So Grateful for Second Chances
THE STORY OF ANTHONY BIHMS
MEN’S DIVISION, DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAM
Anthony Bihms grew up with good morals and was taught that marriage commitments were for life. So when his parent’s marriage dissolved after 37 years and his own marriage ended in divorce several years later Anthony severed all relationships with his family—including his 6 year old daughter—thinking that the ideal life he was taught was not possible.
His heartbreak and destructive behavior led Anthony to an isolated, dangerous life on the streets of Orlando—running from family chaos and more importantly running from God. After spending months on the streets, Anthony became broken, “I always knew God and I always ran.” Knowing that he could no longer flee, he walked through the doors of the Orlando Union Rescue Mission seeking help.
Even 6 months later, tears still flood his eyes as he recalls making this life-changing decision. “Change doesn’t come until God’s Word penetrates your heart and today I can stand because of Who is holding me up.”
Since coming to the Mission, Anthony has been reunited with his family in Texas who saw him on a local news story. After several years without contact, Anthony’s relationship with his daughter—who now has 3 children of her own—and family are being restored. He now regularly contacts his family and is looking forward to their visit since it will be his first time seeing his youngest grandchild—who is now 4 years old.
Anthony also currently serves in the Mission’s Women and Children’s Kitchen. Each day, he prepares meals to children whose father’s have abandoned them for various reasons, much like he did to his own family many years ago. “The time I didn’t spend with my daughter, I can do it here by helping someone else’s children.”
Today, Anthony is so grateful that the Lord has turned his selfish behavior into humble service. He is looking forward to a joyous family reunion, but in the meantime is continuing to rebuild his life and cherishes the photos of his family that he’s been given. “Glory to God,” Anthony says pointing to a picture of his daughter, “it doesn’t get much better than this!”