As a young high school teacher in Beausejour, Manitoba, 25% of my teaching responsibilities included being the Boys’ Guidance Counselor. During our three years there, Cathie, a nurse, and I learned firsthand the effects of addictions, poverty, and broken relationships on students and in many people's homes. One of the most complicated home situations involved alcoholism.
“What can change these situations?” We cried out, imploring the Lord for wisdom at the high school and the local hospital. “Lord, will you not bring about a transformation in the life of so-and-so? You promised that in Christ, we are a new creation?” This month in the LAM Newsletter, I focus on God’s power to bring about Holy Spirit-initiated ‘makeovers.’
Recently, right here in Toronto where we live and serve, we’ve been encouraged to hear and see remarkable changes and transformations brought about by the power of God in the lives of people afflicted with alcoholism. One of our own missionaries, Rommel Raudales, who currently ministers to drug addicts and prisoners in Nicaragua, shared his own thrilling testimony of transformation in his April newsletter - a transformation which began in Toronto. Rommel writes, “Dear partners and friends, I thought it would be appropriate to speak about what the Resurrection means. It fills me with joy; the whole meaning of the cross and the Resurrection changed my life.” He goes on to relate how his life, which in his teens and early twenties included gang involvement, struggles with drug addiction and trouble with the law, was changed by a personal encounter with Jesus, first through the ministry of others and then directly through the Word of God: “(A) youth Pastor … gave me the New Testament Contemporary English Version and going home on the bus that day, I started reading (it) and started understanding every word spoken by Christ. It felt as if I was walking with Jesus . . . I started seeing His grace and hope for my life; shame and guilt left my life through His death and His love.” Rommel goes on to share how as he developed his relationship with Jesus further, he began to make amends and forgive others.
Why are these testimonies so important? Because change matters.
David Phillips / Int. Executive Director