Living Free is starting the new year at a very busy pace. Just in the first week of 2017, we have seen three men and one woman go into residential programs. Two of them entered new programs to which we have been introduced. The other two went to the Home of Grace. Also during this week, we had two men graduate from the Home of Grace. We are helping many people get into programs and we are hosting sixteen support group meetings a week. The more we expand, the more our passion intensifies. We want to see people build a relationship with Jesus while getting well from addiction.
2016 was the busiest and the most demanding year in the life of Living Free. We want to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” for giving to Living Free. With your support we fed over 12,000 meals this year, met with over 250 people a week, helped over 75 men and women go to residential programs, and saw several give their lives to Christ and then be baptized into local churches.
The Lord has stretched the boundaries of Living Free to Abingdon, VA, Chattanooga, TN, Meridan, MS, Biloxi, MS and Vancleave, MS. Having these new contacts has expanded our options to get folks help and to get the help quicker. Our friendships and partnerships have grown into a regional ministry in the recovery world. We are very excited about how God is using LF in these areas, but we believe that HE has called us to North Mississippi for mission work in the addiction community. What we get to see and do in this environment really excites and drives us to educate and train for this greater opportunity to reach more people.
I really believe that 2017 is the year that God has called us to work within the church to train and educate the church about the recovery world. For some reason, if you mention a 12-step program to the church, they will just about call a business meeting to kick you out. When you mention the word “Jesus” to a 12-step program, they freeze. I am not sure why both sides are scared of each other, but we want to change this. We want to come to the churches to train and set up recovery meetings within the local churches. We have successfully planted our first one at East Booneville Baptist Church in 2016. We have seen a lot of fruit out of this one already. We have one set to go at County Line Baptist Church in February, and we would love to be training groups in other churches. I really believe that Jesus saves by grace, but after that step there is a lot of work to do with fear and trembling.
My prayer and hope is that the local church will learn how to build friendships with the addicts, and that the addicts will learn that they need the church. Someone said if the church is not reaching out in their own community, then it isn’t a church, it’s a country club. I’m just letting everyone know that addicts are a big part of the community, and the church plays a special role in the community. Pray about partnering with us to build this mission.
We love what we get to do, and I feel like I’m the most blessed guy alive. I get to do what I love to do everyday. I would ask that you pray about giving monthly to Living Free in the year 2017, and pray about being a part of what God is doing. Pray during this year that God will show up and show out in the life of Living Free. If we can be of help to you or your family, please call us.