When Abel Sambrano is asked what it’s like to be the Men’s Program Manager at House of Refuge Sunnyslope (HRS), he responds, “In awe… I’m so blessed and honored to have been put in this position.”
A little over a year ago, Abel was seeking a position in the mental health field. He is currently studying Behavioral Health Sciences at Glendale Community College. He came on board as a part time evening manager and soon moved into the full time position; responsible for 30+ guys in our men’s program.
“I’m in awe with watching the transformation of the residents. And what I’m studying applies to the job and the job applies to what I’m studying. God knows exactly what He’s doing.”
Life has taken a few turns. Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Abel had a normal, middle-class childhood with a Catholic upbringing. Like many youths, he went astray in his teenage years, which led to a life that was in and out of prison, and a slave to alcohol and drugs.
In 2012, knowing things needed to change, he asked God to intervene in his life. Not long after that, he was arrested. Perhaps not the answer he was expecting, but of course, God had a plan. In prison, God led him to Along Side Ministries. ASM starts ministering to Christian inmates — male and female — in prison and provides a mentor and then a housing program upon release. Abel’s life experiences and his success in that program prepared him for the ministry work is currently doing at HRS.
Abel is thankful for that answer to his prayer in 2012…
“It was just enough time for God to get a hold of me.”
In the past, relationships were the furthest thing from his mind but God had a different plan. Abel was married to his lovely wife Audrey on Fathers Day 2016. “God knew exactly what I needed and provided me with a beautiful accountability partner.”
Some of his duties in administering the men’s program include:
Encouraging the men through prayer and one on one meetings
- Equipping through accountability, life skills, goal setting, and budgeting meetings
- Providing restoration through Celebrate Recovery and Bible studies
- Working with volunteers
- Coordinating resident graduations and baptisms
He’s here to help change lives.
“It’s a blessing to love them even for a day.”
His life verse?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…” Colossians 3:23 NIV
One of the volunteer mentors said of Abel:
“Abel is truly a Christian man with passion to help his fellow men. He leads by example and truly communicates his love and caring to men to Jesus Christ.” ~Rich, volunteer mentor