I’m Tom Bombardier and now I’m the front desk trainer at the Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries Men’s shelter. Working at the front desk is a challenge and a blessing all at the same time. You get to minister to and meet all different walks of life. This has given me an opportunity to work with people that I’ve wanted to help for a long time, addicts and people who are homeless.
So, I used to have a business, a family and a house. I became disabled and couldn’t work anymore—I lost everything. I ended up on the street and literally lost everything I cared about. I lived on the street for over 2 years. I’ve also been an addict since I was a young child. Unfortunately, I started hanging around the wrong people and making poor decisions. I ended up going to prison.
While I was locked up, I opened the Bible again. It was something I hadn’t done since I was a child. I invited Jesus back into my life and from there the miracles haven’t stopped.
I got out of prison and paroled here to the Mission. Prison got me clean and sober—the TRM Ministries helped me stay that way. They provided a safe environment, tools and knowledge. They gave me an opportunity to stay busy and focus on something else. I’m just grateful they were here for me.
Once here, I joined Servants-In-Training. My time in the SIT program went by fast. It was educational, exciting and enjoyable. I worked a detail at the front desk for over a year.
Chad Phillips, SIT Director said, “Working with Tom in Servants-In-Training was such a rewarding experience to see the growth in him. Not only to see that growth, but also to see how God really poured into Tom and now Tom continues to pour out into others.”
“Tom’s heart has changed. He is no longer about what he can get, it’s about what he can give. It’s not about being poured into, it’s about being poured out—that really is the biggest change I’ve seen in him,” added Phillips.
Now I’m productively working and getting ready to go back to school. I’m actually going to be an addictions counselor. So this has just opened up a whole new life for me. I had pretty much given up on life and had no purpose and now have one! God came into my life, performed miracles and opened doors I didn’t even know were there. I’ve been clean for about 32 months. All the honor and glory goes to God for that because I couldn’t do it without Him. I’m just blessed and thank the TRM Ministries for being here.
Seeing or meeting fellow veterans at the front desk who I can help is very satisfying. I enjoy explaining to them the resources that are available, comforting them and letting them know they are in a safe environment. Their lives can change for the better.
Gale Martin, Front Desk Staff, said, “I didn’t know Tom before he knew Jesus, but I know him now. You can tell that he loves Jesus and loves what he does. He is an excellent trainer. Working behind the front desk with Tom is fun! He has a good sense of humor and we are able to get our jobs done well.”
I’m excited and just moved into my new place last weekend. I’m looking forward to setting up my house and enjoying life outside of the Mission while still being able to work here. Hopefully they will have me here on staff for as long as I can work.
Phillips went on to say, “Seeing Tom stably housed and working at the front desk is one of the biggest joys of what I do. One of the greatest things of being a director of a program that helped me when I was a guest at the Mission, is that opportunity to help others achieve the same things, through the Lord, that I was able to achieve when I was seeking shelter and refuge.”
Lastly, if you are considering staying here, I want you to know that this is a wonderful environment to get a new start on life. There are a lot more opportunities here than people realize. I encourage anyone who is in need to come check it out. There are lots of programs—long and short-term. Its tailored to meet each person’s situation and need.