A group from Prison Christian Ministries drove to The Village Of Hope Recovery Centre for a meeting. Nestled in the colourful autumn trees of New Brunswick this peaceful facility has been used powerfully to set men free of life controlling issues. This evening we have with us Mike, Don, Bill, Les, & Sherry. Our teaching this month is pursuing God, but God sometimes pursues us.
Upon arrival one of the men was in the yard was with his father from out west, and his little girl, a reminder that addiction not only impacts the addict but the other members of the addict’s family also. These facilities do a great job at not only restoring an addict but also the addict’s family. They need our support to continue this very important ministry.
Once inside, Mike does the ministry opening. The guys are all ready to go. Some familiar faces and some new faces; recovery centers are like that. We have come to encourage and to teach. Les opens with familiar songs of the church, thank God for people like Les. Tried and true this pillar of the church has played and sang in many a meeting. His experience and gifting are so necessary. He sings and plays guitar, just before wrapping up one of the guys wants to play a song he has written. Les hands him the guitar ant this young minstrel plays his heart out with a song he has composed. We ask him to play a few more and he does.
Engagement in these programs, and a sense of respect and self worth are key to the road to healing. Once we have completed singing, Mike introduces Sherry, a favourite and a well known personality within these borders, she can encourage and draw out the withdrawn. She has a gifting for this and it is so effective, she is also a prayer warrior who has prayed for us all at one time or another.
We also have Don with us, he was a once a resident in this very facility. His life was in near ruins and brought back from the brink of disaster. Today he shares his heart in the form of a devotion. He also leads an Overcomers group, and owns and operates his own business, living proof these programs work and people are helped.
Mike then calls Les. Though he lead worship, he too has a testimony for the Lord, and shares his heart about his mother’s influence on him, and how her relationship with him helped him to walk an upright life. Illustrating once again that relationship can come to the forefront of living a victorious life, free from sin and substance abuse.
Bill then delivers this month’s teaching, but, as usually is the case, the Holy Spirit reveals a practical side and a personal side to the message. Bill speaks of God pursuing him, when he should have been pursuing God. God chases us for relationship, that is why Jesus died on the cross. To restore right relationship between the Father and His creation. Bill, once lost in drugs, anger, and violence, now finds himself standing before men and women encouraging them, and sharing his personal trials and tribulations and how he was eventually delivered from trouble by a God who pursued him. Once the relationship was established Bill was then placed on the right path.
Mike then concludes with a wrap up prayer, and gives a opportunity for questions and an invitation to receive Jesus as a personal Saviour if they haven’t already done so.
After prayer we linger and talk, and spend some personal time praying and taking prayer requests. Once again we have seen God touch hearts. One man speaks up and tells how he was so concerned about not having enough money for a necessary prescription, and that during Bill’s talk about God being more that able to meet any need financially he was encouraged. He felt like he had been spoken directly to by God, and was comforted. Such are the outcomes of these meeting. We only have to be willing to go, God will do the rest.
Will you go? Someone needs your story to get through their tough times. No matter where we find ourselves, while working for the Lord in this ministry, we never cease to be amazed at the presence and comfort of God in the midst of His children.