Tuesday, September 24, 2019

John 3:16 Ministry offers The Cure.

     I remember seeing that around for years. John 3:16 has been a household name in Northeast AR for many years. I had heard about them through their serving in our local community, selling tickets to various events, and catering. However, I never really took the time to get to know much about the ministry. Their name became increasingly prevalent to me as my alcohol addiction continued to snuff out my productive life. My mother had been asking me to go for years. What little bit of research I did, I just knew that I would have to move there for an extended period of time, and that, frankly, wasn't an option I was even willing to consider. That's a really hypocritical way of thinking because my alcohol addiction took far more of my life than I would have ever been willing to give voluntarily. Even when I was present in my life, I wasn't really there like I should have been. I spent so many years living in a haze, that I was further away from my family than if I had been living in Fiji.
     I'm going to take a few moments to explain about the ministry, and what they are all about. Because, if I had a post explaining to me exactly how much there was to be gained by following Christ and living there, I would have gone years ago.
    First of all, let me explain what John 3:16 is. At it's very base level it is a spiritual refuge (or bootcamp) for men with addictions. They will tell you from jump that it is not a rehab. That couldn't be more true. First and foremost, it is completely free. "Jesus Paid the Price" as it says in their pamphlet. They take men in when nobody else will. The further down in the pit of addiction that a man is, the more they want them. They take men from prisons, dumpsters, and overpasses! When they interview you for residency, they ask for 3 things. You must be broken, willing, and thankful. If you are those three things, then Christ can start to work on you through the ministry.
     Bryan Tuggle is the Director there, but unlike directors at secular rehabs, he knows what it means to be ravaged by addiction. He, himself got his start at a faith based rehab, and over the years has developed a very special gift of discernment with men like us. He can sniff out lies and excuses from a mile away, and it will become evident quickly when you speak with him. It's not just Bryan either. He has a handful of "instructors" there which are all also residents, and graduates of the ministry. The staff there all have gifts of discernment because they are just like us. That is why it's so important to be honest when interviewing with them.
     Any man who is broken and in need of help can find it by simply showing up to the Sunday service at 9:45 AM on Sunday. You will sit through our worship service, then begin your interview process. You are not likely to get in on your first interview. This isn't because they don't want you there. It's quite the opposite. The man who shows a willingness to continue to come interview shows the drive to really want help. There are a few things you will be expected to have taken care of before you move in. Legal issues will need to be, at the very least, suspended or postponed. You can't live there and continue to take anti-depressants or benzos. You will need to have a few months worth of any other prescriptions you need as well. You will need to show up to your interviews each week ready to move in.
     Once you are taken in as a resident, it will become immediately evident that you are not in a rehab, because you get to keep your shoelaces, carry a pocket knife, and nobody rummages through all your stuff. They begin their relationship with you by giving you trust. They drop you off at one of the resident houses and that's when you realize that you won't be sharing a room. You have your own room with a bed, chair, refrigerator, and television. You will be introduced to your housemates on that first night during a house meeting, and they will make sure you have everything you need if you forgot something.
     The next day, your regular schedule starts. A typical day at the ministry looks like this.
6:00 AM - Breakfast. Usually Biscuits, gravy, eggs, and sausage. Followed by a morning bible study.
Then we get work assignments, and spend a day working. You eat a good lunch, followed by another noon bible study. Then we get dinner, and later in the evening, we have resident bible studies at a prayer house.
     When you aren't working or doing bible studies you can be taking advantage of a pond with great fishing. A recreation center with gym, pool tables, etc. You can even sit the sauna. Yep, a sauna.
     Now you are expected to work while you are a resident there. That's how the ministry is able house 170 men. However, the work they have us doing is nothing out of the ordinary. They have a mechanic shop, body shop, print shop, maintenance crew, landscaping, mowing, carpentry (they build their own housing), and various other crews that work off camp. None of the jobs are back breaking, and the hours aren't crazy.
     After your first week, you will start class. You will have class 2 days a week for the first 3 months, and they really dig into the bible. Even if you don't know the bible, they will move at a pace that is good for everyone.
     Every resident there is on blackout for the first 30 days, but after that, the family can come visit every Sunday. They sit through service, potluck, and a 2 hour visit at the house. This is really where the magic happens. The healing that happens at the ministry can be seen on a weekly basis. Jesus restores families every day. When I graduated I had 2 ex wives in attendance with my children, and they all went with me to eat afterwards. If you would have told me I would have two ex wives eating dinner together with me, I would have laughed at you. The healing takes place not only with the family, but with your entire life. God moves in men's life the moment they surrender and begin living in his will. I have seen pardons, life sentences in prison changed to probation, marriages restored, health restored, and many other things
     Every instructor there only wants one thing for the residents. Do good. That's it. Jesus really moves in that place, and if you spend just one day there visiting, he will move in you. You can't miss it.
   
     I spent 7 months there, and my family was so happy that I was there. I grew closer to my family living there than I was when I wasn't there. So using that as an excuse not to go there for help simply won't fly. You owe it to yourself and your family.
     Any man who would like to know more about the ministry can comment here or email me and I will be happy to answer any questions you might have. If you are reading this and considering going there, then I can tell you already that you need to go. At the very least, go visit.
Here is their website.
Their phone number is 870-799-2525
The address of the Ministry is: 75 Holmes Rd, Charlotte, AR 72522
     In closing I just want to say this. There is a better life out there. Jesus wants you. He loves you, and he just wants you to surrender to his will, and let him take control. I owe a great debt to this ministry. I have life again. My children have a father, my parents have a son. I have real friends, and an extended family. More than that I have a home away from home. John 3:16 Ministries is where I found Jesus and a new life. A life that I owe to them and to Jesus.
Jesus loves you!
   
   

3 comments:

  1. This is awesome. I'm so happy you're sharing your knowledge with other men. John 3:16 is amazing.

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  2. This makes me so happy! I am so proud of you and the strides you have made to get here. You now have a testimony and a beautiful one at that! I look forward to seeing all that is about to come and the continuous blessing upon your life!

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  3. So proud of you Ronnie! Love you!

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