It’s been about 7-8 years ago when some very good ministry friends on the west coast contacted us about helping a young man. They described his dilemma, which was totally off the charts, for me. Our friends asked us to pray about allowing him to come to Sayre for a period of time in an effort to help him overcome his addiction. We’ve done this kind of thing fairly often over the past 20+ years with a pretty impressive track record. I say that with all humility. And I’d admit that even though we had a good measure of success, when the Lord is involved….we have very little to do with the results.
We’re often asked….“What kind of program do you have?” Our answer is always, “We don’t have a program”. Not a thing wrong with programs as long as they’re working but we just don’t have a program. I do believe that what we do is pretty important, though. It’s so simple that most people, especially the professionals, would scoff at it…but it just seems to work. We bring those in that the Lord sends our way. We develop a relationship with them, and we consider them part of our family. They do what we do, they go where we go; they’re involved with us in about everything we do. And it’s just pretty amazing the transformation that happens in nearly all of them.
We picked up the young man from the OKC airport and our hearts were immediately joined to his. He was a very likable, personable young man. He opened up and began to talk to Daryle Perry and myself about his problem. He was more deeply involved in sexual activity (50-60 different partners in the previous month!) than I’d ever even heard of before….and he wanted to be free. As he and Daryle talked it began to go through my mind as to ‘how’ we could help him. I’d been involved in ministry a lot but this, well this was way beyond anything I’d ever been exposed to before. I began to agonize over it and I started to worry that we were way in over our heads on this one. Almost as soon as the worry ‘set in’, I heard the ‘still small voice’ of the Lord say, very clearly to my spirit, “It’s not your job to fix him….It’s your job to love him. I’ll do the fixing”!
That word from the Lord brought some immediate peace to me. So, that’s just what we did….we loved him. He remained here in Oklahoma with us for 6-8 months. He was a hard worker, everyone loved him (literally no one knew what his problems were or why he was here. We stay true to the idea of confidentiality!). The time came when he believed he was free from his addiction and we felt very good about it as well. We were blessed by his time here and became very good friends with him. After he left we stayed in contact with him and still chat occasionally.
I think it’s a very liberating thing for us to all understand (especially ministry people!) that it’s not our job to ‘fix them’…..but it is our job to love them! It really makes all the difference!
You might like this one, too:
*Click on highlighted link