Larry Springfield’s life was spiraling out of control and going downhill so fast he was close to scraping the bottom.
“I was using drugs and living in my car,” he said, recalling the dark days of his existence.
That was about 10 years ago. Today, the soft-spoken husband and father with an easy smile has not only freed himself from the doldrums of his past but has also started a ministry called HELP – acronym for Helping Every Living Person.
The person he gives credit to helping him turn his life around is Mantecan Guy Westbrock of DAD’s ministry. DAD is acronym for Dads Against Drugs.
“Through love, faith and true belief in God, I was given the help and guidance that I needed. Don’t get me wrong; it was a struggle and I stumbled many times. But DAD’s Ministry through Guy was always there for me. No judgment, just love,” Springfield wrote in a letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern” that he is handing out as part of DAD’s ministry.
Turning his life around was no piece of cake for Springfield. His effort to follow the straight and narrow path was fraught with false starts.
“He slipped off on the deep end and I had a second chance to help him,” Westbrock confirmed.
“I always believed in God but I would use him like a convenience store, only when it was convenient for me,” Springfield candidly confessed.
God helped him so many times, he said, only to turn his back on God again “when things were going good – so good that I thought …I could handle the drugs only to end up back in that nose-dive to the bottom.”
But Westbrock never gave up on Springfield, even – and especially – when the going got really tough.
“He was always there for me with the word of God first. His love of God showed through by his acceptance and love for me as a brother and one of God’s children. (No) matter where I was in life, he was there for me. It was as if God had sent me my own personal guide to lead me back to him,” Springfield said, describing how Westbrock stuck to him through thick and thin.
“I ministered to him for years and he finally got up and got his own place. Then I hired him as a driver for Manteca Supply,” said Westbrock who was working for that company on North Main Street when that happened.
Springfield now works as a truck driver for a landfill, and is active in DAD’s Ministry.
“He’s been drug free for pretty close to 10 years, has his own house, and is married. It’s a success story, so praise the Lord,” Westbrock said.
Today, Springfield is “back in church, became a member of Modesto Central Seventh-Day Adventist, and I was baptized.” His HELP ministry is also now being incorporated into what DAD’s Ministry is trying to do – “feeding the homeless and getting them clothing, giving them sleeping bags,” said Westbrock.
“If we can’t get them off the streets, at least we can keep them warm,” he said.