Richard’s Testimony

Hello, my name is Richard Wilcoxson.  I was born and raised in Clarinda, Iowa.  My childhood was basically good.  I enjoyed anything involving sports and competition. Due to difficulties with my family and school, well authority in general, I changed my choice of friends and found a place where I fit in and was accepted.  At fifteen, I was drinking and using drugs daily.  This was the beginning of a life of sin for me.  I quit sports, school, and association with anyone except my partners in crime.  Romans 3:10-12 So it is written.  There is none righteous, no not one.  There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; they have become together unprofitable; there is none who does good, no not one. I was married and had joined the military by eighteen.  I spent six years in the Army and we had a precious daughter.  This whole time I was using and drinking constantly.  My wife gave me an ultimatum – my family or my lifestyle and so-called friends.  I chose my friends, and that choice hurt when my family left me. Now alone, it was more drugs, and more partying for years to come.  I used in order to hide the hurt.  Treatment centers, rehabs, jail, and homelessness was my life for forty years.  Prison could not even stop me.  I thought I was insane and should be in an institute Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?  I the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.   Now I had even lost my “good time” friends.  Returning to David City, Nebraska, some old friends had put me up, but as usual, my lifestyle took over.  I lost another job and was to be homeless again.  I could not take it anymore.  I had experienced enough times with the Lord to know that if anyone could save me it would be him.   I prayed that God would come into my life and take control.  The next day the police raided my apartment and I found myself arrested again, placed in a holding cell at theButlerCountyjail to detox cold turkey.  Again, I prayed that the Lord would not give up on me.  He did not.  A couple of days later He sent me help.  The help He sent wasRick Rutterand Pastor Jim Bates, who brought Bible studies to jail, and Denny Reis andBrian Weberwith Addictions Victorious.  All these people from theMissionhelped in my desire for change. I repented, studied, and spent as much time in the word as I could.  I was asked if I had ever had fellowship.  No, I had not.  Many weeks and Bible Studies later it was brought to my attention that the Columbus Rescue Mission had a New Life Disciple Program.  Even though I was facing five to seven years in prison, I prayed that the Lord would lead me to this program. I decided to write the judge a letter and ask for a chance to change my life.  Praying to the Holy Spirit, I wrote, and God be praised, she read it.  At the time of sentencing, I was to speak for myself.  Again, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide my tongue.  I began to speak and when I was done, I found myself sentenced to only county time and an opportunity to come to the Rescue Mission. After almost a year in the New Life Program at the Rescue Mission, life has been anything but boring.  In January 2011, I had a kidney stone removed.  I had myself checked for a prostate cancer, and sure enough, I had cancer.  I had surgery and the cancer removed.  Due to some problems during my recuperation, an infection set in and it took 3½ months to recover. I returned to the Columbus Rescue Mission.  I thought things were going fine, but I became very sick and returned to the Emergency Room.  I had an infection inside and again had surgery to correct it.  I am now back at the Missionand thanks to God and the MissionI am well on my way to recovery both spiritually and physically. Romans 5:3 And not only that, but if we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produces perseverance; and perseverance character and character, hope.   One of the final commitments of the New Life Program is to find full-time employment.  Working in a full-time position and adjusting yourself to a fruitful life in a world of needs.  I was fortunate indeed in this situation.  I was given an internship at the new Living Water Rescue Mission inYork,NE.  I truly have been blessed. But with responsibility comes adversity.  I got sick again and was admitted to Omaha VA Hospital.  It seems there was a perforation in my bowel.  I prayed with all I had that I would not need another surgery.  Again I was answered.  The medication worked and as I speak – healing is in progress.  Even some other health problems I had simply went away. I plan to stay in this area, continue with my church and fellowship.  I’m going to continue in ministry the best way I can.  I am going to serve God and help, not hinder, my fellowman. Praise God, The Columbus and Living Water Rescue Missions, the prison and jail ministries and the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.