Two of the new men helping my mom with her grow box garden. Mom moved in with us last fall and one of her hobbies is gardening, these two youngsters got a lesson on patio gardening. You never know what you might learn here at His Steps.
Rec time at the ministry house, not quite Kobe Bryant, but you gotta love the uniforms!
Last fall something different took place at His Steps. We received four new guys into the program in very close proximity to one another. In the past it has always been staggered; one man would come, one would graduate and so on. I was a bit concerned with all of them coming at once because that meant they all leave about the same time, leaving me empty. Upon returning from Peru, all of the men were to be gone within five weeks. One left the day we got back, another the week after that and a third one the week after that.
All of the sudden it was going to be me and one guy, Bardin. Poor guy! We were talking one day and he asked, "What are we going to do to get some more guys in here?" I replied, “We need to pray and ask God to send them.”
God responded very quickly. Within a week we had four new men! Bardin, the lone remainder of the Peru group, is going home on June 6 and his replacement is coming June 8. God continues to be faithful to me in sending men here to be taught the truth about addictions. Addiction is definitely a sin that doesn’t discriminate according to age. I currently have a 58 year old addicted to alcohol and a 19 year old addicted to alcohol, and there are three others in between those ages addicted to various substances. I’ve learned there is a prominent common sin among these guys regardless of their age: selfishness. Addicts are very selfish people! They live for self pleasure. That’s why the personality altering substances they choose to use appeal so much to them; it’s all about them and how they feel. The Puritan writer Richard Baxter wrote, “Wherever the interest of carnal self is stronger than and more predominate habitually than the interest of God, of everlasting life, there is no true self-denial”. That is why we spend a tremendous amount of time here teaching the centrality of God’s sovereignty in all things. These guys have to learn they are really insignificant in all things, then they begin to see how awesome God is and that life is really all about Him. As I’ve seen these guys come here after years of following their own evil desires, I’m constantly reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself…”To follow Jesus we must deny ourselves! The exact opposite of what addicts do. I love showing these guys that answer to addiction.
I had a guy here a few years ago. When it was time for him to depart, I asked him what stuck out most to him about his time here. He said the main thing he learned was how big God is and how small he is. He told me when he arrived he saw himself as being significant in the grand scheme of things and now he saw himself as the size of a pea and God the size of a basketball. He got it!
Along with a house full of new men, the Lord has given me a new area of ministry this summer. John Michael was here a year ago; he returned home last June and has done well going to school full time and working part time. While he was here in the program, he grew tremendously in his relationship with God. After discussing the options for him this summer with his dad, they decided to give me a call and see if I’d be interested in having him come for the summer and help around the ministry house with the guys as well as me spending some time discipling him. I didn’t need to pray long about it, spending time with these young guys is what I love doing. So, he is here now and it’s been fun getting to pour into him again.
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Pray for all the new participants that are coming. It’s always a challenge for them to learn how to live together. The new guy’s names are Wes, Derrell, Austin, Andrew, and Doug.
For the last six months I’ve asked you to pray for the guys that have been here in the ministry house. Those guys have all now left, I’ve been in contact with them and they still need our prayers. They are all doing fine as far as staying sober, but some of them have expressed to me the intense spiritual battle they are now going through being away from the protection of the ministry house. Please pray for these guys.
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