This story is written by sam's wife, kathleen.
When I first learned about The Bridge Restoration Ministry, I was living at Pueblo Del Mar’s transitional housing program, and had just completed a year clean and sober. I took on the role of a struggling single mother because Sam, the father of my child, was still using drugs. My downstairs neighbors invited me to attend the Most Excellent Way meeting, and they told me about how wonderful and special this meeting was, and how Mike and Michele Casey had helped to restore their family. I happily attended and was able to see firsthand that this was truly a Christ-centered recovery meeting. I instantly knew that Sam was destined to attend The Bridge and I felt hope again for my family to reconnect.
At this point in time, Sam was truly lost in his addiction. He was reckless, irresponsible, and living completely for himself in his flesh. He would let days pass without calling, show up late for visitations, and was emotionally detached and distant. I remember how deeply our son Luke missed seeing and connecting with his dad and how it broke my heart when I had to explain to him, “Daddy couldn’t make it today, but that is not your fault.” I mailed a pamphlet explaining The Bridge program to Sam, kept earnestly saying my prayers, and cut off all contact with him. This was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through, but my faith in the Lord remained and I held onto that with all of my being. Sam finally hit his breaking point when he suffered major injuries in a car accident and temporarily could not work. I will never forget the moment when he called and told me he would give The Bridge a try. I was excited and relieved that he was ready to make monumental changes for himself and his family.
Yet on August 18th 2011 – Sam’s first day at The Bridge – he went in kicking and screaming! He tried to find every last reason why it was not the right time, but ultimately surrendered his car keys and his heart and went to live at The Bridge with 18 of his newest friends. The following year was challenging and beautiful at the same time. I watched Sam grow and change in so many ways, and was elated to get to know this wonderful and kind-hearted man as a sensible and sober human being. Through the Bridge Restoration Ministry and the guidance of Mike and Michele, Sam was able to stabilize and develop an identity in Christ. He became accountable for his actions, responsible, honest, and dependable. It was truly a miracle to watch the transformation happen! He proved to me that he was willing and able to take on the role of a father to his son Luke, and would show up consistently for his family and follow through with his word. Slowly I was able to trust Sam, and began to fall head-over-heels in love with him all over again. Not only did Sam flourish and thrive during his first year at the Bridge, he committed to a second and then a third year of serving as a Ministry Assistant. Sam was able to use his leadership skills to help the newer members of The Bridge through their own recovery journey. Sam developed love and empathy for each and every man that entered the Bridge, and felt pleased to give back to the program that had helped him find himself when he was lost. Sam’s time spent at The Bridge Restoration Ministry was an instrumental stepping-stone in his recovery, and the care and love that he received from Mike and Michele changed his life.
In June of 2014, Sam and I stood before our families, friends, members of the Bridge, and God and said our marriage vows. Thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, our family has been restored! I am proud of the man that Sam has become, and I am so excited to see what God has in store as he leads our family. Because we both have lived in the darkness of sin, we know how precious our redemption is and we are eternally grateful for every single day of our new life together in Christ. All the glory to God! With Love and Gratitude, Kathleen.