There are so many days I wish I could call you and tell you how your life has played such an integral part in leading me to a career of helping individuals of underserved communities. Due to your untimely death, I was never able to speak to you about your experiences being a troubled veteran who eventually faced incarceration. Now I get to help individuals who are now standing where you once did.
I know firsthand how having a missionary visiting and ministering to those incarcerated changed your life. She encouraged my mother to write you and eventually you two would marry and start our family. I am excited to tell you about the organization I work for, Serving California, and the work we do in California prisons. We offer an educational program called The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI). This program is helping to show the men and women who participate how to be Christian leaders. This program is helping reconnect these individuals with their families and upon release, they are going back and building up their communities. We also have Bible study programs in the jails to teach men and women to be better fathers and mothers.
It is still unclear to me if you actually served in combat, but I do know you served in the military. At Serving California, we have a beautiful ranch in Central California that is being used to host programs to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and teach them how to become the men God has called them to be. There are a troubling amount of veterans committing suicide, 22 per day. We have had over 900 veterans attend our programs at SkyRose Ranch and we have had ZERO suicides among our alumni.
As Father's Day is approaching, I wanted to share with you how blessed I am to be able to encourage other fathers like you. They may not have made the best decisions, but they don't have to be defined by those choices. Through the many programs at Serving California, I get to help provide them with the tools to succeed.