A Physical and Spiritual Transformation

By: Bethany Williams, Midland Division

Today, Tommy Windom, who doctors once said would never be able to walk again, believes that it is by the healing power of God he is mobile and leading a better life dedicated to service. At the age of 45, Tommy, a retired chef, has faced many physical and spiritual feats, but has found hope and faith thanks to The Salvation Army.

In December of 2010, Tommy started experiencing problems with his hand, which ultimately led to a decline in his mobility and paralysis in his right hand. This was trigged by a closed fluid line in his spinal chord and compressed discs in his back. With this diagnosis, Tommy was convinced that he was never going to be able to walk or use his hand again.

After three weeks of physical therapy in the hospital, Tommy was released, but faced the harsh reality of not having a safe place to live. With a dampened spirit and weakened quality of health, Tommy felt lost and alone. His family had relocated to other portions of the country, leaving Tommy without a support base to rely on.

Tommy’s case manager referred him to the Harbor Light Center and enrolled Tommy into the Respite Care program, specifically for homeless people with disabilities. The first Friday night he was at Harbor Light, Tommy prayed to God. Tommy asked God “What do you want me to do?” and questioned why God had blessed him with a roof over his head, food to eat and people genuinely care for him.

The following Sunday, Tommy attended the service at the chapel in the Harbor Light Center. Captain Moore asked the congregation, “Is God calling you to do anything?” It was this moment that Tommy realized doors started opening in his life.

“As soon as I said yes to God, everything else fell in line,” says Tommy. “Everybody has a purpose and their own free will. My will is to serve the Lord now.”

Tommy began to develop a closer relationship with God due to the ministry and The Salvation Army captains.

While living at Harbor Light, Tommy applied for disability coverage that would allow him to receive payments because of his inability to work. His request was approved. Two weeks later, Tommy also was granted social security benefits. Additionally, he was able to reconnect with family members, who had moved away from the St. Louis area.

Due to all of these blessings, Tommy felt a desire to help others that were in places of hardship and loneliness and to call them to seek refuge in the Lord.

“The more I gave, the more the Lord was giving to me,” says Tommy. “I spread God’s mission by challenging others to give their burdens to the Lord because He is always there, even during the hard times. The Salvation Army changed my life. The Lord showed me how he wanted me to serve and opened my eyes to my spiritual gifts.”

Recently, Tommy has completed his training to become a Salvation Army soldier and enjoys his time as a member of the Praise Team gospel choir.

“Joining as a soldier, I can give back and I can help,” explains Tommy. “The Salvation Army truly cares about people in all that they do. There is no better place to serve the Lord and people who cannot help themselves. This place has opened my eyes to have compassion and to be a free-giver. The love and good news he has given me is my duty to spread.”

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