A local pastor is working on getting a substance abuse program going in the Jacksonville area. Pastor Brian Hart of Go Church says that 25 years ago he was a different person in the throes of drug addiction. He says a chance encounter with the Adult & Teen Challenge program in Nebraska changed his life. He says since completion of the program he’s been sober over a decade and is now a church pastor.
Hart says he would like to bring a similar program to the Jacksonville area to help families and individuals struggling with drug addiction. He says they will be starting with a curriculum based on the Adult & Teen Challenge program called Living Free. He says he needs facilitators of support groups he hopes to place at different locations throughout town: “I’m looking for core members on July 31st at Go Church. It’s $25, and that includes your meal, your book, and snacks. It’s from 9AM-3PM, and it’s going to explain really break down what Living Free is. When you find out what this is, they are not asking us to teach the class or to have any kind of drug prevention knowledge or anything like that. This [training] lays it all out with the curriculum. All you are really doing is being a person who says, ‘Okay, we are getting a little off track. Let’s pull back on.'”
Hart says that if the Living Free program grows, he hopes it will eventually bring another residential program for both men and women to Jacksonville.
Hart says the program is unlike other addiction programs that he’s either been involved in or heard about: “You have got to get to the root of the problem. I tell everybody this that drugs and alcohol are not the problem – drugs and alcohol are your solution to a problem. Like I have long said, Jesus speaks Truth to the problem – no more problem – no more drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are just a fruit. Just like gambling is a fruit, beating your wife is a fruit, whatever it may be that you have a problem with, you have to ask what is the root of this problem and why do you keep baring this fruit; why do you keep going back. I didn’t want to go back to drugs and alcohol. It’s a horrible life. I hated it, hated myself, and lost almost everything. What this program is going to bring is that there seems to be a huge gap between what you want to do [about the problem] and what can be done. I always always on the other side of that gap. I never knew. I saw people happy and I wanted to know how do you get this freedom. This program shows you how to bridge that gap and get that freedom.”
If you are interested in becoming a small group facilitator for the program or want more information, contact Hart via email at email@example.com or visit livingfree.org. Registration for the program is $25 for materials and food. Deadline is Friday, July 30th.