A Heart Transformed by Gratitude

Doc came to TRM as a guest after experiencing a devastating loss in his personal life. He came to us a bitter, angry man whose life had spiraled into addiction. He was living outdoor homeless for more than 10 years prior to coming in to the Mission.

Over time, Doc began to understand the importance of God’s love and he accepted the Lord’s saving grace. Doc became a leader among his peers and invested a year learning to walk daily with Jesus and cultivate a servant’s heart. Those of us who had the privilege to work with Doc could clearly see how God was using him to encourage everyone he encountered.

Doc faithfully worked in the Distribution Center for several years even after he was diagnosed with cancer. He showed up for work—despite his pain–and refused to let his illness define how he approached each day. One evening, Doc ran into Barry Feaker at the Distribution Center. Earlier that day, Doc had been to the dentist and had all his teeth pulled; it was necessary for him to begin long-term treatment for his cancer. When Barry asked him how he was doing, he admitted he was hurting, “But, you can take a pill to make this pain better.” With a slight smile, he continued, “There’s a pain you can’t take a pill for that is much worse than this…that’s the pain of a broken heart.” Choking back tears, he shared about the love he had found here from so many. He said their love healed what he never believed could be; and, because of their love and the love of God, he could face whatever was before him with confidence.

“Doc” (on far right) at annual Topeka Rescue Run

Doc’s favorite holiday was Christmas. Before he got sick, he worked tirelessly at the Distribution Center to help pull all the supplies together for Christmas adoptions. When it became apparent Doc probably wouldn’t make it to Christmas, our team threw him a combination surprise birthday/Christmas party in October, even helping his brother travel into town to reconnect with and see Doc. The line of people who came to celebrate him and remind him they loved him stretched down the hall and around the corner. Doc went home to be with the Lord not too long after his diagnosis. While he was here, his grateful heart encouraged and was a witness to the transformative power of Christ. Thank you for helping us change Doc’s life; we are privileged to be a part of God’s work in this community.