Monday, May 18, 2009

A Celebration to note...

It never fails that in the middle of tragedy it is so easy to overlook amazing points of progress. April Clark wrote this article. It truly captured the essence of what made May the 14th special in spite of other tragedies the same day. Yea God!

Hello, everyone; I have a wonderful story that I would like to share with you this week. So sit back...relax....and enjoy...:)

About 2 1/2 years ago, a small, enebriated man showed up at a Wednesday night church service. He sobbed brokenly and professed Christ as his Savior that night. This was a man who had on many occasion been seen in the park, intoxicated and propositioning women for sexual favors. Some thought him homeless, many others thought him detestible, the vast majority seemed to think very little of him and even less of his future.

That first night began a long and difficult journey for this man. He did well enough for about six months, then he reverted back to his old ways and began drinking again. It lasted for about a month, then he returned to the church, sobbing, begging for forgiveness. The pastor lovingly received him, told him it was okay, and the man began to volunteer in the church, doing what he could to help out. About 4 months passed, and he had another relapse. Many shook their heads, grumbled that the man would never amount to anything, and asked the pastor why he bothered to waste his time.

After that last relapse, the man managed to get his head clear once more. He returned with new convictions; he began to understand the value of friendships, support, loyalty, and most importantly, how much he was loved by God and how much he needed Him to overcome his addiction. He started attending a new ministry in the church called "Celebrate Recovery". He realized that there were others like him, who were desperately struggling with addictions and who wanted to give their lives in service to God. He made a commitment to persevere, to stand firm, and when all else failed, to stand.

A few months later, the pastor, seeing the vast improvement in the man, as well as his spiritual growth, decided to take a chance on him. He decided to put the man in charge of the cafe in the church, that had up until that time been floundering terribly. The man, seeing the responsibility that was being entrusted to him by the pastor and feeling that this was a chance to in a sense redeem himself and the negative opinion so many people had had of him, eagerly plunged into the new job opportunity. He took over the business with an attitude of thanksgiving for what God had done in his life, and he prospered. He grew the business until, it was more profitable than it had ever been before, bringing in new clientele, new foods, and finally having to hire an assistant because there was just too much business to handle by himself.

Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of seeing this man, Manolo, celebrate his one-year anniversary of sobriety at a Celebrate Recovery meeting in Iglesia del Camino. I listened as the 60 + people who came to celebrate with him poured out praised to God for the change in him, and also to Pastor Mike, who had put himself on the line because he had believed in him. There were many tears, but they were tears of joy. I got to see an entire family whose lives had been changed by the magnificent Hand of God. And every week, as I sit in staff meetings with Manolo, he never ceases to give glory to God for what has happened in his life.

Now THAT is what I call a testimony...:) Praise God!!!

Much love and many blessings!

No comments:

Post a Comment