Befriending Drug Addicts
Veritas West has strong ties to the Refuge Ministries, a three phase disciple-making program that gives former addicts a knowledge of their true identity in Christ. Pastor Wes explains the history of this partnership here. Veritas West created ways for the body of Christ to connect with the men at various stages in recovery. One avenue is “Refuge Coaching,” where men from the church form intentional friendships with those in phase three of recovery. These men serve as financial and life coaches to offer support, resources, and advise. In the audio clips below, Pastor Wes Thompson talks about the challenges the church faces when discipling people with substance abuse addiction.
Substance abuse is an epidemic in Ohio. In 2013, four people died each day from heroin. Now it’s twelve. Listen above as Pastor Wes Thompson tells us more about the seriousness of the drug epidemic.
Wes Thompson is not naive about the difficulty of local church members discipling addicted men who are not in their right mind. There are also a myriad of connected issues like broken families. When the church tries to tackle it, it’s so multifaceted that it’s difficult to know where to start if you’re not familiar with it. However, Thompson feels strongly that there is hope because of the gospel. Even relapse points Thompson to Christ.
We’re constantly reminded that we can’t fix people. Jesus can. We just trust he’s at work. We don’t know who is regenerate and who is not. We don’t know who’s truly a follower and who is not. We know we’re going to love people, share the gospel with them, and be good friends with them. Hopefully that translates into growth and their relationship with Jesus. – Wes Thompson
When asked about the “why” behind a church that befriends substance abusers, Thompson talked about hope. Listen below.
There’s been a history of ministries and churches that start in the Hilltop and then leave. That’s why Thompson asks Veritas to pray for the west-side. Veritas wants to establish trust and longevity in the neighborhood.