Tim Hutson is a compassionate, tender-hearted listener. During the first two hours of his day, he listens to God during his time of prayer. As he drives the shuttle every couple of hours to take New Life Program participants to their job interviews, doctor’s appointments and other errands, he listens.
“Honestly, I don’t do a whole lot of talking,” said Tim, who is a driver at Harvest Farm, a 100-acre farm and rehabilitation center for men in Wellington. “Sometimes these guys have to vent and get things off of their chest, and sometimes they’re just looking for an ‘attaboy.’”
He listens to it all, from their frustrations to their triumphs. He finds joy in watching them regain their driver’s licenses, get hired for the jobs they wanted and make progress in their journeys of recovery. When he attends the Farm’s daily devotion, he listens to the praise reports and prayer requests of men who are going through struggles that hit very close to home.
Tim started smoking and chewing tobacco at the age of eight.
His alcohol use ramped up throughout his teenage years, and when he reached his early twenties, it had started to form a stronghold over his life. “I was chronic,” he said. “I couldn’t function.”
Feelings of fear evolved as Tim’s sister, Debbie, watched her brother suffer from a destructive addiction for more than three decades. But she never stopped praying for him, and when she recommended that he move to Colorado to join the New Life Program, to his family’s surprise, he listened.
“It had reached the point where it was life or death,” Debbie said. “You could tell that he was living an empty way of life, yet God had special plans for his future.”
She heard about the faith-based program from her former pastor and neighbor in Arkansas, Dan Spencer, who has now been a chaplain for the program for almost seven years.
When Tim arrived at the Farm in August of 2016, it had been almost 20 years since Dan had seen him. “I saw Tim, and he was shaking,” Dan said. “He was eating Tic Tacs because he wanted to smoke. Debbie was crying and Tim’s mother was crying, and I said, ‘Tim, you’re going to make it.'”
During his first couple of months in the program, Tim worked in the kitchen doing dishes, cleaning, preparing food, and cooking as part of the work readiness phase of the program, which helped him keep his mind off of using substances.
“The whole idea of the program is to start changing the way you think, act and behave,” Tim said. “Working in the kitchen is what actually made me feel like I’m worth something.”
After 13 months of diligently meeting with his chaplain and counselor and surrounding himself with solid peers and a strong community from his church, Tim’s family members watched him graduate from the program and walk wholeheartedly into a new life. “The Farm saved my brother’s life,” Debbie said.
A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT
Every time Debbie visited Tim during his time in the program, she saw a transformation. “You could see that God was redeeming and renewing his life. So much of the heaviness and condemnation that he had carried for so many years was lifted,” she said.
Dan was a familiar, welcoming face for Tim when he arrived at the Farm and a stable support system during his season of recovery.
Driving the Farm shuttle is Tim’s time to connect with program participants. “I really like helping other people with their battles,” Tim said. “I get to do that every day.”
Throughout his years of battling addiction, Tim tried 30-day detox programs, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and self-help groups. “I never included Jesus into my recovery until I got to Harvest Farm,” he said. “When I came here, He took all my withdrawals. Recovery, to me, is Jesus breaking the chains of my addictions and me not hooking myself back up.”
As a full-time employee, Tim is a daily encouragement to participants who ride in his shuttle. He is in the process of becoming a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), and he has been certified as a Peer Support Specialist, an individual who has lived experience with a substance use disorder and can help others in their journeys of recovery.
He discovered Faith Church during one of his shuttle runs and has been attending ever since. He plans to attend the Easter service and help cook dinner for the men at the Farm for its annual Easter dinner.
In the thick of the pain that Debbie felt during Tim’s addiction, she wrote his name in her Bible next to Psalm 56:13: For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
This Easter, Tim is celebrating almost four years of sobriety. Today, he walks before God in the light of life. Today, he’s walking in victory. “Jesus died on the Cross for me. And for you. For us all,” he said. “Listen and ask for His help. Real change comes through Jesus.”
This Easter, Denver Rescue Mission is dedicated to providing hope in the midst of the problems surrounding COVID-19. During this crisis, you can help people like Tim experience the freedom that comes with knowing Jesus.
The Denver Rescue Mission family continues to be grateful for the unwavering amount of support from the community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Through newspapers, online blogs, TV news stations, radio shows, and more, the Mission is working hard to provide the most up-to-date information to our community at large.
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