Every Friday we have new men join our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program here at Helping Up Mission. Consequently, virtually every Friday – one year later – someone graduates.
Typically we average 2 grads per week, but last week we tied our record of 6 graduates. The chapel was rocking as the new graduates came down the aisle receiving high-5’s and fist-bumps from other guys.
It was a great scene as we celebrated this milestone in their lives. Old guys and young; working in the community, working at HUM, even going to school – each one excited about their new life in recovery.
I’ve known them all for 365 days and remember how they looked and talked upon their arrival. Daily I got to see as changes began taking place in their thinking, words and behaviors.
I got to see them on their good days and bad. Sometimes we even had special talks or private prayers. Regularly – like us guys do – we talked a little trash with each other!
But it was an awesome experience watching them grow individually and seeing how they supported each other through the process. Graduation is just the culmination of a very important and special year in their lives.
So, every Friday, the other guys get to observe a graduate’s special day. They can feel the enthusiasm and excitement. It can reinvigorate them for one more week of their own recovery.
We have a hundred graduates residing on our campus. Going to school, working in the community or at HUM, they are simple reminders for new guys that they can do this, too.
Recovery is happening here every day! It’s my privilege to be around and part of it.
One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers