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Reflections on true rehabilitation

Reflections on true rehabilitation

Meet Sonia. The lamb that came home from the Gypsie camp¨

sonia

sonia

The the above photo was taken after Sonia (middle of photo) came back with us from the Gypsie camp (see last blog entry). Manolo is the right and Jose on the left. I wish I had photos of the dump site to show what it looks, but I couldnt take photos for safety reasons. But this kind of thing happens reguarly with these guys. And not only thru this part of Betel´s ministry, new people are coming in all the time seeking refuge and help thru other means.
One example of this just happened recently the other day. We had a guy come into our house, about mid 30´s, and he was still high on something. He stumbles into the house, just recently picked up from the others men who live in the house, and they brought him back to the house. He was immediately given a shower, fresh cloths, and after he immediately fell onto the couch and slept for the rest of the evening. Sometimes he would shake and groan. Mostly he shook. We have several other guy come into the house like this in the past week, but this man was the worst.
As we were having dinner, and the guy was still on the couch shaking, and groaning, Roy, the house leader said to everyone, ¨I too was like this… for 9 days I was like this¨. I think he said this so none of us would judge the guy on the couch, and believe that there is hope for him. The joy on Roy´s face from coming out of that life is still seen on him, 12 years after he came off the streets. It´s been an honor to have met him.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to explain to one of the guys in the house of the simplicity and necessity of believing the Gospel, and of Salvation thru faith alone. That God only desires that we put our faith in His Son, and we are forgiven of all our past and we become new in Jesus. He was telling me that he found trying to be a Christian was so hard. He was complaining about having to pray alot, and read the Bible alot, but nothing was working. When he said this my heart broke. But it was a joy to explain to him the truth that its not our works that save us, but only by puting our faith in Jesus Christ do we receive God´s grace! We read scriptures such as Ephesians 2:8 and John 3:16. And when he saw this, he turned to me and said, ¨Noone has ever told me this before¨ and he thanked me. Now that was a joy!
In reflection on my time here at Betel I will write down something that I wrote in my journal yesterday … ¨Some thoughts on true rehabilitation¨ – 5:40PM ¨I´m in a drug rehabilitation centre… im surrounded by addicts, addicted to all kinds of substances that have destroyed their bodies and souls, and they are trying to be healed of their addictions. But Im learning that I too am in need of rehab. I may not be ¨addicted¨ to any external substances, eg. heroine, cocaine etc. But I am addicted to self. Self, the most heinous of substances and addictions… self will not only destroy you, but it will also destroy those around you – those you love most… I guess thats what is really behind the addicts addiction. It´s not the drug in and of itself that has destroyed them, but its the addiction to self; and desiring to do anything to feed that desire of ¨self¨. Man is the problem, not the drug… Everyone, therefore, is in need of rehabilitation. We are all addicts of this drug called ¨self¨; we are all in need of rehabilitation from ourselves… How many times do we say, ¨I will change, I will change. Im going to be different¨. But we cant truly change… It´s not self-rehabilitation that we need, but rehabilitation from self!… all so called self-help books and teachings are dead wrong! It´s Christ´s help we need. He alone can rehabilitate us of ourselves and set us free. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will see the little things in all our hearts that are controlled by self interest… Our hearts are very decieving and hide the truth of our true fallen state (Jer. 17: 9)… We put ourselves before others in so many ways… If we really look into the blackness of our hearts and stop justifying our actions we would see the substance of self prevalent, and we would see we are all addicted. But Jesus is truly a great Saviour! In the words of John Newton, ¨Im blind but 2 things I can see… Im a great sinner but Christ is a great Saviour!¨… ¨For freedom Christ has set us free; stand therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery¨Galatians 5:1. Christ can free us from the yoke of slavery of self!…¨
 So that´s abit deep, but necessary. If anything, necessary for me to read over again and again, and never forget how much I am in need of God´s grace, and to have my eyes open again and again to truth that I cannot save myself. It´s only by the grace of God. Only by His undeserved kindness and love will I ever know freedom. I couldn´t even muster enough faith to be saved In the first place! It was by God´s grace that I believed in Christ! He has authored my salvation from beginnng to end (Heb. 12:2). So I am reminded again and again the truth of Ephesians 1:5, ¨In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ¨.
I will finish on that thought… Well I arrive in Seville soon and am staying with the Bateys, a family pastoring in an Anglican Church in Seville. I will write more when I arrive back in Barcelona in the New Year!
Hope all who read this are safe and sound in body and spirit. Merry Christmas to everyone back home and a safe entrance into the New Year. Till then,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Your brother in grace, Joel.