Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Each Friday on Newchannel 7 at 4, we highlight an overcomer of addiction in our Freedom Friday segment.

Robert Flores says alcohol sent him through nearly 20 programs, rendered him homeless, sleeping under bridges in Nashville, TN, wanting to end his own life.

“I decided I was just going to check myself up into a motel and take some over the counter medications, sleeping meds and just end it. So, I set the pills up on top of the TV and decided I was going to take them all and I heard this voice and out of nowhere it was so loud. It just said just. ‘Do it!’ and it scared me to death. I thought the place was haunted. I know that sounds crazy, but I really did. I thought it was and I heard it again and when I did, this preacher had given me a card on the street and said, ‘if you ever need anything, call me,” Flores said.

After calling the number, Flores said the pastor told him to open his Bible.

He added, “You know your Gideons Bible. Thank God for the Gideons and I opened up that Bible. It took me Jeremiah 29:11 for God had planned for me and gives me a hope and the future.”

That future would lead him to his Garden of Eden, much further south on Panama City Beach.

He says the experience he described in the motel room, would leave him no trace of doubt in his faith.

“I woke up the next morning and I went to the bathroom and when I did that my face was clear, my arms was clear, I ripped off my shirt. I was totally healed from them sores and them spots and it woke me up like you can’t believe. I’m like he is so real, and I wanted to know more, so I just ran, got on my knees in that room and said, Lord, I know you’re real,” he added.

Coming from way out west in Oregon, came his “Eve,” whose name is Lisa Flores.

She describes some of the education used to help her and others overcome addiction, “So, me personally, I actually started to find [Jesus] in Alcoholics Anonymous. So, we brought Alcoholics Anonymous to the program. We brought Power to Choose to the program because it is the 12 steps, but biblically. We also offer Freedom Group.”

After 25 years of working in the recovery field, Flores opened Eden Shores Recovery.

Amy Rensch works as a Recovery Advisor, celebrating nearly a decade of sobriety of her own.

Rensch said “There are people who’ve gotten saved in the middle of the kitchen, on our knees, in the kitchen, accepting the Lord. I don’t want to cry. We’ve been baptizing people in the Gulf.”

When she’s not working at Eden Shores, you might find her singing at Lighthouse Church in Panama City.

Jobie Locher is celebrating nearly a year of sobriety and how leads others through what he calls Christian meditation.

“We like to imagine that one of the greatest things that God gives us to be with him is our imagination, to think about him so. We feel his love in our heart. And our minds are filled with gratitude. And then we just sit and process. It could be emotions. It could be traumas. And we bring it back to the Lord so that he can give us the wisdom to deal with it,” Locher said.

Flores says he dreamed of giving people a place to recover, in a warm, open place, not stuffed away from society, so he opened Eden Shores on Panama City Beach.

He says this allows people to experience the recovery process in a more realistic situation.

He adds, it can also help business owners, or people who can’t leave the area, be able to learn to live a better life, near where they are.

He says donations are important to help keep Eden Shores going.

Click here to watch last week’s Freedom Friday segment, featuring overcomer of addiction from Eden Shores, Brittany Budd.