My longtime friend Alan Bobbett has been director at Hebron Center near Bloomington, Indiana for many years. We share quite a fair bit of the same sort of pre-Christian past, but now, also a deep desire to see people changed and set free by the grace and power of Jesus Christ.
Hebron (a ministry of Wheeler Mission, Indianapolis) is situated at Camp Hunt, a beautiful property in rolling hills with a lake, cabins, a chapel and dining hall and best of all, a Wonderful staff of people seeking to know, grow in and serve Jesus and others.
Hebron focuses on substance abuse addiction and serves men and via them, a lot of families who have been torn to shreds due to addiction.
In our days here, Project 12 shared meals, conversation, prayer and shared testimonies around campfires and via the P12 production from this year’s class.
I was also asked so did a blues/worship set after our production the other night.
To say that God is working here is an understatement! I never cease to be thoroughly blessed by the grace and love evident among the men and staff.
A very large number of those who go through the first year program ask to continue for a second year of leadership training and there is an 80 percent success rate among that group in terms of their never returning to the old addictions.
Alan likes to share that they may be the only drug treatment program that is not only fully centered on Christ… but doesn’t offer classes on how to get off of drugs and alcohol! Funny… true, and Jesus clearly gets the credit for the powerful life-change going on.
There are a number of reasons why it’s important P12ers meet, hear and see people and ministries like this one.
Some of us came out of such destructive habits, some simply need to begin to understand how it is others end up or continue in such horrible addictions. People need to hear true stories from people struggling to be free and truly finding God in the process.
Regardless of the issue, it’s the same for all of us- a fact we must face, not pretend isn’t reality. Dealing honestly via regular confession, forgiveness and accountability in the context of Christian community is exactly what these men are learning and sharing.
They focus on servanthood rather than personal acquisition. They eventually see the fruit of character and attitude change in their own heart as a result.
Both groups exchanged experiences and as always this produced a mutual understanding, encouragement and faith. REALLY good stuff!
Only God knows where and in what areas of service He will call each of us, but our hope is that P12ers will be “ruined for the world”. That is to say status-quo, “nice and clean” Christianity is simply not as real or for that matter, potent to draw anyone to Jesus, nor is it sufficient for an ever-growing group of people in society whose excess, imbalance, deep need for God and lack of genuine Christian examples is only growing.
Whether the students continue on at JPUSA, move into other ministry work, return to their home church or whatever God calls them to, experiencing Him among others in the larger Church is really essential.
As I listened and pondered these last few days, it struck me how I somehow figured my own 60’s hippie generation who played with every form of drug mixed with booze mixed with sex we could imagine- I guess I thought following generations would learn as most of we did that there had to be a better way to live.
The monkey got so much larger than we did, it began leading us around. We no longer had (as they say in AA, NA and so on)control over our own life.
I guess I thought future generations would learn from the wreckage of my generation.
It’s sadly clear that substance abuse is a growing rather than shrinking problem.
What a GIFT to see Him work among these men and families, what a wonderful exchange in sharing these days together! Faith, hope and love are alive in Jesus Christ moving among us. But how tragic so many still don’t know Him and His power to transform.
The students were searching and sharing Scriptures pretty constantly here, prayed about most everything and with staff had a couple very intense but needed meetings over our time here. A number of prayer and worship sessions broke out.
God is quite present and right relationships are being shaped by Him.
As it turns out the Ft. Wayne show wasn’t to be so now we travel on to Macomb, IL where tomorrow night (Sat.) the P12ers will do their production at Cafe Aroma near Western Illinois University campus.
We have a couple more stops in Peoria and E. Peoria, then back to Chicago.
We have a small break between these to rest and enjoy Cornerstone Farm where our annual Cstone Festival is held, and where P12ers along with most others at JPUSA will serve many thousands of fest-goers for a week over the Fourth of July holidays.
Thanks for your prayers and for stopping by!