Hello donors, and current and potential CLI students,
My name is Tim Roe. I live in Springfield, Ohio U.S.A. I am a 50-year-old man who has been medically retired the last four years. I have a beautiful wife, four children, and four grandchildren. My story is not so much my personal story of perseverance, even though I never gave up on my dream, this story is one of the awesome the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father!
As a young child, I always had a heart for God. I often remember speaking to Him and even having dreams of being this great spiritual leader, who helped lead many people to the Lord. All of the school years of my life were spent in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This is where I first experienced church and Sunday school. I went with neighborhood friends and loved it. I went from first grade until I started the 7th grade. That was the first big change in my life. That was the first time I was introduced to drugs & alcohol. Looking back now, it seems that I went from 0-100 in no time with the use of drugs.
Although I had always been a bright student when the drugs entered my life, I did only what was necessary to get by. My high school days consisted of more drugs and alcohol, only I began to skip school also. Obviously, by the time it came for graduation, even though my studies were good enough to pass, my attendance was not. So I didn’t graduate high school. Later, I did get my GED. During this time in my life, I still occasionally spoke to God. But mostly I was selfishly consumed with drugs and alcohol.
After school was over, thankfully, God spoke to me about my life at that time. It was through the death of a good friend of mine who lost his life to drugs. Though I’ve heard many times that we can’t run from our troubles, I felt God wanted me to leave the temptation of my drug problem.
Since I was five, my parents had been divorced, and I had lived with my Dad. I decided to move to Springfield, Ohio, where my mother lived. In no time, my life took a turn for the good. I got a job in construction and got off of drugs. I worked hard and tried my best to learn this trade. It didn’t take long until I was doing well on my own. But the biggest change in my life was, I began to talk to and seek the Lord again. I felt superb about my self-worth through what I had accomplished. What I didn’t yet understand, was it wasn’t about me or any accomplishment from me. But things had improved for me, and, at this point in my life, I felt like I needed to complete things by finding love, settling down, and starting a family.
I met a girl and began to go to church again with her. So, now I felt the picture of my life was complete. We were married in August 1987. Soon after, we had a daughter in 1988, and we had a son in 1992. Then I got an excellent job at a local auto factory in 1993 and was growing in my faith. I got involved in our church. I was a small group leader, on the praise and worship team, and had church leaders who prophesied a great ministry in my life.
During this time of growth in the church, my relationship with my wife was falling apart. I was living a double life with no balance. On one side, I was this young growing leader at church, involved in everything I could do. But on the other hand, there was turmoil and dishonesty in my personal life.
At this time, I had such a thirst for knowledge of God’s Word. I wanted to get more education. And in some ways I did. But it was the knowledge and realization that my relationship with God was nearly non-existent. I was serving works and the church and not serving my Father. So, instead of leaning on Him, I did what a lot of us do at times, I ran away from God.
My wife and I both checked out of our marriage and were divorced in 2007. In the midst of all of this in 2003 I was severely hurt at work (broken back) and began this roller coaster ride of surgery and then rehabbing to get back to work. Every time I worked extremely hard and returned to work recovered. But finally, after my fourth back surgery in 2011, I could not come back and am now permanently disabled. So, after so many personal failures in my life, I just thought God was done with me. How could he ever want me again, much less ever use me for His glory. I was as low as I have ever been in my life.
It was the worst time of my life, yet it was also the best. Because God had humbled me to the point that I was ready to be still and listen and allow Him be God of my life!! And, boy, did He show Himself strong!! It started in late 2008 when I met Kelly, my eventual wife. God used this incredible woman, who had experienced relational troubles in her life also, to show me His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy and His awesome love for me. And He showed that I did not have to build up works for all of His gifts. The short version was; He showed me His Great Faithfulness!! Through Christ, my wife showed me the first and foremost reason to start a relationship was to be equally yoked with someone. We both had experienced the other side of that. Then she led me back to church and after becoming best friends, introduced me to my second best friend, the pastor of our church. Our pastor has shown me so much strength in being transparent and shown me how to love people by being real and honest.
That church was a place to grow, to be nurtured, to share fellowship, and so many things that helped us have a real relationship with Christ. And to share that with others. Now my involvement isn’t works. It’s acts of love to show ( just as Moses when he had seen God’s glory ) the radiance of the Presence of God to others.
I feel freedom to follow God’s will and calling in my life. Which leads me to Christian Leaders Institute. For 2-3 years now, I have had a burning desire to go deeper into God’s
Word. First and foremost, for the purpose of drawing closer to my Savior! But also that I may lead others not only to salvation but to a deeper understanding of the Father themselves. Specifically men, to be a disciple and leader of men. I believe our nation, in fact, the world is lacking so much in real godly men! Nowadays, the definition of a real man is like any beer commercial we see on TV. No morals, no leadership, no conscience, and, most of all, no God in their lives. God did not call man to be this way, nor to be bullies who push women or the weak around. He called us to be spiritual leaders, and I feel called to be a part of this! CLI is an absolute answer to my prayers.
The fact that CLI offers an excellent opportunity to further our Christian education for free is amazing!! But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I believe there are not enough words to explain how very valuable this gift is to people all over the world! Personally, I can only partially describe how CLI has and can provide me the affordability and the tools to make my spiritual dreams come true. I say partly because I can see the immediate part of starting a mentoring center in my local church and also the value of more knowledge to share with my current men’s discipleship group. Most of all, I see it in my personal relationship with my Father!!! But when I think of the path I have traveled, I realize that many have lived in much worse conditions, and there are many who have not had the freedom to seek the Lord as I have. Many have had to overcome way more than I, this I know.
My prayers are with all of God’s people as we all march onward! But as for me and my calling, I am very content with where God has me and with what I feel led to pursue in the present. But in saying that, I also would gladly accept the challenge of more. I’m a 50-year-old man. And in many ways I feel like I’m getting a late start. There is yet much more to learn and discover concerning our Lord! God called Moses late in his life to confront and defeat Egypt, to dwell on the Lord’s glory, to behold miracle after miracle for forty years while leading the Israelites. You just never know what the Lord will ask of you or when He will ask!!
In conclusion, I would like to say that all of this Christian Leaders Institute has my prayers and support!! I ask for prayers from all of you, that through my studies at CLI, God would continually draw my family and me closer to Him, and that I can faithfully fulfill His calling in my life.
Thank You To You All at CLI
Timothy Charles Roe