Hidden Gem

Posted: December 03, 2018

article photo

Craig with Vickie and her book Thorn to Rose

From time to time, a visit to see Martin Automatic equipment in action turns up a thoroughly unexpected surprise that has little to do with our equipment, the end-user, or even the industry.

On a recent visit to prepare some publicity on our splicers installed at The Robinette Company in Tennessee, Martin's regional manager, Craig Thomson, happened upon a production associate whose life-story stopped him in his tracks.

Vickie Booker was prepping our two MBS machines on the production floor, when Plant Manager Tim Wilhoit and Engineering Manager Steve Buono mentioned her background in the course of casual conversation. As Craig learned from his short visit with her, Vickie is no ordinary employee working on the factory floor - she's a recovered drug addict whose life has been completely turned around. And, she has written a book that details her descent into oblivion and subsequent renaissance as a committed Christian.

Thorn to Rose is her heart-rending story of drug dependence, sexual abuse, deprivation and despair, prior to her finding relief and recovery through God. Craig says, "Vickie subtitled her book 'From Bondage to Freedom.' Much of the book is not pretty, and Vickie tells it in a raw, matter-of-fact, unedited way that makes you almost feel the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of her previous way of life. It's just over 100 pages, but that dark journey through the first 80 is what makes the destination, the 'But God!' conclusion as she terms it, so powerful."

And Vickie didn't just write a book-she's made it her life's work to minister to others struggling with addiction. As she writes in the introduction to her book, "I have a heart to give back, to be a blessing and to help where I can whom I can." She has taken a mission trip to Jamaica, sharing her story in more than a dozen churches. Vickie works with Tri-Cities Recovery, a Bristol, VA-based ministry, giving back by teaching "living free" drug and alcohol classes inside jails. And she is in regular demand to speak publicly on this very difficult subject that is far more common than most would ever consider.

If you know or have known anyone with a drug addiction, "Thorn to Rose" can be sourced via the web.