WARREN "ROCK" HOBBS
I’m a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who spent more than 20 years flying fighter jets with more than 1900 hours of F-16 fighter time. I was also a pilot for United Airlines for eleven years. From “Top Gun” to flying 747’s out of Chicago over the North Pole to Hong Kong, I had success, friends, and wealth. If you had told me 16 years ago, that I would leave that all behind in obedience to God’s calling and vision, I would have told you that you were crazy. But here I am, living in Birmingham, Alabama, and heading a viable ministry called Transformation Ministries.
And now the rest of the story…..
I had it made. I was successful, making a lot of money and set to have a very substantial retirement. On the surface my life was right on track, and I had it together; a beautiful wife, four great children, a wonderful home and a great job. The problem was that under all that façade, I was deeply trapped in the snares of alcoholism. I was functional, but if I wasn’t working, I was looking for the next drink.
Like so many people that I have ministered to over the years, everything in my life came to a screeching halt when my drinking finally caught up with me. And believe me, if you are involved with drugs or alcohol or any addiction for that matter, it will catch up to you, and you will lose everything if you don’t get free of its claws.
Forced to go to a “rehab” to keep my job, I begrudgingly went to a 28-day program in the mountains of Colorado. It was there on day ten, while alone in my room, that God paid me a visit. He told me that He had never left me but rather I had left him. He said He loved me and that He would help me. He touched me and gave me a new heart. I’m really not sure how much time elapsed during this visit, but many things were revealed to me. I will never be the same, but the road ahead of me at that time would still be a long uphill battle for recovery in every aspect of my life.
Over the next five years my battle with alcohol included daily AA meetings, active involvement with my church, and the rebuilding of relationships that I had so selfishly destroyed. The two most amazing things that God did for me during the early years of my recovery was to clearly define and teach me who He really was and discover his holy attributes in all aspects of my life. As He did this, I began the hard and often painful training on how to love my wife, Vicki, with a new found unconditional love. This is something I had no clue about. You see Vicki was ready for divorce and totally disgusted with me. But God through His infinite mercy anchored her to our home through her aging and ill mother, who had moved in the year prior. Over the next year there were words of distrust, bitterness and resentments that deeply hurt me every time I tried to do something right or nice for Vicki. She just wouldn’t accept anything I did or said. It took a year of giving love with no expectation of receiving anything before she finally began to let me back into her life. We have been married for over 30 years. The hope of that story is that God can and does restore relationships if you will let Him.
Fast forward to August 2004. During the early morning hours in my study, God again spoke to me during my study time and asked if I would be willing to give up everything in response to His calling. My very spiritual response was “no." For the next month I pleaded daily with the Lord to let me stay in the airlines business and just be active in the church for Him. After about one month of “wrestling” with God over his calling, I finally submitted and sobbingly cried out, “Yes, Lord, I will do anything you ask of me.” As soon as I spoke those words, I felt the Lord whisper to me, “Good, then get ready to quit your job, sell your house and move.” I said, “Move to where”?"The response was just get ready. Well, a few days later while in a time of prayer, God gave me a vision for a ranch for teens that would be a place where He would inhabit the land and heal the sick. It would be a place where teens trapped in the darkness of drugs, alcohol and rebellious behaviors could find the healing love of God’s touch just as He had touched me those years before; a place where equestrian and canine therapies could be used to reach the angry hearts of hurting young people; a place where the Holy Spirit could move with freedom to release the captive souls of so many blinded teens. This would be not only a place where deliverance from drugs could occur, but also where adolescents could be trained to be ambassadors for Christ.
Vicki and I arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, in May of 2005 with only a vision of building a ranch for teens and knowing only my mother, my wonderful brother Steve and his wife Karol and a great pastor, Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands. We were introduced to Safe Harbor in August of 2005, and after some time of sharing visions, we were asked to take the reins of Safe Harbor and build the ranch with them. Safe Harbor’s Refuge programs were blessed by the Lord and was designed to come alongside parents and families who are struggling with teens who were making poor life choices. We loved the mission and all the volunteers involved with the program so we accepted. Over the years hundreds of families have been helped by the ministries of Safe Harbor.
In 2009, Vicki and I felt the Lord tugging on our hearts to get more focused on the vision for the ranch, which resulted in the birthing of a new ministry called Transformation Ministries (TM). As part of this ministry we hope to build a ranch for teens call Transformation Ranch Ministry (T.R.M.). With a heavy heart and in obedience to God’s calling, I stepped down from my director position at Safe Harbor and went fulltime into Transformation Ministries.
Our ministry of biblical counseling and inner healing has touched the lives of hundreds of people. Marriages and families have been restored through the power of God's Grace. After seven years of work and development, we currently have about 150 volunteers on our Vision Team. We have developed a 36-week, three part comprehensive School of Ministry where lay people are trained to minister boldly to the body of Christ. Our prayer ministry training has become a focal point of growth for TM, and we have both day and night classes to meet the needs of local churches.
God has led us to a new vision for the ranch, which has been designed to help our veterans returning home from the war zones or that have been in previous conflicts. Working with the VA, we plan to provide a residential facility to help both men and women struggling with PTSD and/or addiction issues in a working ranch environment that is both safe for them and also available to their families. We have a comprehensive business plan and our model using clinical, spiritual and canine therapies is designed for duplication in other states as we grow more successful.
So there you have it, the rest of the story. We are seeking God for the resources to bring this vision to fruition. If you or somebody you know wants to get involved with this “kingdom project,” please contact me, Rock Hobbs, at 205-470-3830 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be blessed and catch the vision,