Acquiring a Bachelor’s degree is no small task for anyone, but for Frank Montano, becoming a recent college graduate is bittersweet. During some of the darkest and most troublesome years of his life, he managed to stay on top of his schoolwork and become a true success.
Frank’s story is intriguing, inspiring and showcases the amazing work God does in a person’s life. In just four short months, he and all those who know him have seen a drastic change in his character, temperament and lifestyle.
This change began while Frank was staying at Gospel Rescue Mission. One night during the chapel service, the Shelter Manager, Mike Davis, gave his testimony on his life in recovery. When Mike’s children stood up to express how Mike’s addiction had hurt them and how it affected them, it hit Frank hard emotionally. Frank realized that while it was a person’s own decision to take drugs, he had never thought about how it effected the families. He was the one that provided the drugs and had only thought about how it was lining his pockets and not about how it made monsters out of the people abusing them. How could he look down on these people when he was feeding their addictions? “In my eyes, I saw that I was just as bad as they (drug addicts) were” said Frank. When the Senior Chaplin, Mike Bielas, made the altar call to receive salvation, Frank was ready to receive Christ and begin his transformation.
Frank had been part of the system before he was a teen, spending a majority of the last 23 years in prison. Frank was full of anger and didn’t really care about anything or anyone. He didn’t want friends, so he stayed sheltered and far away from people, but he continued to make bad choices. A judge gave him an ultimatum – he could take a bed that was waiting for him at the Arizona Department of Corrections or he could take a bed at the Gospel Rescue Mission.
Being at the Mission was extremely difficult for him. He was forced to be around people all the time in the dorm-like setting with no privacy and the smell of stinky feet. After hearing Mike Davis’ testimony and accepting Christ, Frank started reading his Bible on a continuous basis and talking to staff and other people who had overcome their issues and were in good places with the Lord. Frank learned that God is a gracious God and His only Son, Jesus died on the cross just for Frank to have his new life. He realized that if he put his whole heart and soul into truly believing that Christ died for his sins, that he would prosper, that God would never give him anything that he couldn’t handle and that he’d always have all that he needed, no matter what obstacles came his way.
“Through the ministry at GRM, I have a new perspective of people and a new perspective on life and it’s challenges. I am finally accepting people and giving them a chance to get to know me. I am no longer secluded which has given me many more opportunities in life and helps me to better cope with different personalities and attitudes. I have become more patient and tolerant.”
Frank has also become involved in the REV UP Church and has found people like Paul Sampson and David Gibson, who have become like family and come along and supported him and helping him grow. He graduated this in 2014 from the University of Arizona with a BA in Business Management and is now going back to school to get his BA in Applied Bioscience to be able to work in the social work field. Frank is an example of how hard work, diligence, and being in relationship with the Lord can cause the chain reaction of victorious events.
“Everything I have and all I am, is because of God. I give all blessing to Him now and I thank Him in advance for what He has prepared for me in the future. I especially thank Him for using the GRM family to speak to me in order to help me understand life in Christ.” - Frank