My Joy and My Crown

Helping Up Mission is a place where a man can find hope, answers and life changes. We get to see it happen before our eyes here every day. 

But  I also need to say that every day somebody around here does something that really disappoints us all – a guy relapses,  doesn’t come back after a weekend, meets the girl of his dreams and decides to go be with her or does something in the facility that is cause for dismissal from the Program. People often say to me that my job must be so difficult because of all the disappointments I see, but that is just not the way I feel. For every 1 guy I see making really bad choices, I turn around and there are 10 guys doing the right thing. Sometimes I walk around here feeling like a proud father.

In our Omega class (the third of four phases in our 12-month Spiritual Recovery Program) we study the Old Testament book of Esther and the New Testament books of John and Philippians. We are just finishing Philippians and I find myself continually saying to guys in class that I feel like the Apostle Paul as he wrote to and about the Philippian believers. He referred to them as his joy and his crown (4:1). While the folks in this church were far from perfect (see what he says to two of them in the very next verse!), he had such warm feelings about these people that he could only say that their efforts and attitudes made him proud and honored to be associated with them.   That is quite a thing to say about people that are not family. 

While honestly trying to not sound condescending, I am really proud of the guys in my Spiritual Recovery Program and it is my honor to be their teacher every day. This is truly the most meaningful ministry I have ever done and the best job I have ever had. Come on down sometime and check it out for yourself.

Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director