Overcoming addictions can be a difficult challenge for anyone and can be tough for those who dare to tackle their life-controlling issues.
Making positive changes and fighting the urges that control various addictions means finding the courage to determine what you need that you are not getting and there are programs out there to assist with these tough habit-changing practices.
The Renewed Life Ministries Outreach is one such program. Under the direction of David Rhea, this program provides food, shelter, Christian education, Biblical counseling, recreation, work experience, vocational training and church ministries training.
Renewed Life Ministries Outreach is a non-profit Christian growth center providing residential care to men with alcohol, drug and other life-controlling problems.
“Our purpose is to reenter men back into society after completing a long-term program of at least one year,” said Rhea, director of Renewed Life Ministries Outreach. “We are actively involved in drug and alcohol prevention and community outreach. We conduct drug and alcohol awareness programs in schools, churches, civic clubs, jails and prisons.
“Our purpose is to evangelize and initiate the discipleship process so that these men with life-controlling problems can reenter society and function as successful Christians, applying Biblical principles to their lives, and their relationships in family, church, chosen vocation and community.”
Men who become involved in the Renewed Life Ministries Outreach will be in the program at least 12 months. During this time the ministry works to assist persons with employment, as well as other financial and social responsibility.
“We emphasize strong church involvement and accountability in a local church,” Rhea said. “We also assist in other issues such as procuring driver licenses, fines and financial and social obligations. We help those we minister to find a church or place them in a long-term residential center.”
The program also includes money management and Biblical-related classes, along with jail and prison counseling, Bible studies, and street evangelism. Counseling sessions with the men and their families are provided to restore broken relationships.
So who is eligible for the program?
“We accept people from all walks of life who have a desire to overcome their addictions,” Rhea said. “We accept men ages 18 and over. We offer crisis counseling and placement service to Teen Challenge and other approved centers for induction and training.”
One of the challenges facing such ministries is the fact it is non-profit. Support for the ministry is critical.
“We do not receive any type of local, state or federal government funding,” Rhea said. “Our support comes from concerned individuals, churches, businesses, civic organizations and foundations. We need prayers. We are on the front line in this battle for people’s lives.”
There is no entrance fee for the program but after a student gets a job he is expected to help support himself while he is involved. Those who provide financial support will enable men to have hope and a second chance at starting a new life in Christ, according to Rhea.
Board member Derek Faulkner was chiefly responsible for organizing the first annual Renewed Life Ministries Banquet, which was held in Murfreesboro Sept. 17. This fund-raiser helped generate financial support for the program.
“Renewed Life Ministries has been a valuable resource to me and many other men with life-controlling problems,” Faulkner said. “I completed the program in December (2003) and have done well. God has truly blessed my life in all areas.”
At the same time, Faulkner said the ministry needs help from those in position to do so.
To obtain more information about the ministry or to make a donation, contact Rhea at (931) 808-0238, Faulkner at (931) 607-9602 or Hugh Cobb at (615) 439-0438.