The Story of David and Bob
OC United is a Jobs for Life (JfL) ministry partner in Fullerton, CA that utilizes the JfL model and curriculum to impact the lives of those experiencing homelessness at a local OC shelter, Bridges at Kraemer Place. As Mike Carman (JfL Site Leaders at OC United) shares, “the real power of this program lies in the relationships developed by its champions (volunteers who serve as mentors). They go through class alongside (the students), then continue to journey with them for up to another 10 months. This relational connection is what makes the difference for most, and provides the power for transformation- and not just in the life of the student but in the life of the champion, as well.”
Mike shares a specific story about a student and champion relationship from one of their 2019 JfL classes:
“David was a middle-aged man who joined us almost directly out of prison. A college graduate and successful family man, his poor choices and unforeseen circumstances took his life and that of his family’s in a bad direction, and he ended up behind bars. Upon joining the class, he connected with Bob, one of our champions who had been through the program once previously. Bob encouraged David as he set up interviews and worked hard to find employment. David graduated from the program, and he and Bob continued to meet weekly and assess his progress and development. Though discouraged, David was urged by Bob to not give up and to keep working at finding a place willing to look beyond his record and give him a second chance.
That chance finally came and David began work for a landscaping business. Although it was hard work, he persisted and found himself promoted to a team leadership position, complete with a salary bump! He remained faithful and hard-working and continues to do well to this day. David got connected in a local church, found housing, and even reconciled with family members.
What makes this story complete is that even though Bob’s 12-month commitment to mentor David has come to an end, he has no intention of walking away. Because in the midst of this life transformation, David’s life was not the only one impacted. Bob was also changed and that “assignment” he had with a man who was homeless became a friendship with a man named David. And it will continue long past the framework of a program.
We may not be able to solve the exhaustive problem of homelessness that we see around us. But we can touch the life of one man or woman, and help bring answers to their problem of homelessness. God may not expect us to have the answer for everyone, but He has given us the ability to help someone find answers that will change his or her life course. And in the process, perhaps even change something about us that may need God’s hand.
Is it easy? No? But our greatest accomplishments are never easy. Is it costly? You bet. There is a sacrifice of time, attention and maybe even some resources. But anything valuable comes with a cost. Is it doable? Absolutely! Because God can accomplish in and through us more than we could ask or imagine!
>> Read the full story on OC United’s blog