watched the truck drive away, Bob, the once solid rock of his family, crumpled.
“They left and there I was, standing in an empty house with nowhere to go. So I drank away what cash was left in my pocket, tried a few job opportunities that didn’t pan out and became homeless. I pulled up a nice piece of concrete behind Starbuck’s dumpster and just dealt with it.” There’s never a good time to be homeless. But Bob hit the Phoenix streets last July when summer temperatures were breaking records left and right. It almost killed him. “I suffered though the heat. During the day I would start to not feel good, so I would pop into Starbucks for a free cup of ice water. But it didn’t last long. It quickly became obvious that I was a homeless person. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital for dehydration.” After he was discharged, he called organizations all over town looking for some place that would take him in. He didn’t want to die on the streets.
After being rejected a dozen times, Bob was about to give up, until a man on the computer next to him asked a life-changing question. “Have you heard of the Phoenix Rescue Mission?” Through your partnership, we were able to welcome Bob in off the deadly, summer streets and enroll him in our Men’s Recovery Program. Here he found a new family ready to give him the tools and encouragement he needed to move forward, to restore his self-worth and find transformation through a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ. “I came to understand a lot about my life. Even though my family relationship fell apart, and I resorted to drinking for a while, I was still somebody and still worth something.”
Today, Bob is not only a graduate of our Recovery Program, he’s stepped into a leadership role in our kitchen. “I went into leadership, because I felt that there were things I could do to help others coming in – and give back for what the Mission gave me and helped
restore in my life.” In addition to running the kitchen, he’s earned his ServSafe certification in food management, and dedicates his time to pouring into the lives of the men around him. He even leads devotions in our chapel! Going forward, Bob hopes to reach
even more as a part of our Community Engagement team. “You have to have that support system. We’re all creatures of God but none of us are perfect. He’s the only perfect one. We’re all going to fall short of His glory, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up hope.”