Meet Froilan

“I thank God for the Rescue Mission because it’s helped me out in a time of my life when I really needed it — because of the bad choices I made.

I believe God brought me to my lowest point in life, so I could realize and make a complete turnaround. If it wasn’t for this place, I’d be out on the streets. And for someone with my type of background, if nothing like this was available, I would have to adapt to what I was brought up in and taught, which is selling drugs and getting caught up in that. 

[VRM] has given me a chance and I’m taking advantage of that.

————————————————————————————————————-

I’m from Delano. My girlfriend kicked me out because of choices I made. I was homeless for awhile. I was living in my car. 

But I’m better than that…I know my worth.

I’ve been here, going on three weeks, now I’m starting to make good decisions and I see God moving in my life. 

Q: Did you grow up with faith?”

A: I got married and was in church for ten years. Me and my wife were Sunday School teachers and because of the bad choices I made, I fell from God. I was lost — you know what I mean?

Q: What caused you to start making bad choices?

A: I know exactly what it was. I was lukewarm. I was in the middle — just going through the motions. We all know it’s easier to do wrong, than good. God stripped everything from me…my wife, my kids. 

I remember the day when I was sleeping in my car, just like the prodigal son when he came to himself. That’s the type of mind I had, “Man, I had it good at one time.”

So I repented in my car and asked God to help me. It was true repentance, not just telling God I was sorry. Now he’s restoring my relationship with my kids and my ex-wife. She lets me see them twice a week. There never asked me for anything. They just wanted my presence. 

I believe God has brought me to this point to make a complete turnaround. This is how I know it’s true: I have a car, I have a job. God is giving me the best, just like the prodigal son. People around me are tripping out, “How did you get all this so quick?” I lost a bible my wife gave to me ten years ago. Coming back to church, I saw this bible and it had my name on it. I took this to mean God has given me my place back, just like the prodigal son. 

Ryan Stillwater

Ryan is a longtime Visalian — a graduate of Redwood High School and Fresno Pacific University with a bachelors degree in Christian Ministries. Intrigued by the partnership between the Visalia Rescue Mission and the City of Visalia, Ryan began putting his vision on paper as VRM's Oval Venue Coordinator in August 2013, and has sparked the interest of many throughout the community. Ryan and his wife Amy (a Mt. Whitney High School graduate) have been married for seven years and have three amazing kids — ages 6, 4, and 4.