Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Raising voices.

The past few weeks have been exciting for CROSSroads To Recovery. I sit amazed as I watch God putting the pieces together to create this ministry- his ministry- for his glory. What started as a discussion and a dream less than a year ago has been manifested into a tangible, real life ministry that is changing real lives. I remember when my husband and I set out to start a recovery program in Marshfield last year, and I had so many questions as to the who, what, where, when and how. Most importantly was, how were we going to find the addicts to begin with? Neither I nor my husband am from the area, so we didn't personally know any of the drug users or where the drug spots were- we just knew that there was a problem and that these people desperately needed help, and that God was calling us to do it. We stepped out on faith, were willing to be available and obedient, and trusted God to do the rest. If he really wanted this ministry to happen, he was going to have to do it, because there was no way that we could do it on our own.

 We knew that we needed to do a street level outreach, instead of a "class" in a church- because the people that we wanted to reach were the unchurched- the addicts who were hardcore, still using, and not about to walk into a building with a bunch of "church people" who they couldn't relate to and felt judged by. We sympathized with their sentiment because at one point in time we had been them, and had the same exact thoughts. We wanted an outreach- to go outside of the church walls, and help bring the gospel to people who had no idea who Jesus was, that he loved them, and that they were not too far for him to take them back and forgive them of everything they had done in their addiction- no matter how bad.

As soon as we stepped out in faith, God brought the people to us. Wonderful, beautiful, glorious souls that I can't picture my life without now- people who have become some of my closest friends.  Not only did he bring us the hurting addicts who he wanted to heal and free, but he brought help in the form of wonderful leaders and mentors who help to guide my husband and I, amazing ministry partners who help us carry the load, and support from our wonderful church and the community as they stand behind our vision of Christian recovery homes for the addicts in Marshfield- the same type of homes that my husband went through and ran in Milwaukee; the ones that saved our lives and will save countless lives up here.

The recovery community in Marshfield is growing, and I am so proud of our area recovery community for stepping up to bring awareness to the issues of drug addiction in our community. We need to take the stigma out of addiction, and the way to do that is to break the silence. If you get a chance, watch the documentary THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE. It is available on Netflix, and it talks about how silence in the recovery community kills people. We need to reach out so that people can support us and stand behind us, not hide the problem. Awareness is power. People need to stop seeing addiction as a moral deficiency and see it for what it really is- a spiritual stronghold and a sickness that affects real people with real families that care about them. The photo at the top of this entry is from a newscast on a presentation that part of the CROSSroads ministry team attended this week at the city high school that was put on by  a group called RISE TOGETHER. They are two young men who are recovered addicts that go around to schools all over the state speaking about heroin addiction, telling there stories, and give a face to it. That face helps give people hope that they are not alone and that they too can recover- and that is what our local recovery community and our ministry is seeking to do as well. We did an interview with the local newspaper here. We want to get the word out that there is freedom from addiction, and God is making that happen.

I am so excited to see what happens next, and what kind of pieces of the puzzle are going to come together next. God is doing amazing things in this community, and I am so grateful and honored to be a part of it!