Below is an excerpt of Harvest Farm graduate Phillip Tello’s story which he recounted at an event on October 6, 2018. We hope his story encourages you as we work together to provide opportunity for our neighbors who struggle with homelessness and poverty.
“When I was 27, I was introduced to crystal meth. The first time I used meth I was instantly addicted. It was like someone put batteries inside of me and turned me back on. My depression was gone, I felt energized, and my drunken state vanished. I falsely believed that God had put this drug in my life to cure me of my alcoholism. But nothing could have been further from the truth. Once I was in the trap of addiction to meth, everything went downhill. I lost my job, my apartment, and my dignity. I lived for meth and nothing else. I struggled with this addiction for close to 12 years. My mind played games with me that horrified me and drove me to insanity. My only solution was to take my own life. How I overcame that is nothing short of a miracle. God was with me in this desperate moment and He showed me a new way. God changed the direction of my life.
I needed a safe haven to rebuild myself and I found it at Denver Rescue Mission, where I became a candidate to join the New Life Program at Harvest Farm. I believed in my heart that the Farm would be the place where I would be safe, the place where I would heal, the place where God would take the shattered pieces of my life and put them back together. This home turned out to be everything and more than what I had expected. It was the most amazing place in the world to me, a vast open space where I could get away and be with God, or be with the animals, or build relationships with other guys that were in the process of healing like me.
I discovered that I wanted to go to school and study to become a nurse. I began a transformative journey into making this happen by joining Front Range Community College. At the beginning, school was hard for me because of the self-defeatist belief system that I had about myself that needed to be dismantled.
Now, as I think about the person that I am becoming, I must admit that my self-image has been completely transformed. Four years ago, I began this journey of leading a new life and self-realization. Then, I did not have much to start with. I was insecure, fearful, and didn’t have a direction in life. When I decided to become a nurse, I was propped up on the shoulders of the Harvest Farm giants that showed me the way to lead a disciplined life that is fruitful and pleasing to the Lord.
It is my dream to become a nurse and I will achieve that dream because I believe that God has set me up to do so. He put people in my life to create a luminous pathway in the right direction. At Harvest Farm, I have built the foundation that continues to bear fruit in my work and dedication at accomplishing my goals. I am no longer insecure, fearful, and without direction. I have overcome, and I am thriving!”