“Can I play a song for you?” asked Tinman, guitar in hand. “I brought someone new to the CES Food Shelf today and would love to play while I wait. You know we all have gifts. Mine is music that I play to motivate and help others relax.”
Out came Tinman’s guitar and he began to play softly. A noticeable change occurred in the atmosphere as people waited their turn to get groceries.
Tinman grew up in an abusive, violent home with an alcoholic father and mother who beat him, often going hungry. He began drinking at nine, taking speed at 13 and heroin at 17. His life of drugs and violence spun out of control. The military didn’t curb this behavior. Later, before being arrested, he said a prayer to a God he didn’t know, “You have to do something; I don’t want to live this way.” On his way to prison, he heard, “In there I am going to set you free,” which was odd for someone going to prison.
Although fed physically, Tinman became hopeless after receiving a letter from his wife and children saying he was no longer welcome in their lives. Then CHARIS, a prison ministry, invited him to attend a retreat. The result was that he saw the freedom he could have in Christ who understood his pain, guilt, and shame. God set him free of addiction and anger! Upon his release, Tinman went to Make all Things New, a men’s Christian Sober House, eventually finding work in construction.
Clean and sober for 30 years, Tinman has been working at Make All Things New for 20 years helping others like himself. His relationship with his children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren was restored. “Freedom comes at a price you don’t expect. Although I lost everything, I found freedom and peace.”
“Hungry and without food many times, I understand what it’s like to not have anything but what’s in a car, to wonder where my next meal is coming from, or will I have any food at all. I don’t forget what it is like to be homeless, looking for a safe place.” After Tinman’s injury and other setbacks, he came to CES, a place that offered hope and a way to ease his hunger.
Tinman now brings others to the CES Food Shelf and uses the food shelf when he needs a little extra food. “The Bible says that if you love me (God) you will feed the hungry. I can see that CES is concerned about the hungry and makes sure that all are fed. The food shelf is well stocked and the quality and quantity is great. You know, one never knows when they may get sick, in the hospital, or not able to work and need CES to help with food.”
Yes, CES is here to offer food and hope to Tinman and those he brings!