Exciting answer to years of prayer.
I’ve been praying for Leo, the oldest son of my friend Nelio Da Silva, for about as long as I’ve been praying for Nelio and his wife Tereza, which must be about 15-16 years, while mentoring Nelio from time to time. Over the past few years, that mentoring has become more intentional and intense. In addition to being a church-planter himself, Nelio was at one time head of the Brazilian church-planting network in the USA for the PCA, and has ministered to many Christian leaders in the USA and Brazil over the years. Like myself, Nelio has spent his life trying to prove himself worthy, but Jesus has frequently thwarted his plans, humbling him in ways he never could have foreseen or been prepared to handle. One of Nelio’s greatest struggles — and he would now admit, greatest failures, has been his relationship with his oldest son, Leo, who has been an alcoholic for over twenty years, resisting help, resisting treatment. From my vantage point, things began to turn around, when Nelio began to love and accept and enjoy thirty-nine-year-old Leo, just as he was, with no-more pressure from Nelio for Leo to change. Leo still has the wounds of growing up like a typical PK of a hard-charging dad with a huge ministry idolatry — neglected, conditionally loved, while his dad was busy saving the world, being a somebody. Finally, two months ago, the unthinkable happened. Leo agreed to go to his first treatment center, where the roots of his addiction surfaced and could be considered by Leo. Oh me of little faith. Embarrassing to realize now, how little faith I must have had in years of praying for Leo, because NO ONE was more shocked and surprised than I. Here’s Leo’s Facebook post Monday after his first weekend home. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Wow, what a Christmas present. Pic below of the happy couple. 🙂
–Dave McCarty, dumbsheepdave.com
“Took the weekend to spend time with the family, but now having had time to decompress and take a step back, I can look back at my 45 day stay at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake through a clearer discerning lens. First off, rehab was the most difficult and yet most rewarding experience in my whole life. Nothing came easy. I was purposely put in situations that were uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. Accepting things I cannot change became my mantra quite early on. Some of us were able to adhere to this better than others to be sure. My days were very regimented and clearly laid out for me so I knew what to expect when I woke up at 5am. Again, some people took this on better than others. The people, or clients as we were referred to, were the diamonds in the rough, or the rough diamonds depending on how you looked at it. We had them all. All the D.O.C.’s (drug of choice) were represented: Heroin, Crack, Meth, Opiates, Benzodiazepines, eating disorders, sexual addiction and of course my old buddy and nemesis, Alcohol. People seemed to gravitate to others that shared the same D.O.C. Sadly, the Heroin crew was the youngest and most volatile collection of addicts. I had never seen how that drug destroys the human body up close, nor had I ever befriended a heroin user for that matter as well. The best part was to see the change that would start to happen within all of us physically and mentally regardless of D.O.C. It truly was a sight to behold. My best friend inside was a Meth and Heroin dealer that looked like someone beat him with a bag of hammers when i first met him on my second day. Within 15 days the kid looked like he could work at Disney and make children smile. It was unreal. That 12 to 15 day period is also when I noticed a lot of people dropping out. Its the period when the body begins to return to normal, but also our emotions also would return. Drugs and alcohol numb our emotions, but when they come back, it can be really difficult to deal with them. I personally had a tough time as well. This was when I really had to deal with feelings for the first time with the new coping tools I was being taught in class. I also had to fearlessly attack the root causes of my addiction by facing various childhood and adolescent traumas with a psychiatric program called EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). This was a program that allows the mind to reach into its own deep recesses in order establish new neural pathways to heal ptsd and other traumas. This was very mentally painful as 80% of participants are left in tears and also physically affected in some shape or form. After EDMR, we would have the option to go back to our rooms so as to recover from the whole ordeal. With its help however, I was able to remain vigilant in my recovery and consequently turned a corner so to speak around day 21. My feelings started to make more sense and my EMDR sessions weren’t so painful as they had once been. By day 35, I was getting up in front of my peers of 60 people or so and comfortably talking about my addiction and how I was planning on moving on towards a life of sobriety. I feel that this whole experience has led me to my calling in life. I want to help addicts and alcoholics in some capacity, so that they too can regain their sanity, dignity and freedom. By seeing those lives ravaged by their addictions up close and personal, I have found a love for the addict and alcoholic such as myself. I want to dedicate my life to these people and by doing so, I’d be consistently reinforcing all the tools that I had been taught. I can’t thank all those wonderful people enough at Palmer Lake for all their help, and of course to my Lord for never leaving me even when I was alone and very far from home. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”