Jim was an addict for 30 years. In that time he lost his marriage and his two children went on to have their own drug problems as teenagers. He taught his son how to cook methamphetamine and almost lost him to noxious fumes when a cook went bad.
Eventually, Jim was homeless and living on the property of a home that he was doing renovation work on. The owner of the property came to check on the work Jim had been doing. Jim had been up for three days in a drug-induced frenzy.
Jim asked the man if hed give him some money for the work he had done. Ill give you some money Jim The man said, but you really have to learn how to love yourself. Jim had never heard it quite this way before, but it didnt stop him from getting in his stolen truck and heading off to his drug dealers house for a fix.
The success of Christian rehab for drug addicts has long been in question. The debate being whether a man who is an addict can truly find lasting renewal through a faith-based program.
Can one rehabilitated man really make a difference?
Jim was an addict for 30 years. It was while he was homeless that he was forced to look deep inside himself. On his way to his dealers house with the only money he had in the world, his stolen truck broke down in front of a pager store. Jim went inside and was greeted by the owner of the shop. Jim told him he needed to use the phone. The big figure of a man told him My brother, this is a divine appointment for you todaythis is the year of jubilee for the Lord.
Jim was so high and so tore up he wondered if this guy was even talking to him.
The man continued, Brother, we need to talk.
Within minutes the man had Jim in tears. He told Jim Today you need to make a decisionon what youre going to do with the rest of your life.
Jim gathered himself enough and thought that he had to get out of there. A struggle was going on inside of him. He asked the man again to use the phone so that he could get help with his broken down truck.
Brother, that truck is not broken down. If you make the right decision today, when you go out there, the truck is going to start right up The man told Jim.
Jim went outside with the thought that if the truck starts hed be in big trouble because he knew that he would have to make a decision.
As he put his key in the ignition, he pausedturned the keyand the truck roared to a start.
That day, Jim poured his broken life onto the throne of God and told him Lord, here it is!
Today, now 10 years sober, Jim Baldwin is the founder of Smile Seekers, a ministry inspired by James. The passage states: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Jims Smile Seekers visit the elderly twice a week in Southern California senior citizen facilities. He leads a group of up to 70 men, women in children to visit the lonely and dying.
He has also recently undertaken a new project by raising funds for the building of a seventy-five hundred square foot, solid stone 3-story orphanage in Kenya, Africa. The orphanage will be completed in December of 2009.
Christian rehab can have lasting change for those who complete a program that focuses on healing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual facets of a person.
When an addict can find the sincere, committed desire to work hard for change, he can be renewed and live the life of promise that escaped him so many years before.
Freddie and her husband Cliff Harris are co-founders of Drug Alternative Program, a drug and alcohol recovery facility for adult men, located in Grand Terrace, California.