This past Sunday we had a significant announcement at our church service. For the past few weeks we have been pouring out our hearts and crying out to God for Him to move against the stranglehold that addiction has on our city. The number of addicted people is soaring in the Philadelphia area in general, and South Philadelphia in particular.
907 deaths in Philly 2016
1,200 overdoses non fatal in 2017
33% increase of overdoses from 2016-2017
37% increase in fatal overdoses from 2016-2017
Philadelphia continues to spend an astronomical amount on programs and systems to fight addiction, but their efforts continue to fall short in stemming the growth. We believe that a drastically different approach is required. Secular services are limited in their efforts, because they treat addiction as only a disease. This removes the addicted from their need for a Savior, since their “disease” is not the addict’s responsibility. However, while there certainly are psychological and biological factors to addiction, at its root it is a spiritual issue. Therefore, true freedom can only be found in the Savior's forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s power to overcome the sinful choice to use drugs. As Dr. Paul Tripp has said, “Our cure is not a system, nor a program. It is a person and His name is Jesus.”
There are many social services and recovery homes in Philadelphia that are doing tremendous work for those who struggle with addiction. However, we are not aware of any recovery homes in South Philadelphia that are connected to a local church. Therefore, a major component of full recovery is missing, as the spiritual issue of addiction necessitates transformation within a spiritual community.
We cannot sit idly by as this crisis kills our friends, neighbors and family. We pray and mourn, but we also believe God has called us to act. So on December 17th we are starting a fundraising campaign called The Hope House Project. Here is what we are praying this project will accomplish:
Turn our existing recovery ministry, Transformation to Recovery, into its own 501c3 so that we can offer a wider range of services to those in need.
Purchase a home for men who struggle with addiction where we can bring accountability, discipleship and integration into the life of our church as they pursue their recovery process.
Start a sustainable business that will provide meaningful employment to those whose background prevents them from getting hired elsewhere, as well as help fund the ongoing operation of Hope House.
Save money to be able to purchase and start a home for women who struggle with substance abuse.
How you can help:
The increasing number of deaths by overdose shows the power that the prince of darkness has and how much he hates what we are trying to do. We need God to come and empower our efforts, give us favor and break through with the light of His love.
Consider making a one time gift or 12 month pledge on December 17th.
If you are thinking about making an end of the year contribution, we would love to have it go towards this project. If you aren’t in a position to do so, another way to get involved is to make a pledge of what you could contribute on a monthly basis. Checks can be made out to Christ Church with Hope House Project in the memo line.
Help us get the word out
We are developing a website, social media presence, brochure and other resources to help us get the word out. Our desire is to have this ready by December 10th. Your help in getting the word out will make a huge difference.
Grace and peace,
You can connect with me:
On twitter: @Pastor_Jeff
On Facebook: Jeff Boettcher