“When I went into the Farm, I didn’t know that my service would lead to my breakthrough,”
said Cooper Mooney.
Mooney graduated from Trinity Rescue Mission’s Freedom Farm in 2012. The Freedom Farm Recovery Program is a unique Christian-based addiction recovery program located on a real working farm in St. Johns County. In addition to receiving one-on-one counseling to help work through the complex issues related to addiction recovery, the Freedom Farm curriculum includes Bible study, discipleship classes, relapse prevention tools, housing and career support, and a community to reinforce healthy accountability and responsibility. It is in the peaceful and secure environment of the Freedom Farm (fondly known as “The Farm”) that men like Mooney come face-to-face with the root causes of their addiction.
“This last time that I went back to the Farm, it was actually my third time. Right before I went back, I had gone through a ton of surgeries. I felt like all my health complications were snatching back the life I reclaimed from my past times at the Farm.”
Mooney was in a dark place. He recalled feeling unfulfilled, battling drug dependency, and was dealing with consistent cycles of grief, depression and suicidal thoughts.
“I felt like I was being tormented. I tried to talk to my doctors and the leaders of the church I was attending at the time, but no one understood me or could help. Then, I remembered Trinity. I remembered how they helped me before, so I reached out to them.”
Trinity welcomed Mooney with open arms that were full of love and not judgment. Mooney told how Barry Luxenberg showed him so much compassion when he came back to the Farm.
“He encouraged me so much through my service and told me that I could worship God how I wanted to,”
“He made me feel like I wasn’t less than.”
Mooney spent about a year at the Farm. During that time, he had some good days and some bad ones.
“I fought every day for almost a year, but I knew there was purpose in my suffering, so I cried out to God for help.”
It was during this time that God showed Mooney all the pain and suffering he had been through wasn’t meaningless but had a purpose.
“I would never know God that way I know him now, if I hadn’t gone through what I went through,” Mooney said through tears. “When I came back that third time, I knew I was there to work things out with God and heal. I knew of God, but this last time, I was awakened to who God really is.”
Mooney now works and serves in Trinity’s ministry full-time. I heard the excitement in his voice as he told me how he loves pouring life into others by sharing his story and has found a “sweetness in serving”. He is still an active part of the Trinity Rescue Mission community and spends every Tuesday and Thursday there encouraging others – because he can meet them where they are.
“Everyone has to find their own way and work out their own salvation,” said Mooney. “I know Trinity Recuse Mission to be a safe place where you can do that. Just stay focused and press into Jesus. It can be tough at times, but it’s important to surrender to God, choose love, remain patient, and keep taking small steps. It’s a mindset you have to have, a way you have to position yourself, and you will keep making progress.”
Programs like the Freedom Farm and people like Cooper Mooney make Trinity Rescue Mission what it is. If you are interested in being a part of the Trinity Rescue Mission community in terms of financial giving, in-kind donations, or donating your time as a volunteer, please visit the website by clicking here. If you or someone you know is dealing with drug use and homelessness, please reach out to Trinity Rescue Mission in person or by calling (904) 355-1205.