Patricia became homeless following her divorce in 2005.
After 23 years of marriage and raising two children, she found herself in a transitional housing program in Colorado Springs. She was unemployed but had worked before, although the stakes were different now.
“I’d had jobs before, but now I was going to have to support myself,” Patricia said.
As fate would have it, Springs Rescue Mission was hiring for an administrative assistant. It wasn’t work Patricia had done before, but she felt like God was opening a door. And he did. She was hired for the job in September 2006 and began serving an organization dedicated to helping men and women like herself — those who found themselves in difficult circumstances and were looking for a way out.
“I really felt that this is where God wanted me to be,” she said. “I think because I’ve been there, I can relate better. You never know what another person has been through and where they’ve been.”
Jack was hired as a case manager for the New Life Program in January 2007. He had worked in addiction counseling on and off since 1998 and now God had called him to use those skills for the Mission.On his first day of work, he was given a tour that would completely change the course of his life.
“That was when my new boss introduced me to Patricia,” Jack said. “I can still remember her enthusiastic smile and the gleam in her eye.”Jack and Patricia got to know each other over the next few months and eventually began dating.
“I learned he is kind, patient, smart, funny and that he cares about people — all traits that are very important to me,” Patricia said. “I determined that he was the one for me when the first email he sent me was perfectly punctuated and everything was spelled correctly. How could I not love him?”
But it wasn’t the smoothest of courtships, according to Jack. He had been married and divorced twice, raised three children and had submitted to the Lord that he “would live a single life to serve Him.
“But that wasn’t what He wanted for me,” Jack said.
After this realization, the two became engaged and later had what Jack calls a “fairytale Mission wedding.” And Patricia agrees.
“It felt like a Mission event and that made the day even more special,” Patricia said. “It was the best day of my life.”
In the 14 years since they first met at 5 W. Las Vegas, Jack and Patricia have continued serving the Mission together. In fact, they are the organization’s most tenured employees — a testament to their endurance and devotion to serving as God’s hands and feet in a cause to which they both feel called.
“In the end, I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” Patricia said. “Being able to help all of the people we help every day; that’s what it’s about.”
Patricia continues to serve the Mission as an administrative assistant and Jack now works as a case manager in the Resource Center and at Greenway Flats, helping individuals who are homeless or in supportive housing; work he said has been greatly influenced by his relationship with Patricia.
“I think knowing Patricia’s story has made me appreciate how all of these programs really help people,” he said. “Knowing her story and her trauma helps me be a better, more tenderhearted man.”
Jack, who graduated with a Pastoral Ministries degree from Nazarene Bible College, began holding church services on campus and now leads a small congregation made up of men and women from the Mission.
“Working for the Mission has helped our relationship and being married has helped the work we do at the mission,” he said. “The Mission is our life — it’s on our minds constantly.”
Jack and Patricia both say they are continually amazed by the way a small soup kitchen and recovery program has grown into a Community of Hope in downtown Colorado Springs.
“God was in it — he built this place,” Jack said. “God has transformed these spaces so we can serve people better. It’s amazing to see what He has done. I’m just blown away.”
And neither plan to go anywhere anytime soon.
“As long as God has us here, we’ll stay here,” Jack said. “He plans and prepares, and we just ride the wave.”
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