recovering from addiction
In August, we received a call from one of our counseling partners indicating that she needed our help with a client who was struggling with addiction and she felt ill-equipped to help her. It was a balmy Sunday when we met with the addicted woman and her mother. We counseled both and connected the addicted woman with a local 16-week, outpatient recovery program, as well as helped her set up a 90-in-90 meeting schedule, which included attending our Celebrate Recovery Program, where we learned that she was suffering from unresolved grief. We then connected her to our grief program too. Eight months later, she is not only clean, but is living in recovery! She has regained her self-esteem and is working as a full-time nanny. She also got connected to a local church where she is serving.
On the first Friday of each month, our Celebrate Recovery Ministry served a group from a local in-patient mental health facility. This was their “spiritual meeting”. One Friday in October, a young, 24-year-old woman named Shelly came with the group. She immediately told us that she did not want to be there and was not going to sit with the group. When we dismissed into small groups, we gently invited her to join the women’s group, assuring her that she could sit by herself at any time. Our lesson was on forgiveness. She emphatically stated that she hated herself and could never be forgiven by God or forgive herself. She proceeded to pull up her skirt and shirt and show the group members horrific scars, over 300, from where she cut herself one year before, hoping to kill herself. She then sat quietly and listened. At the end of the group time each woman was asked if they would like to surrender something to God. Each woman offered something, except Shelly. The leader prayed for each woman’s request. At the end of the prayer, Shelly jumped to her feet, threw out her arms and exclaimed, “I am surrendering my anger and my life to God.” The leaders prayed with her, cried with her and gave her a Bible. Shelly told us that she felt like she could face the future and hoped to be reunited with her family soon in Florida. We do not know what happened to Shelly, as we have not seen her since. But, we do trust God, who she surrendered her life to on that Friday night. We continue to pray for her, thanking God for how He used our ministry to introduce Him to a very broken, lost young woman.
Camp Volunteer Finds Healing
Two years ago, one of our volunteers, a young mother, suffered a massive stroke following heart surgery, compromising her vision. Suffering weakness, and from aphasia, she is unable to work. BUT, she can volunteer! Three weeks ago, she volunteered in our camp, working with a seven-year-old high-risk camper who was unable to settle in with the group. For the week, she was his personal buddy, making it possible for him to participate in camp.
That Friday evening, while attending Celebrate Recovery, where we share victories, big and small; her husband exuberantly bubbled, “I feel like I have my pre-stroke wife back! This is the first week she has acted like before her stroke!”
More Healing Through serving
Another camp volunteer who sought grief counseling five years after the untimely death of her 16 year-old son; has volunteered, along with her step-daughter, weekly in our summer camp, providing nurturing and love to every camper she interacts with. Last week, while chaperoning at the Museum of Life and Science, she expressed just how much love and healing she has received from being with, and loving on the kids.
Our Camp Chef
Our camp chef, Trish, was referred to us last September following the untimely death of her husband of 42 years. We engaged in grief coaching and met regularly. During our time together, Trish became very interested in our ministry to at-risk youth, and volunteered to plan meals and cook for our summer campers. They absolutely love her! And, she loves them, saying, “They have really helped me heal.”
grief ministry & marriage ministry collide
In August we received a call from a member of our Fall, 2017 Grieving With Hope Group, asking about marriage coaching. We learned during that conversation that during the group, he connected with another group participant, and they started dating a few months later. They are now engaged and have connected with a marriage coach in order to be prepared for their early summer wedding.
supporting the local church
In April, a local family experienced a horrific tragedy when their 3-year-old daughter followed the family dog, then slipped, fell into a creek and drowned. Her family were actively involved at Revolve Church and the entire congregation was devastated. Pastor Jeff Moody contacted Ignite and asked if we could provide a grief team before, during, and following both services on Sunday, April 15th. It was an honor to stand with Jeff and serve his church family. We listened to, and prayed with over 30 people, encouraging them and equipping them with resources.