Shocking Salvation

Image of Jimmy White

Some people need a “wake-up” call in order for them to finally turn to God. Jimmy White wanted to change; he knew he needed to change. But what finally made him get serious about how he’d spend the rest of his life—and where he’d spend eternity—well, that’s our iRony this time around.

“The last time I was in jail, I had a lot of time to think,” Jimmy admits. “I knew I needed help. So I came to The Salvation Army. Or, it was more like God Who brought me here!”

Jimmy considers the two dark decades of his adult life as “a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.” Those decades were marred by addiction. He tried many things to shake himself free of his addiction, but nothing worked.

“Mine was a life of wrong choices and bad decisions,” he recalls. “As I sank deeper and deeper, I burned all my bridges—to family, friends, and anyone I associated with.”

The day finally came—and not a moment too soon, Jimmy says—when his past was overwhelming him. Jimmy needed a wake-up call; and it nearly killed him. He was servicing an air conditioner when the motor fell into water.

“I was electrocuted,” he says, now able to break a smile about his near-death encounter. “They say that I’m lucky to be alive!”

The bolt entered Jimmy’s body in his hand and blew out mere millimeters from his heart! The experience, he says, actually shocked him into recovery. But past failures at rehabilitation told him that he couldn’t do it on his own. That’s when he entered The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP) run by the Albuquerque Citadel Corps.

“I realized that I was powerless over my addiction,” he explains, likening his powerlessness over the bolt of electicity that nearly ended his life.

“With The Salvation Army’s help, I took time to grow spiritually, as well as in my recovery.”

Image of Jimmy White Worshiping with Men from the ARP

Jimmy White worships every Sunday at the Albuquerque Citadel Corps with the men of the Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP) under his care.

The Army’s ARP gave Jimmy a structured and comprehensive program that combined work therapy, intensive counseling, case management, and spiritual care. With his basic needs met, Jimmy was able to concentrate on what really matters. Jimmy also faced head-on the problems he’d created with his family and others he had mistreated.

“While Jimmy was in rehab, he received another ‘shock’ of sorts,” says Major Raewyn Aspeitia, Citadel Corps Officer. “He discovered that the child he’d raised as his daughter, wasn’t. But he’s still actively engaged in being a dad to a struggling teenager that isn’t his own.”

After Jimmy graduated from the program, he became an employee of the ARP and is now one of the resident managers. He’s found a life-calling in helping other men make the same journey through recovery and on to redemption in Christ. Jimmy also officially joined The Salvation Army as an adherent of Albuquerque Citadel.

“When I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army, I took my first steps into a new life,” Jimmy says.

He acknowledges, “The struggles you go through with addiction are struggles you have to keep working on.”

Jimmy wants to show others “the Way” he’s found—only without getting electrocuted to do it!

—Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor, USA National Publications