IMPACT AZ – Exciting News!

We are truly honored to be a part of IMPACT AZ! Check it out!

From: Jonathan Roe, Mission Increase

Subject: Welcome to Impact AZ!

Dear Liz,

Congratulations!  Your wonderful ministry is one of just 22 organizations chosen to be part of Impact AZ 2018!  You are now eligible to receive a grant based on your tax credit fundraising efforts and results!

Remember, one of the keys to success is to have each donor who supports your wonderful work give a tax credit gift.  A great benefit of being part of Impact AZ is you now have a message:  You’ve been chosen; you’re in; and you’re now eligible to receive additional grant funds!  Spread the word!  

At the awards ceremony, next May, 50% of Impact AZ organizations will receive a grant!  A $50,000 gift will be given to the organization that increases the most in tax credit dollars over the previous year, and multiple awards of $25,000, $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 will also be given.

Once again, congratulations and way to go!  We look forward to Impacting AZ, together!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Roe & Doug Pillsbury

You can IMPACT AZ! Choose where your taxes will go! Details HERE!

 

Where is God in my suffering?



Sometimes the pain from battling a serious mental illness (or the struggle against addiction) can be overwhelming. Whether you have a mental illness (or addiction) or love someone who struggles, it can feel like you are walking in complete darkness at times. Questions and confusion may swirl in your head each day. You might even wonder if mental illness (or addiction) is outside of the walls of God’s loving care, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In A.D. 54, a man named Paul picks up pen and parchment and writes a letter. He’s writing to the community of Christians in Corinth –a Greek city located hundreds of miles away from the Jewish cities of Nazareth and Jerusalem, where Jesus lived and died. These Corinthians never met this Jesus. He had died 20 years ago, long before any of them began following the crucified rabbi’s way of life. It begs the question – who would follow a dead man?

Paul, a violent prosecutor of the Christian faith turned radical missionary, pauses near the end of his long-winded letter and reminds his readers of what he called “the gospel.” The word, which you might have heard Christians mention offhand, simply means “good news.” And for this Corinthian church faced with social rejection, poverty and inner turmoil, they could really use some good news. Paul himself was living through unjust imprisonment and a debilitating physical illness. He wrote frequently that he was in unending anguish and sorrow, even to the point of “despairing of life itself.”

 

Even Paul needed good news in the midst of a broken world. So in the 15th chapter of this letter to the Corinthians, he shared with them the gospel that propelled him forward:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

The Gospel is the story of Jesus. Paul names a few highlights from this story: the death, resurrection and, as we will see later, the rule of Jesus. Jesus “died for the sins” of his people, meaning that he took upon himself the weight of the people’s sins. He absorbed the pain and sorrow that stem from the evil that human beings created. They come in all forms. Think of the pain you have seen in your life, be it at the hands of an unforeseen accident or the steady deterioration of mental illness. Consider the disappointment that comes from trusting in people who let you down. Remember the shame you felt when you failed to be the person you wanted to be. This is the brokenness of being human, and Jesus took this brokenness upon himself. 

He lived among us and shared his life with us – and he also shared our pain. And as Jesus wasted away on his cross, he loved not only those who followed him, but even those who put him to death. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” was his cry. 

It is one thing to die for your friends. It is another thing to die for your enemies. But Jesus gave freely of his own life to all who would follow him.

Jesus died, but he did much more than that, and he didn’t stay dead. Sorrow does not have the final say. The crushing weight of loss does not win. 

Jesus rose from the dead, and in doing so he dealt a heavy blow to the evil and the pain that run rampant in our world. Evil and pain did their worst to Jesus – they took his very life – but they won’t have the last word. And this means that death won’t have the last word for those who follow Jesus. He promises the same type of resurrection, and he promises a world where pain and sadness are a distant memory.

This is the hope that Paul can’t stop talking about. He drones on and on in the letter, which many people overlook because Paul excitedly writes in run-on sentence after run-on sentence. But the good news that has Paul excited is that Jesus has become the master of death. 

“For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

Death, the horrible shadow that lies behind all illness and tragedy and loss. Death, the one certainty in life and the greatest source of fear. For Paul, the resurrection proves that the love of Jesus has overcome death. This changes everything. 

For the time being, people still die. People still get sick. People still suffer. And for many of you, mental illness seems to have free license to devastate everything you hold dear. But in the Gospel, hope shines through the storm. We see a king who has not only overcome pain and evil, but he has overcome them through love. This King understands your pain because he went through it himself, and he shares it even now. He invites each of us to know him, and in turn, live in his resurrection hope.


 

Copyright P82 Project Restoration, used with permission. www.p82homes.org, compiled by James Anderson

Being Part Of Community…

My wife, Melanie, and I were introduced to Hope for Addiction through a friend and began volunteering behind the scenes. It wasn’t long after that Melanie began working as part-time staff and attended the My Hope for Addiction weekly meeting. After much persistent encouragement, I finally accepted the offer to join her. I was completely surprised at what I found there… something very special.

My first weekly meeting with Hope for Addiction totally turned my understanding of community on its head. Not because it was any different than what I had been taught, but because these people were actually doing community.  

I heard all the various ways people were helping each other with everyday, routine things. During the discussion, people opened up, were brutally honest about where they were in their faith, and how they were doing with their struggles.

It was at that first meeting I had my “ah-ha” moment. I finally understood what this ministry was really about and immediately began getting more involved. Each week I witness the transforming power of Christ at work. Those ones lost in hopelessness, now filled with joy; once bound and enslaved to their addictions, now living in freedom; once alone and fearful, now living life together, walking together.

I have now attended several leader training classes, fill in occasionally as a discussion leader for the Gilbert group and have also started mentoring (discipling). Mentoring for Hope for Addiction is unique and rewarding. It is unique in the sense that it is ever-changing, one day we may be talking about spiritual things and the next, talking about how to build a budget. Addiction robs people of things many of us take for granted, the little lessons we all learn that help us navigate our daily lives. I guess when it comes down to it, it is nothing less than walking out life together, the way a father would with his son. It really isn’t complicated, but it is amazingly rewarding to see someone lost and hopeless, filled with hope and begin to be transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit as they learn how to apply biblical truth to everyday life.

OUR SUPPORTERS made a difference for Jarid!  

I spent much of my life running from pain. I used people, places and things to try and cope with life. After a very long, destructive fight, I came to Hope for Addiction. I am learning to live and not be afraid. I am not perfect, but in this community, I have people who help me keep moving forward and not give up.

Thank you for making it possible for me to continue on my journey to follow the Lord and walk in freedom!

 


HOW CAN YOU GET MORE INVOLVED?

Pray: This work is tough. Your prayers are most important to us.

Give: Help with a monthly gift or even a one-time gift. We are about $1,000 short of our budget each month.

Connect: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and like and share our posts), blog and YouTube channel.

Volunteer/Serve: We will connect you where you are gifted. You can make a difference. All you need is a heart for people. We will train you!

Tell: Share what God is doing in Hope for Addiction.

Thank you! Lives are being forever changed!

View the current needs HERE

A Changed Life!

Shared by Kandiss, one of our meeting participants….

“If you struggle with addiction or have overcome addiction be it food or alcohol or drugs or sex or anything else…Please join us at a Hope For addiction meeting.

Hope for Addiction is a safe, encouraging, environment where we share and discuss the word of God and how to apply practical and faithful skills to combat our struggles. If you are a believer or not, we would love to see you there! 

This week I was both struggling with food and alcohol. The temptation was real. Because of what I have learned in our Hope for Addiction group, I was able to #1, Recognize I was being tempted, #2, share with my husband and a friend that I was being tempted, #3, practice my action plan of praying first and then worshipping, and then diving into God’s word, and then exercising! There was no guilt, and I was able to separate my emotions enough to overcome my immediate desire!  I have celebrated so many victories this week despite challenges!

I can confidently say before this group I had no idea how to deal with my cravings or my feelings. After trying several other recovery and therapy programs and not seeing any real change, I am happy to report that we are halfway through this year,  and I am pounds down!!  John and I both will be 7 months sober as of July!  Praise God there is Freedom, there is Hope for Addiction!”

-Kandiss

For more information, visit  Hope For Addiction

Bringing Hope in the Darkness – Liz Beck

My heart is rejoicing tonight and I had to share…  Hope For Addiction brought hope to a lost, hurting and broken woman named Angela.  Last night at the Gilbert, My Hope for Addiction meeting, we celebrated God’s work of transformation in Jen’s life. Jen has been with us for three years and tonight we celebrated six years of sobriety and new life. Angela was there for the first time.

After the meeting, I talked with Angela and learned that she was in a bad marriage, broken, hurting, hopeless and newly sober. She was deeply depressed, not knowing if there was any help to be found. She told me that she had never experienced a meeting like this before and she wanted what she saw in others. She desperately needs community and people to walk with her and help her. Angela left the meeting with something she thought was gone… hope.
Hope that God could meet her, change her and bring light to her darkness.

Our supporters make this possible. Because of their faithfulness, Angela has a place to feel safe, loved and experience hope for her future. I am hoping to meet with Angela next week and see if we can come alongside her and get her connected with a discipleship leader and counseling. Please pray for Angela. Pray that she will have the courage to take the next steps to connect and truly experience the love, forgiveness and freedom of her loving Savior.

Thank you for bringing light to darkness and hope to the hopeless. You are making a difference – sometimes a life or death difference.

Humbled and amazed by grace,

Liz Beck

Click HERE to learn more about Hope For Addiction

Follow us on Facebook

A Letter To Single Mothers by Grace Beck

She never had a moment to herself, working multiple jobs, one of them the most precious job: motherhood. She gave everything to her children; every minute, penny, bit of strength, ounce of energy, and all the love she had. Her kids weren’t easy either. They rarely are in a one parent environment. One was rebellious and constantly questioned everything. The other unmotivated and ungrateful.

No doubt, there were times her mind wandered back to the days when she didn’t have to take care of anyone but herself. I’m sure she wanted to give up sometimes, thinking, “This is too hard, I can’t do this alone.” But she never left her kids in need.

She made close friends and shared intimate details of her life so they could better help her with the kids. And these friends weren’t just normal people. They were good people, ones that loved almost as much as her. She surrounded herself with people of good character so her kids would have examples to shape their lives around. Little did she know, she was the best example around.

At times she may have thought her kids hated her. But they never did. They took out all their frustrations on her, because she was always there. Times were tough and she didn’t know if she could keep the family together, she didn’t know if she could provide for them and finally she didn’t think she could protect them from suffering.

When her kids became teenagers, she faced the hardest challenges of her life. Her kids were damaged and could not comprehend the care and sacrifice she made for them. They fought her every step of the way. At times her kids wouldn’t speak to her. She knew she needed to give them their space, and all she could do was pray over them. That was the hardest thing she ever did. To sit back and let her kids experience consequences ripped her heart out.

Now that her children are adults, they view her equally as a friend and mother. Just like when they were young, they depend on her to guide them in adulthood. She is still the first person her kids share things with, not out of obligation but because she is their most trusted ally.

In 2015, Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng won Miss Uncensored News Thailand. This woman was raised by a single mother who spent her whole life collecting recyclable material to provide for her family. After Mint won, she returned to her home and knelt before her mother in respect, kissing her feet. This illustration is beautiful. Mint knew that she owed EVERYTHING to her mother. Who she is and what she has not just overcome but accomplished, is because of how her mother raised her.

She is fulfilled because she knows her kids love her more than anything in this world. She is brave, courageous and compassionate. Every family should be complete. But her kids are thankful they had a mother like her. They will take care of her in the end, as she took care of them. With grace and unconditional love.

-Grace Beck