Tyrone ServiceMaster helps in Iowa

Fri, 07/18/2008 - 3:13pm
By: Ben Nelms

Helping those in need. That is the business and the mission that ServiceMaster holds dear and is the reason Tyrone franchise owner Jorge Valdes and three local managers traveled to Iowa in June to help with efforts combatting the damage caused by record floods.

The Tyrone group are part of a national ServiceMaster catastrophe team network designed specifically to provide quick response to natural and manmade disasters, especially in the mitigation efforts of large buildings such as shopping centers and those found on university campuses. Their efforts in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City ran from June 25-29. Unashamedly Christian, Valdes said the Tyrone group prayed before they left for Iowa.

Valdes and the other Tyrone managers supervised more than 100 temporary workers during their time in Iowa, supervising the clean-ups and coordinating those efforts from a mobile command center.

“Overall, Iowa was one of the worst disasters I’ve seen. It was worse than the California wildfires,” Valdes said, noting that in some ways the situation on the ground was worse than Hurricane Katrina. “There was oil and other contaminants in the water. One of the buildings we were dealing with had 9-10 feet of water in the basements. We would pump the water out and the next day it was back again. We ran the pumps 24-hours a day for nine days.”

It was clear from the continuous news accounts that the flooding along the Mississippi and its tributaries was unprecedented in modern midwestern history. Yet for all the destruction across such a wide area of the plains states, Valdes saw something else, something precious.

“Mid-westerners are great people. They lost their belongings and they still had a smile on their faces and they were thankful that people came to help them. Unlike Katrina, the people in Iowa didn’t blame the government and they didn’t have an entitled attitude,” Valdes observed, adding that while in New Orleans after Katrina some in the community actually fired weapons at him and others that had come to help with the clean-up. “The people in Iowa lift up your spirit. You just say ‘Praise, God.’”

Valdes and ServiceMaster are no strangers to disaster mitigation. Some of Valdes’ other clean-up efforts include mitigation activities at the Pentagon after 9/11, the California wildfires in late 2007 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. ServiceMaster is a Christian company that wants to prosper and wants to help others, Valdes said, adding that such help also comes in times of human need.

“We’ve created a niche in the industry in terms of disaster mitigation for large catastrophes or for large structures,” he said. “We can come in and overpower the commercial loss.”

For Valdes and those involved with ServiceMaster, the ability to respond to those in need is a privilege, not an obligation. Inside that response is a view of something beyond a wrecked visual landscape, beyond the destruction wrought by man or by nature. It is something, even in times of tragedy, that is intrinsic to the human spirit, something that transcends the horror of the tragedy.

“It’s interesting to see the human make-up, the goodness of people, the goodness of America,” said Valdes. “We rally behind each other as a whole.”

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Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 8:39am.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Jorge and talking to him for several hours. He will be the first to tell you about the mistakes he made in his life. A drug lord, serving time in prison. How he persevered to change his life and become a better person.

He talked about the love he has for his wife and children, the loss of his Dad.

God Bless you Jorge.

Thanks Ben for another great story. Smiling

Submitted by Bonkers on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:14am.

Be careful! Takes more than one meeting with a possible con artist to know the possible dangers!

Only St. Paul was able to convert from such evil doings!

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:36pm.

You know what? I'll take my chances being around Jorge, rather than bpr, Tori, Lily, Smile, Patches, and whatever else she calls herself.

Oh, and I've been around Jorge more than one time. Smiling

Submitted by Bonkers on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:34pm.

I too will ask for donations for my books, and will clean your house for another donation (I mean Manuel will). Deductible for a contribution above what my book is worth! And that ain't much!

We intend to help out in Georgia, where the Roosians messed up stuff!
First free flight we can get, we are there! (Do they speak Georgian there?)

Is this fellow a member of the Crouch Ministries? You know TBN, the ones with the purple hair and Arabian stallions at home?

Submitted by blogthis on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 8:09pm.


Submitted by Sick of Fascists on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 9:02pm.

Attacking private citizens with libelous statements is against the rules here, dude. I don't even know Jorge Valdes, but watch what you say about folks.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 9:28pm.

Valdes has made no secret of his sleazy past life: he used to launder money for the Medellin drug cartel. He went to prison and evidently found out there was much more money to be made in Tyrone, GA. He wrote a book about it! LINK

Submitted by Tori R. on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 8:03am.

You should do your research on Jorge Valdes before you pass judgement. His past life is not a secret and he would tell you so.

Jorge Valdes goes to my church. I wish you could have been there when he gave his life story. I am sure you could get his book from the library.

Some information about Jorge Valdes.

Jorge Valdes
Contact Info:
Coming Clean Ministries, Inc.
155 Shamrock Industrial Blvd.
Tyrone, GA 30290
Fax 678-364-1203



Experience Coming Clean...

Jorge Valdes named his book and his ministry Coming Clean. His life story is about one man's journey through the corruption of the drug underworld to a transformed life when he made a decision to come clean. The ministry is designed to help hurting people through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a young man in his twenties, with an insatiable thirst for money and power, Jorge Valdes worked his way up inside Colombia's powerful Medellin drug cartel. His key position as head of U.S. operations brought him into direct contacts with presidents, generals, Hollywood celebrities, hired killers, and kidnappers. This Cuban immigrant, raised in poverty, was living the high life in more ways than one. His deeds took him from the lap of luxury to the depths of prison and back again. Then an incredible thing happened: Jorge Valdes encountered a person much more powerful than the strongest drug lord, someone who offered something more satisfying than women, drugs, prestige or power. In 1989, after a karate teacher had witnessed to and prayed for Jorge for nearly three years, Jorge Valdes met Jesus Christ.

Jorge's life was immediately transformed from the inside out and he soon discovered that a new life with Christ did not immunize him from the consequences of his former sins. Jorge was arrested September 8, 1990, and federal authorities seized tens of millions of dollars of Valdes' assets. He was indicted for crimes punishable by eight life sentences. Through a series of astounding judicial decisions and what had to be divine intervention, Jorge eventually received a sentence of ten years, of which he served five.

Earlier in his life, Jorge had studied transactional analysis, but now he was more interested in spiritual transactions. While in prison, Jorge earned a Bachelor's degree in Bible from Southwestern Bible College and began work on his Master's degree. Upon his release, he finished work on his Master's degree from Wheaton College, where he now is an adjunct professor. In 1999 Jorge completed work on his Doctorate, and earned his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Loyola University.

In September 1999 Dr. Jorge Valdes' incredible Saul-to-Paul transformation story of hope and redemption through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ was chronicled in his first book, Coming Clean, published and released world wide by WaterBrook Press (a division of Random House/Doubleday). Today, Dr. Valdes is an articulate and persuasive advocate of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change lives, for Dr. Valdes truly believes that if Jesus Christ can change his life, He can change anybody.

One evening as Dr. Valdes ministered to a group of gang members in the inner city of Chicago the Lord called him to leave the prestigious halls of Wheaton College to do what he was doing that day-help hurting people. That was the birth of Coming Clean Ministries. So, he bought a ServiceMaster franchise and began to clean carpets to support his family. Today, Coming Clean Ministries is a Christian evangelistic outreach ministry with the mission of helping hurting people through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Coming Clean Ministries, Inc.
155 Shamrock
Industrial Blvd.
Tyrone, GA 30290
Fax 678-364-1203

Read Archived E-Letters

Week of August 5, 2004

My Dear Friend,

I need to come clean with you about the frustration and pain I am experiencing after three teenagers killed themselves and two fifteen year old girls committed a brutal murder right here in Fayette County, Georgia in just the past two months. I pain over their deaths and I take blame for not doing enough to reach these kids. Most important, I am angry when I talk to other Christian leaders and they tell me that things are not as bad as I believe and that they are making a difference. It really hurts to know that despite all the ministries, including Coming Clean, and churches in our local community, more than 70 percent of our kids are still on drugs, and more than 80 percent of our youth is un-churched. It hurts because we do not feel any conviction over our failure to reach these kids.

Trust me when I tell you that when I ran the Medellín Drug Cartel, if people did not buy our cocaine or if all our associates were being arrested, we would have made drastic changes and not sat back and watch it happen. When my wife and I started our company, if we did not grow and provide for our family we would either change what we were doing or go bankrupt. Yet ministries keep doing the same thing over and over again, even when things are not improving, because somehow they believe that God is happy if they are mediocre and less than excellent.

I am tired of watching our kids continue to die at an alarming rate. In a recent Christianity Today article, John Eldredge said, “Too many Christians are weak, and churches are often insipid.” Please do not get me wrong. I know that there are many amazing churches, and I definitely believe that most people in ministry have a sincere heart about their calling. But when it does not work, it does not work! When our kids die in our own neighborhood we MUST take responsibility and accept the fact that we did not do enough.

It is very sad when our newspaper writes, “Carl and Sarah Collier lost a daughter to drugs and crime. They apparently died trying to save their granddaughter from the same fate.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 4, 2004) When a fifteen year old girl brutally stabs her grandparents more than 15 times each, we have to realize that we have a problem and need to ask ourselves, “Are we doing enough?” There were many signs that things were radically wrong, yet no one did anything about it. These two grandparents attended our local church and were amazing people of faith, and we rest in the fact that they went from this earth straight into the hands of Jesus. We also need to acknowledge that when God created this little girl, He looked at her and said “It is good.”

Holly Ann Harvey was created perfect in God’s image. Sin has made her a heinous criminal, yet that precious blood shed at Calvary has the power to make her perfect again. I wish I had a chance to reach her with God’s love. It is my prayer that we wake up as the body of Christ and take back what the enemy is stealing by force. It is my prayer that we love the “Hell” out of people!

God bless,

Jorge L. Valdes, Ph.D.

Founder and Speaker

Submitted by Sick of Fascists on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 9:35pm.

The comment about his past is one thing. Attacking him now is another. I have actually read part of the book. I just object to someone creating a blog name simply for the purpose of launching personal attacks.
I am in no position to judge whether someone has "found God" or made amends for past actions. Neither is Blog This.

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