Celebrate Recovery: A Haven for Healing, Hope and Acceptance
By Natalie Meeks
GREENVILLE, South Carolina – She was a young woman yet, but addiction had betrayed her. Her face bore the marks of hardship and substance-abuse battles, grooved more deeply than her years should warrant.
She arrived at Matthews Church that Tuesday evening for her support group meeting.
“Was it you?” she asked the man who had preached the message. “Did you bring Celebrate Recovery to Latvia?
“I helped,” he replied.
The recovering young woman confided, “It saved my life.”
It isn’t every day that we receive affirmation of the fruit that comes from obeying God’s will. But when we do, it is sweet.
BBI President Chuck Kelley had come to Matthews Church that evening to deliver a message on Romans 8:28 - “Does God really cause all things to work together for good?” The young woman who approached him, proclaiming that Celebrate Recovery has saved her life is but one of many, many Latvians who have struggled silently and darkly with addiction.
Celebrate Recovery may be distinguished from other recovery programs in that it is foundationally a Christian program, recognizing that apart from God’s help, there is no help. It is a church-based program working at the local level, designed to help people in the church and community deal with their most pressing life issues. For many, these issues stem from and are related to a wide range of addictions. But the support is broader yet. Often, it is the family members of those struggling with addiction that seek and find support in Celebrate Recovery. Many are spouses of alcoholics. Here, they are met with encouragement, support and exposure to the hope of the Gospel.
The need for leadership is great and therefore the need for training is greater. Celebration Recovery is a volunteer-intensive program. Leaders are grown from within. This is important and intentional; when people find a place to serve, they find purpose and acceptance. Acceptance is critical for recovery and a future. No matter what mistakes you’ve made or which battles you’ve lost, you may come to Celebrate Recovery for hope and for help.
This fall, Eagle’s Wings will host a major Celebrate Recovery retreat to include four different churches. BBI Board Member Bill Specht will travel to Latvia to serve as key speaker for this gathering.
“For we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).