Bennie came to Living Hope’s Recovery Programme as so many do feeling and looking as though the world had given him a thorough beating. Head down, not a hint of a smile looking the picture of abject failure and hopelessness.
The volunteers and staff were concerned that Bennie had come to Living Hope in the period before closure for the Christmas Holidays and many of us doubted that we would see him again after reopening in January 2014. To our absolute delight he was one of the first to arrive announcing very proudly that he was still clean and sober and that this was the first Christmas and New Year that he could remember being clean and sober and even going to church. We all congratulated him and there were others too who had really made a huge effort in a time of severe temptation and we give God all the Glory.
Later in the day Pastor Raymond Bowman the programme counsellor was sharing from the bible and explained the way of salvation in Jesus Christ. Suddenly Bennie blurted out the words,” that it, thats it, I gotta to do that”! Ray stopped and said,” what are you saying”? Bennie responded sharing that he had felt a strange feeling inside of him that he could not understand he felt it getting stronger every time he attended church and could not understand what was going on but was too scared to share with anyone. But suddenly it all made sense to him and he said it again, Pastor Ray, thats it, I know I gotta do this”.
The following moments were most sacred as Bennie knelt down and the other clients made a circle around him and Raymond led him to Jesus praying the sinners prayer.
As Ray, shared this with me I thought how lovely to start 2014 in this way. We thank God for the privilege to be able to share our faith and to have the special experience to see people respond to the gospel.
Bennie is visibly changed. In Living Hope’s Recovery Programme we say he has his head up again. I believe what he did would have made a very special impact on all other clients in that class that day.
Thank you to all who support this programme faithfully in prayer – God is at work in Living Hope’s Recovery Programme and is hearing and answering prayer. To Him be all the Glory!
*not his real name