Today we have a trip to a recovery facility and a prison. New Brunswick this time of year is spectacular. All the trees are filled out, flowers in bloom and the fields lush and green. As we travel, we comment upon the spring season and the new life it brings.
As we arrive to our first destination we are excited. No two trips are ever the same, as God is infinite, so are His ways. Today we have Marg, Becka, Bill, Doc(Steve) and Tony. As the room begins to fill up we pray and then commence our ministry.
Bill opens with the introduction of Prison Christian Ministries. We are one of many concerned groups who have answered the call of God according to Matthew 25: 35-36. Prison Christian Ministries conducts 30 functions in 30 days, putting close to 6000 Km on our van. We visit all New Brunswick Federal and Provincial institutions including Halfway houses and recovery centers. We also have an African outreach to 11 more prisons in Kenya supplying food and necessities to men and women and children within the confines of their prison system. Our agent there does roughly 30 visits per month too. Locally we also have an after care facility which will open in the near future to help house inmates who have no where to go upon release.
Today we are honored with the attendance of people in recovery. Doc speaks first, and brings a well thought out teaching regarding the love of our Heavenly Father, and how that love is so necessary for recovery to be successful. Many times the use of drugs and alcohol, or other life controlling issues can be traced to a deep need to cover pain within the heart of the individual. Frequently, unforgiveness and bitterness are at the root of a lot of pain. Until we realize that unconditional love, and hate are opposed to each other, we will have a problem letting go of our pain.
Becka shared a marvelous contribution to the over all continuity of the teaching. She added that rest is also a necessity to recovery, we must rest. She is a musician, and coming from a musician point of view, she explained that in music many compositions have “rests” in the written piece which helps to make the composition complete. So it is with us in recovery, we must also learn to rest, to enable us to have complete recovery. The people responded to that description, God was touching hearts even more profoundly.
Next Bill spoke about the necessity of relationship. When Jesus said, “it is finished”, he was proclaiming that the relationship between God and man had been restored. The cross has a vertical member and a horizontal member. The vertical member is our relationship with Christ and the horizontal member is our relationship with others. Recovery is not a solo process, it not only requires restored relationship with the Father but also with others. Recovery never is complete and restorative without relationship with others.
Next Tony came forward. His evangelistic gifting is so evident as he proclaims the power, love, and completeness of Christ. He expounds upon the necessity and need for allowing God to gain access to our souls and closes with an invitation for prayer. Later, after we meet and greet we understand that souls have been touched, and we proceed to have a meal together. This time is so refreshing as we meet others who were not able to be in the meeting but arrive in time for a community meal. We meet old acquaintances and have good fellowship. The time goes fast, now we must say our goodbyes and head on to our next stop, a Federal Institution.