January 9, 2016
My name is Phillip Mckay
I came to The FARM on October 13, 2014. I was scared, hurt and lost. After 24 years of addiction, I thought my life was over. Due to my selfishness and pride, I had destroyed my family and abandoned my son. I was ready to just be done with it all. But the Lord had other plans. During my program, I was pushed and challenged on everything about myself. I had to take a good hard look at the man I had become. Each time I looked at a piece of myself honestly, the Lord healed me a little more. Over time, I came to see myself how the Lord sees me . Today I know my worth and want to live my life in His service, for His glory. I am a changed man today because of the work the Lord has done in my life. He didn't just heal me, the Lord has done a miracle in my family. My mother use to cry herself to sleep every night because of me. She was severely depressed and would barely get out of bed. Now, she is full of life and doesn't stop smiling and laughing. God has healed her broken heart and filled it with joy. My relationship with my dad, I thought could never be mended. We are closer now than ever. The greatest miracle the Lord has done in my life is with my son, Dyllan. The first time he came to see me at The FARM , he was terrified of me and obviously very hurt. I have watched the Lord heal his heart. He is no longer timid and shy around others. He laughs and smiles non stop. He loves the Lord with all his heart. The Lord used me to lead him to Christ and upon my graduation, we were baptized together. Today I have truth and love in my life only because of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. As I start the next season of my life I am not afraid because I know He is with me. Thank you JESUS !!
~ Phillip McKay~
Graduate- Sept. 2015
My name is Micah Bird.
I am 39 years old from DeLand Florida. I came to The FARM March 25, 2015 after a 20+ year drug & alcohol addiction. When I got here I was hopeless. I weighed 140 pounds. I was homeless & my ex-wife was filing for a divorce. I had all but given up. My addiction started when I was 15. I would drink on occasion & smoke pot trying to fit in & be cool. Most of what I was doing back then I knew to be wrong, but I had myself convinced that it was harmless. I come from a good family. I grew up in church & was taught right from wrong. Rather than do what I knew to be right , I did what I wanted to do. As I went through high school & community college, the drugs got harder & I used more& more frequently. I no longer attended church, I had no direction and before I knew it I was in full blown addiction to pain killers. I cleaned up for a little while at 25, did a few years in the service & got married... Only to make the choice to start using again & throw it all away. In 2007 my father passed away, my first marriage ended in divorce & I was discharged from the Coast Guard. Since then, the last 9 years of my life have been a mess. Program after program. I would go somewhere to get help, get clean, graduate & then fall again. Over & over the cycle kept on & on. In September 2013 I wound up at Dunklin Memorial Camp. During my 10 months there, the Lord restored my second marriage, restored my health & my mind. I knew Him like I never had before & I thought that I would never go back to being the man I was before. Once again despite all that I thought, I relapsed 6 short months after graduation. By not doing what I was taught & making small compromises I wound up back in my addiction & again I was lost. I was devastated & hopeless. I was tired of programs & didn't know what to do. I called Dunklin & was told about Jeremiah (who was one of my teachers at Dunklin) being up here in Bonifay at The FARM. I knew immediately that this is where the Lord wanted me to go. When I got here, the Lord told me to set aside all that I thought I knew & start over. To slow down, get back to the basics & just do what I was told to do day by day. This place is smaller than any place I have ever been... 6 men at the max. I had to learn how to keep my heart clean, be in relationship, share what was going on with me no matter what I was feeling over & over again. I can honestly say that today I am surrendered & I don't over complicate it. Tomorrow I will get up & surrender again... that's it. I don't expect my life to ever be "normal" and today I am OK with that. Today I have peace & can see that I was searching for peace all along. I have been blessed to be given the opportunity to stay at The FARM for another year of Servant Leadership Training. I have relationships with men who love the Lord & hold me to a higher level of accountability than I would ever hold myself. I have a lot of hope & am excited to see what the Lord has planned for my life.
~ Micah Bird ~
My name is Billy "Trent" Everett
I am 27 years old. I have spent 13 years fighting addiction. When I was 2 years old, my parents divorced. My dad & grandparents raised me the best they could in a good loving home.I struggled as a boy with reading and writing and was diagnosed with ADD. I felt worthless and dumb. I was hurt that my mother had nothing to do with me, so I also struggled with acceptance and feeling wanted and loved by her. At 13 I started using marijuana with her. I felt this was the only way to be accepted by her. I went on from there to using marijuana every day and dipping snuff. I was involved in football & baseball. By the age of 16 I was drinking and using marijuana all the time. About that same time I injured myself pretty bad playing football and tried pain pills for the first time. It was a feeling like I was 10 foot tall & bulletproof with no pain at all. I went on thinking I had full control over it as I thought everything in my life was great. I graduated high school and went on to working as a welder.
At age 20 as my addiction was getting worse, I nodded out at the wheel at 70 miles per hour and totaled my truck. This happened twice ! My family realized that I needed help. I went to a rehab for 6 months followed by another program for 12 months. I went a couple years clean after that with a me & God mentality. I still did what I wanted to do. All the same things... snuff, sex, porn, beer, bars, thinking that it wouldn't lead me back to the hard drugs. I went on like this thinking that I had been clean for going on 3 years and all I needed was a wife. I got married at 25 thinking I had things under control. Within 6 months I was back to using pills. November 2013 my grandmother passed away and my life went upside down from there. I destroyed my marriage, was stealing from my family and losing everyone around me. I wound up in jail for burglary, dealing in stolen property and grand theft. I was facing some time in prison. I was given grace & was court ordered to another 6 month program. I ended up violating my probation and ended up back in jail, getting a divorce and was all alone facing that prison time again. (15-20 years) I felt my life couldn't get any worse & I wanted to die. I finally hit my knees and cried out to Jesus for help! I was willing to do whatever it takes. Once again I was given grace and God opened the doors for me to come to the FARM. At first I was just coming to the FARM to beat a prison sentence thinking I will do my 12 months and go home. After a short time in the program, the real Trent showed up and I thought I knew better than them. The Lord exposed my attitudes of being a liar, being deceitful, and rebellious. About 8 months into my program here I finally surrendered my life to God and He started working in my life. He started restoring my family back and forgiveness started taking place. He has changed my heart and my life all the way around. Today I know that I am loved and accepted by God and i have a purpose in life. I have not done any of this, it was only God. I came to the FARM to get off drugs and escape a prison sentence and God saved my life and showed me that He has plans for me. I am going to do what he told me and stay here at the FARM for the next part of my journey in stage 2 and see where He takes me from there.
~ Trent Everett ~
My name is Jonathan Cronmiller.
I am 30 years old and have 2 children. I come from 19 years of addiction. At an early age I decided I was going to do things my way. I was fatherless and my mom had done the best she could for me, my brother and my sister. I was a hurt little boy and I turned to drugs for my answers. I sold to use and ended up serving 3 years in prison for trafficking oxycontin when I was 25. When I was released from prison, I was filled with shame and guilt. I had abandoned my children and have not been a father to them. Their mother also had moved on. Within the next year I went back to jail twice and overdosed twice. I was broken and no longer wanted to live. I had open charges and the only way I would be allowed to get help is if I pled guilty in court. So that is what I did and was given probation and I came to the FARM. I was put back at day 1 when I was 3 months into my program here because I was still living in deceit. I had smoked a cigarette on the third day here and confessed to it 3 months later. Confessing was the best decision I ever made. The hardest thing to do was to face myself... harder than prison was. But it was all worth it.
The Lord has given me peace and joy through obedience to Him. He has restored my relationships with my children and my family. People tell me they are proud of me today! I know that it is only Christ in my heart that has changed me. I am staying for a year of SLT so I can be better equipped to go home and be a father and to help my brother do the Lord's work by helping other men just like I was who are hurt and looking for something......... It is JESUS! He is life!
~ Jonathan Cronmiller ~
December 15, 2015
My name is Jeremiah Guynn. I have a beautiful wife, Christina. We have known each other for 19 years and have been married for 14. We have 3 beautiful children, Andrew, Breannah, and Stella.
I will start off by giving a little bit of our history together. We both come from broken, dysfunctional homes. We met at a very young age and we were both already using drugs and doing what we wanted to do. There were many years of abusing drugs and partying together, many years of good and bad memories. We bought a house together and acquired many luxuries that money could buy. Five years into our relationship, we married & Andrew was born soon after. Within a couple years Breannah was born.
In the midst of all the happiness with our children being born, there were also some tragedies that took place in our lives. My dad was killed in a car accident and Christina's sister was murdered by her boyfriend. Also during that time, I was badly injured at work. I used all of these things to feed my addiction to pain killers . In doing this, I neglected all my responsibilities as a husband and father. We were evicted from multiple homes, electricity was turned off, our vehicle was repossessed, I didn't go to many family functions, and if I did I wasn't there anyway because I was high. Eventually I was arrested. Shortly after that, due to my choices, I caused my wife to take our children and leave, I had caused my family so much hurt and pain at this point. Christina was deeply hurt, miserable, and torn between loving me and being ashamed of me. My children were confused & scared.
My addiction brought me to my knees ! MY family was now also broken ! Christina insisted we start going to church. This is when and where we found people we could reach out to, people who cared and wanted to help. Thankfully, there was one person who told us about Dunklin Memorial Church in Okeechobee, Fl. He encouraged me to call for help. After fighting my flesh not wanting to go, lots of prayers, my wife begging me to go or else she wanted a divorce, I finally gave in and got into Dunklin shortly there after. Just getting there I had a sense of relief and hope. There was not only help for myself, but also for my marriage. Through family recovery classes, we learned to share, communicate in a healthy way & forgive !
It took a while, but the Lord began the forgiveness and reconciliation process. This took place not only in our marriage, but also in our children's hearts. We all grew closer together as we started to learn how a family should interact and love one another. It was a long and difficult process as we had to look at ourselves and where we fall short.
This is something we have to continue to do today. We see how this comes with great rewards and blessings for our marriage and our family. After graduating the program, we knew that God had a plan for our lives, but we weren't sure what that plan would be. We prayed and listened. We were to stay for a year of SLT (Servant Leadership Training) We moved to Dunklin to live as we both took the SLT classes together.
During this time in SLT, the Lord revealed to us who we were in Christ and that we had hearts to follow Him... To serve, help, love others who are hurting like we once were and give back what was given to us. We also lived our first year together as a healthy family with Christ at the head. We prayed together, put our tools to work that we were given in family recovery and discussed things like how to best help & guide our children in a godly way.
As SLT came to an end, we faced another time where we needed to seek Gods voice. We were to stay for another year of staff training. Throughout this year, I clearly knew I was called to full-time ministry. There is nothing more rewarding than being used by God and watching Him change a mans heart and the lives of their family as they are reconciled to one another.
This year of training was full of many blessings. We were able to serve and be a part of children's ministry. We made a lot of wonderful memories as a family & in the ministry. We watched our children thrive and excel in school with a zeal to learn about the Lord. They love to help and pray for others. Our son Andrew is very artistic and has a gift of writing as well as having compassion for others. Breannah has a gift of worship and loves to sing and give praise to God. She is also our prayer warrior. She loves to ride horses and is very giving and affectionate. They are great children and we are certainly blessed by them.
Our marriage has grown deeper intimately and we are closer and happier than we ever were before. We are happier today without all the luxuries that we once had, and that is because Jesus has filled that place in our hearts with His undying love for us.
After completing staff training, we were once again at the foot of the cross asking God "What next?" He closed a few doors for us that we were looking into. His plans were certainly NOT ours ! We were sure that we would just stay at Dunklin and I would be hired on as a staff member. After all , they invested over 3 years into our lives. But God had bigger plans ! We were called to start this ministry here in Bonifay, Fl. called The F.A.R.M. We are blessed and honored for such an important calling on our lives and are excited to be hand picked by God to help perform His miracles !!
We moved here June 23rd, 2014 to start getting the ministry ready for men. God moved so quickly once we got here , it was incredible. The support from the community, church body & many other businesses and organizations has been mind blowing. By October 13th, 2014 we were able to open the doors and take in our first man. Things have really taken off since then. When your life is surrendered to His will , He can do amazing things for you !
We are SO excited for this future He has placed before us. We look forward to making memories with our children, being part of this church family and the community, building new relationships and making new friends, watching God restore families and change the hearts of men. God has confirmed to us that we are in His will and we know that He will supply us with the things we need for this ministry to thrive.
And I bet you are wondering why I haven't said anything about our daughter, Stella ?? That is because she is our newest blessing from God ! She was Born November 13th, 2015 ! We thank the Lord for this gift & are thankful that we get to raise her here. Thank you for your prayers and support ! We love each one of you and may God Bless You !!!!!
In CHRIST ~ Jeremiah Guynn