Though not many positive things have come from this pandemic, here at Oliver Gospel, we see positive changes happen in our guests' lives every day. Just like for you and me, every day, we are faced with challenges. We can choose to think positively and move forward or fall into a crippling cycle of negative thoughts and poor decisions that keep us from showing up in our everyday lives. The men, women, and children we serve must make difficult decisions like this every day. To choose to overcome addiction, trauma, and hardship or fall into old, destructive thought patterns that hinder them from a transformational, lasting change in their lives.
This past Christmas, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the guys in our program while waiting for my coffee to be made at our Roastery. After asking him about how his holiday was, he responded immediately with, "Good! This is the first holiday I have spent sober since I was 16." At 31, he's been an addict for half his life. He continued to tell me stories about his family's Christmas traditions, his journey with substance abuse, consequential job loss, and his recovery experience at Oliver Gospel.
"I've been to four different recovery centers since April of this year (2020)." I asked him, "What's different about Oliver Gospel?" He replied, "It's focused on building a relationship with God. And I know I need God to overcome this battle I have with addiction." He went on, "And the staff is so kind and loving toward me. The staff here are different than those other centers."
Chris entered our Addiction Recovery Program on October 9th and hasn't looked back. He's given his life to Christ, been baptized, and has been sober for 4 months. He has a
15-month-old baby who he is trying to get clean for. He wants to finish the program strong, find a job, get an apartment again, and live a completely transformed life.
Every day we see new, transformed people like Chris walk our halls.
Every day they are choosing to overcome hardships and difficult situations with faith and determination. In a time in our lives where transformation may be hard to pinpoint, at Oliver Gospel, we still can.
Let Chris's story be an encouragement to you. Even if this year looks exactly like 2020, we can choose to pinpoint the tiny transformations taking place all around us. And if you can't see it where you are, stick around, and we'll continue to share ours with you.