Through various Facebookposts over the past few months we have mentioned and requested prayer for JB. Thanks to your prayers, we eventually reconnected him with his family and got him a place in a rehab facility. This past Friday night I was talking with a friend about how JB’s initial 30 days should be nearly completed and that meant he would be allowed to leave the facility. I commented that if he didn’t show up at Retreat from the Street in the next few days I was going to find him.
Saturday morning, Pastor Andy and I were preparing for Saturday on the Streets with a couple of our volunteers when JB walked in the door beaming from ear to ear. He told us how well he was doing, that God had worked miracles in reconciling family relationships, how stable he was in his sobriety and how much time he was spending in group and personal Bible study. He had his Bible with him and showed me composition books full of personal notes from his studies. He joined us for Saturday on the Streets and really displayed the heart of a servant by serving coffee and snacks to our friends. But most striking was his impact on several people he knew on the streets and their reaction to his sobriety. He was very quick to step to the side with some of them to share about the grace of God in his life, encouraging them to look to the Father for transformation.
He came to church with me Sunday and has shown up at Retreat from the Street both Monday and Tuesday (today). He is finally free from probation and is going back to complete his schooling at a local technical college. He seems to be truly centered in his faith.
As part of his recovery program he wrote a letter which I am reprinting in its original form with his permission. May the Lord bless your heart as much as He has ours through JB’s reconciliation, recovery and his love for God and those on the street that are still struggling with bondage.
When I first met you I thought you were a recreational drug. So, then I decided to get to know you better. What I think I liked about you was, that you were there through the good times and the bad. But, then the more I got to know you things changed. Not just you had changed but me also. My addiction for you started causing me pain and suffering. You remember when we hook-up at 10:00 o’clock that evening and partyed all night and I told you I had to be at work first thing in the morning and you had other plans. So, I agreed and missed work and got fired. And, as a result I couldn’t pay my rent and got evicted. But, I didn’t turn my back on you. I gave you another chance. Do you know my sick love for you caused me financial problems, legal issues, and family pressured me to stop seeing you. So, I am writing this letter to say it’s over. You have been destructive to me and my well being. I wished I never met you. But, today through the faith I have in Jesus Christ, I hope you will never destroy another persons life ever again.
To all of you who have prayed with us for him and the many others, we give you these updates so that you can see the result of your labor and to encourage you to give all the more diligence in continuing to lift us all up both now and forever, Amen.
God has called His people to love our neighbor as ourselves and this from the very beginning. Help us help those most vulnerable and least loved of all God’s highest portion of His creation. We all, as sheep, have gone astray. Help (nay cause us) Lord Jesus to walk in your love, Amen.