Why did you join ReCreation, SP Drug Rehab Outreach Ministry?
- I wanted to be involved in outreach – I think that is a responsibility of the local church – Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Outreach is part of the good work we were created for. It’s one way the local church acts as the hands and feet of Christ’s body to the world.
- practically, the times for ReCreation worked better for me than night visits.
- Of course, this people group of brothers in drug rehab was also a group I felt I did have a heart to serve and reach out to.
- And I think sports is a really great way to connect people and natural way to form relationships.
What was it like?
We actually have the morning to spend with them in sharing/fellowship. So other than sports in the afternoon, we have small group discussions, testimony sharing, worship.
It’s encouraging to see the work God is doing there. We don’t know what kind of lives these guys had before entering rehab and I don’t want to glamorize it to make a big contrast, but we do know it’s not healthy or positive -some being in gangs, alcoholism, fights, broken relationships, and of course drug abuse and addiction. A lot of darkness. But when we visit the center, there is an environment of light – these seemingly rough and tough guys are really hospitable to us visitors, so friendly and thoughtful in taking care of us. It’s fun to see the brotherhood among them and watch them laugh and banter with each other.
You might expect them to be indifferent to us, but they’ve told us that they appreciate our visits, knowing the trek it is to get there, and yet we consistently go. We are their more regular visitors and they really do enjoy when we spend the day with them – that makes us happy. 🙂 But really their openness and attitude reveals a softening of heart and the work of God in that place and in their lives.
I think they just really need to hear truth about God and about themselves and to believe and receive it in their spirits. And I believe God is using that centre to do that, to expose these brothers to His Word and what it says.
How has it changed you / enriched you? (talk about what God did in you)
It made me recognize more the need for the Holy Spirit. We really want for the brothers to have victory over addiction, the supernatural ability to say no to temptation, to have complete freedom and new life. But there’s really next to nothing I can do to help them gain/receive those things. Through outreach, I have often felt helpless to give them what we want for them, and that has made me know experientially, not only in my head, what dependence on God means – that I am powerless and need the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives.
And out of that awareness, you naturally recognize the importance of prayer for them and anyone who is lost because God works through prayer. And when you have nothing you can do, you just plead for God to do something that you can’t. But we do our part of praying for them, visiting them, and always learning and adjusting our plans so we can better edify them.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t been before?
You should go!
Drug rehab outreach, or any outreach, makes your world a little bigger (or enlarges your world?) as you interact with those not usually in your social circles. It makes your heart bigger, as you choose to have more people to care about and pray for. And it enlarges your understanding of God and His heart for those in need.