Tim Gets Time to Heal, Finds His True Calling
The future was bright for Tim and his family as the year 2000 began. They were in the process of moving from Tallahassee to Orlando, where Tim had started a new job in banking a few months earlier.
The U-Haul truck was unloaded at the new house and Tim was putting the seats back into his van. Then it happened. “I made a sudden turn and injured my back,” he recalled.
Tim gamely tried to work through the injury, but the pain got continually worse. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, he underwent discectomy surgery. The prescribed recovery time is at least eight months, but with less than six months on the job, Tim hadn’t earned any vacation or disability time.
“My employer was gracious enough to give me a week of vacation time that I hadn’t earned yet, but when that was over, I was going to have to come back to work,” he said. “I just couldn’t do it so they had to let me go. I was termed economically unemployable.”
All the hopes and plans for the family’s new life in Central Florida were based on two incomes. With only one, they struggled through the rest of 2000 before bottoming out. By the end of February 2001, the family was homeless. One Sunday morning, they went to church not knowing where they were going to sleep Sunday night. That’s when they first heard about the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
“We were steered in the direction of the Mission by one of the church members who had stayed there before,” Tim said. “We were able to stay with them Sunday night before going to the Mission on Monday morning.”
Already, God was at work in their lives. “It just so happened they had one room available in the family wing and we were able to move in that day,” Tim said.
Staying at O.U.R. Mission Home for the next year allowed Tim to focus on healing without the pressure of having to earn an income he wasn’t physically able to earn. And while he already had a spiritual background – both he and his wife were ordained ministers – the Victorious Life Program and other faith-based programs strengthened his relationship with Christ.
“The entire experience helped me develop a whole new understanding of faith,” Tim said. “That was the real spiritual thing that happened during this time. Faith became more real than it ever was before.”
While at the Mission, Tim began volunteering with a friend’s organization that worked with young people. Eventually he met the chaplain at the House of Hope, a residential program for hurting teenagers and their families.
“When I went over there, that was it. I knew I had found my calling,” he said. “My heart got captured. I developed a hunger for working with kids.”
This experience led to a career change. Tim spent eight years with House of Hope, using his testimony of being homeless as a way to reach struggling teenagers and families.
“I’m able to tell what happened to our family and how the hard times brought us together,” he said. “That story has been such a tremendous part of my testimony and my ability to reach people. It’s just amazing to me.”
The family bought a house when they moved out of the Mission and they still live there today. Tim is an independent insurance agent as well as a “Sustainable Confidence Coach,” offering boot camps for teens, leadership training courses and other workshops.
“The insurance job is what keeps food on the table, but my passion is motivating, teaching, training and coaching,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for the Mission, I probably would have stayed in the banking business and missed out on all this.”
Tim and his family have fond memories of their time at O.U.R. Mission Home.
“It was a very humbling experience, but at the same time it was probably the best time in our lives,” he said. “We stayed in that little room – the five of us, my wife and three kids – for that year and God began to turn things around. Our time there helped make us who we are today.”
Staying at O.U.R. Mission Home gave Tim a chance to heal and introduced him to a new, satisfying career. You can be a part as other lives are transformed. Your gift of $26.82 provides a day of life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.