This past weekend at a conference center in Titusville Florida, I met forty five amazing people. For two days, we spread out in groups of three or four and shared priceless moments of times God “Got a Hold” of our lives.
Many told stories of hitting rock bottom after some sort of addiction or despair. They shared how in what seemed like impossible situations, God showed up, lifted them out of their pit, and changed their lives.
Overwhelmed by what Jesus did for them, they now share their lives with people in the same situations. Instead of keeping their struggle to themselves, they regularly meet with hurting souls in coffee shops or restaurants all over the city of Orlando. They attend support groups to provide encouragement to fellow strugglers.
One girl, at the hands of her father, suffered unmentionable shame. After learning that two thirds of women inmates suffered abuse as children, she visits the county jail and shares her story of hope. One couple, after spending years trying to pull their own daughter up from addiction, started a ministry to hurting parents. Another couple, every Thursday night, drives over an hour to participate in a support group for alcoholics. They told me nothing else they tried worked. But the love and care at our church pulled them through. Now they’re passionate about helping others.
This group of Christians is part of Discovery Church’s C.A.R.E Ministries.
And their love for the broken seeped deep into my soul and lingers still.
Jesus said the healthy have no need of a doctor. And usually it’s the sick who get well and reach back to help those in need. For the healthy often struggle to understand the unhealthy.
It’s said that all religions eventually navigate toward a set of rules. And this is so true for the Christian Church. After all, it’s much easier to follow rules than to love the unlovable. But that’s what Jesus did. He scoffed at the Pharisee’s. He defied their laws. And He reached down into the pits of hell and set the captives free.
Jesus never called us to become Christians. He said, “Follow me.” Then he went out and ministered to the most rejected and vile members of society. So shouldn’t we do the same?
I tip my hat to the folks who make up Discovery’s C.A.R.E. Ministries. You are all far better Christians than me. I commended you for your passion for the lost. And you are the unsung heroes of my church.