Almost 20 years ago I made a phone call that changed the course of my life and ministry forever. That call was to Roy Blankenship. We had never met, but that day we discussed the possibility of Melissa and I moving to Woodstock to continue our journey of recovery. Over the years, Roy became a mentor, a boss, and a friend. From the beginning of our relationship, Roy believed that God was not finished with me, even when I could not see how God would use my story to help others. His unconditional acceptance and his trust in me have been a true gift. Roy has fought and sacrificed for many others like me to experience freedom and hope in Christ. It has been an honor to stand by his side in supporting his vision for Trek and HopeQuest and helping him build a ministry that God has used to accomplish amazing things in the lives of hurting people.
While in the back of my mind I knew that one day Roy might retire, I never imagined it would come this soon and on the heels of the incredibly painful personal challenge of losing Nancy. Below is a letter from Roy to you–our amazing partners and friends. You have each played a vital role in HopeQuest being what it is today, and we are so grateful for you.
–Troy Haas, Executive Director
Dear HopeQuest Friends and Partners,
Let me begin by thanking you for your heartfelt encouragement and prayers these past 18 months.They have been some of the hardest times of my life, but I have learned much. I have found that things happen which at the time, you wish they had not. I have found that as bad a situation of life circumstances seems at the time, things can always be worse. I have found that I find life fulfillment primarily in God and in relationships with others. I have found that God leads us in ways we didn’t expect. I have found that God is always for me, and He is always with me. I have found that even with a rich history of life experiences where God has proven Himself to me over and over, I still have a tendency to worry, feel anxious, despair when I feel alone, and respond to life situations as one of the Israelite “murmurers.”
And even so, I have found that God loves me still.
When I woke up on April 1, 2017, and the reality of Nancy’s death settled in on me, I made the immediate decision to do four things: grieve the loss of my wife of 35 years, re-engineer my home so that it would be my home instead of our home, re-engineer my professional life to get away from executive organizational functions and return to loving people, and re-engineer my personal life and learn how to have a life outside of work and ministry.
Many of you know that I have not been involved in the day-to-day leadership of HopeQuest since Nancy’s death. After grieving her loss, being on sabbatical during 2018 provided me the opportunity to reflect on and execute life decisions concerning these four things. After much prayer, study, and personal reflection, I have made the decision to retire from HopeQuest and simplify my life. I sense God leading me to pursue a private counseling practice helping individuals, couples, families, as well as doing group work.
In reality, HopeQuest has functioned without my involvement since Nancy’s hospitalization on February 25, 2017. It has been a great encouragement to me that Troy, the counseling team, and the other members of the HopeQuest staff have faithfully carried on with the mission of HopeQuest with great competency.
So, after 22 years of great personal sacrifice and striving to see HopeQuest become a respected leader in the field of Christian addiction treatment, I feel confident that today, I can be at peace as God leads me down yet another unexpected fork in the road of my life. The vision God gave me for HopeQuest over two decades ago has become a reality.
Did you know that as of today, HopeQuest is the only place in our nation that offers people affordable clinically-effective treatment in a Christian environment? Other organizations offer a Christian program where some Christian oriented spiritual disciplines are sprinkled into their program components and activities. Only HopeQuest offers a fully integrated program, with a spiritual formation director (campus pastor), Christian therapists, and Christian staff members who all model a Christian life perspective.
I am proud of that.
I am also grateful to all of you who have partnered with us over the last twenty-two years. I truly believe the best days for HopeQuest are ahead of us.
Please pray for me as I begin this new chapter in my life. Know that I will continue to serve God and others, just in a different context.
Blessing on you and those you love,