“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”Proverbs 17:17
Like many siblings, Tommy and Jay have experienced several of life’s ups and downs side-by-side. When addiction put a strain on their relationship, they didn’t know if they’d ever see each other again. But God had a different plan. He reunited the brothers through the New Life Program at Harvest Farm and transformed their lives for good.
“It Started Off Really Dark, Really Confusing . . .”
For the beginning of Tommy and Jay’s childhood, they lived with parents who struggled with addiction, didn’t go to school and moved between different houses, cars and even sheds. Unlike most kids their age, many of their days were spent sitting in the back of the car while their parents did drugs in the front.
The struggles didn’t end when their grandparents took over to raise them. Eventually, a couple close to the family adopted Tommy and Jay, and things finally started to get brighter. From sharing their first real Christmas with their adoptive parents, legally changing their last name, and so much more, they finally had happy memories to look back on. “It was what we needed,” Tommy said. “It was strict, but coming from such a dark childhood, I am thankful that we had parents.”
“I Was Making Some Poor Choices, Bad Decisions and Wasn’t Growing Up . . .”
When it came time to go to college, Tommy and Jay began to create a separate path for themselves—a path leading them each down a bumpy road of addiction and breaking trust with those they loved most.
Experimenting with drugs and facing misdemeanors and prison sentences became their norm. They grew apart from each other, from their family and from God. Pretty soon they were both caught up in the cycle of addiction, unsure how to get out. “There was hope that you want to be better than you are,” Jay said. “You want what other people have—family, nice things, success—but you’re so confused. You want it but you can’t get there; you’re just spinning your wheels.”
For Both, the Final Straw Came Within Months of Each Other, at a Moment of Immense Vulnerability and Desperation:
“It was the last time I put a needle in my arm. My whole left side went numb, and I’m like, this is it. I’m sitting there and I prayed: Just keep me going God. Keep me breathing please. Please keep my eyes open so I can see Jay and give him a hug. I didn’t know how my heart kept thumping but now I know it was God. I started walking, got in a Lyft and came to the Murphy Center, just like my brother. I knew from day one I could not get high or drunk anymore.”
“I was struggling with dope and staying in a hotel. I met this guy who was like, ‘Man you need to go to Fort Collins, they got resources there.’ I broke down. I was sitting there, bawling inside the living room as I just did a shot. But I just felt like I didn’t get high. I was on an adrenaline rush of, what am I supposed to do with my life? So that next morning he dropped me off at the Murphy Center. And ever since I touched Fort Collins, I didn’t touch any other drugs that I used to just crave.”
“You just want to know who gave so you can shake their hand, give them a hug and tell them thank you. You want to tell them how great this experience was because it’s not about the money. We can’t wait to live life after this.”
– Tommy & Jay
“God Put My Brother Back in My Life . . .”
Shortly after getting to the Murphy Center, a center for homelessness community resources run by Homeward Alliance, Jay signed up for the Mission’s New Life Program at Harvest Farm where his life was forever changed. “I started to feel love for once in my life,” Jay said. “I have a sponsor and we’ve done studies together. My mentor David has helped me through months of the spiritual view of things. But it all comes with coming here, slowing down, surrendering to God, and saying I cannot handle it anymore, and then He goes to work.”
“Jay missed his brother Tommy and often wondered about where he was and how he was doing. We prayed together for them to be reunited and for the Lord to work in his older brother’s life. The brothers were then reunited at worship service one Sunday. Not long after, Tommy was accepted to the Farm where he began the New Life Program. The Lord has reunited these brothers and will use their lives for His glory.”
– David, Jay’s Mentor
After staying at the Murphy Center, Tommy stayed at Fort Collins Rescue Mission, where a staff member informed him that Jay was in the New Life Program at Harvest Farm.
Shortly after, he joined some of the other guests and volunteers at the Mission for a church service. “It’s truly amazing because God put my brother back in my life in church. I turned around and he’s standing right there, just glowing. I’m like, ‘Give me a hug,’” Tommy said. “By the grace of God, He’ll work miracles and answer prayers you would’ve never thought would come your way.”
Harvest Farm Mentor Matches in FY22
It was through joining the New Life Program that Jay and Tommy were able to restore their relationship, build a community and strengthen their faith. Jay graduated in February 2022 and hopes to go into prison ministry. Tommy is still in the program where he continues to build good habits, establish healthy relationships and create goals for his future.
“It took stripping everything I had away—relationships, family, friends, and loved ones,” Tommy said. “So one of my top goals is to have relationships and friendships that I can truly value and trust.” They can now look toward the future with hope in their hearts, knowing that whatever God has in store for them, He will lead them down the path the way they started—together.