Serving in Stockton
Missionary celebrates 20 years since turning his life around
By David Adams, Volunteer
Bob Margaron began drinking with his mother at the age of 5. This experience would begin a tumultuous life that would be riddled with crime, sex, and drugs.
Bob eventually found little pleasure in the lifestyle. One day he overdosed on methamphetamine, intending to end his life. His heart was racing; he knew he was about to die. But in the silence of his California trailer, he heard a voice calling out.
“I knew that voice was God,” Bob said. He responded, “God, I’m gonna die or live for You.”
His recovery process began when God opened the door for Bob to leave southern California and check in at the Oakland Peniel Drug Treatment Center. Twenty years later he celebrates the new life God granted him while ministering at The Center in Stockton, California. He and his wife, Lisa, help children avoid the dark road Bob took that almost led to his death.
“God transformed my life in an amazing way,” Bob said of his time at the Oakland center. He experienced a transformation that was both physical (as his body recovered) and spiritual.
When he graduated from the rehabilitation program, Bob began working for the Oakland mission, through which he met Lisa. Although Bob had no plans for a relationship, God made it clear to both Bob and Lisa that they were meant for one another.
The two were married on October 28, 1995, and Bob began working on his education so that he could join WGM as a career missionary. He also needed to clear his past record, as he had discovered outstanding warrants in California. God provided a lawyer, and Bob continued his education as his lawyer helped clear his record.
Bob was accepted as a career missionary with WGM in 1996. He explained to the board how God had sanctified him, and he was “accepted with open arms.”
As he left the meeting, he received an urgent message to call his attorney. All but one charge against him had been dropped, his lawyer said, and the one remaining had been reduced to an infraction. Bob could finally close the book on his troubled past. In December 1998, Bob became an ordained minister.
For almost two decades, Bob and Lisa have ministered to over 75 students each day at The Center, where Bob serves as the field director for WGM. Bob also works as a Police School Resource Chaplain, serving in three schools and reaching out to over 1,900 students, staff, and administration. God had taken an “angry biker dope fiend” and made him an instrument of His service.
“Because of my willingness to be obedient to God and trust Him—because I had serious trust issues back in the day—He intervened for me,” Bob said. “I got the opportunity to serve Him in Stockton.”
PRAY: Transforming Bob’s heart was a work only God could do. How is God calling you to serve? If you have not yet submitted in obedience, now is the time to pray and ask God to inspire your heart with the ministry He has for you.
MORE: For ways to serve through WGM, visit www.wgm.org/serve.