When community churches step out and work together, change will happen. This is part of the ongoing mission of Restore Appalachia, a community initiative of the worship movement, Adoration 2018.
They are focused on educating the local church community about drug abuse and committed to bringing together as many of the region’s churches as possible to work with agencies to combat the drug addiction epidemic.
Dozens of organizations across the Appalachian region are already helping individuals and families. Those in the trenches day after day include Comprehensive Community Services, Families Free and Frontier Health in Tennessee. Agencies are also at work in areas across Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia and North Carolina.
Lauren Dickerson, Restore Appalachia Core Leader, said she wanted to help in some way, as soon as she found out about the Adoration event. Her involvement in another ministry led by Thomas Cook, Adoration Life Director, connected her with the mission to help get Restore Appalachia off the ground.
“I knew I was interested in the opioid epidemic. I wanted to learn about addiction from a Christian perspective and I wanted to start serving in some fashion.” She said.
Although Restore Appalachia is still in its infancy, the group has seen some powerful results. Hope Stories are featured on the website — video vignettes featuring some people who have already been helped.
Charland’s Hope Story is one of victory after it seemed like defeat might have the last word. Talking about her story in the short video, Charland details how she went to the halfway house and helped get it ready for other girls who would go through the program. Charland didn’t stay the first time though. She relapsed and didn’t return for three years. Today, though, her story is different. She credits her success to the fact that there were people at the halfway house to guide and love her until she could love herself.
Carissa, though she was raised in a Christian home, said she began to abuse prescription drugs in college. When she finally agreed to attend a Passion conference meeting in Atlanta, she said her feelings of thinking she was an outsider in this Christian group quickly melted when she found out many just like her had struggles with drug use. She suddenly felt loved and accepted. Carissa now says it’s important to reach out for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will be really surprised by the amount of love and care for your struggle that you will receive.
These Hope Stories were made possible through the cooperation of people coming together to make a difference in the lives of others.
This weekend, hundreds will gather at the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Mini Dome as Adoration 2018 kicks off at 2:00pm on Sunday. People from all across the region and beyond will come together to worship, to hear the Word and to give of themselves to help their communities.
A special community organization fair will highlight the event, providing the opportunity for connections and partnerships that will help take our region forward.
To learn more about the Adoration 2018 event, visit http://adorationlife.com