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Recovery is celebrated at awareness breakfast

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By Natasha LaFayette

natasha@lafollettepress.com

  “Three years ago, these were the people that were robbing your houses, in jail and draining the economy,” said Jellico Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader Derek Brown about the people standing in bright orange shirts surrounded by law enforcement, attorneys, judges, mayors and pastors. “And now these people are contributing members of society.”

On Friday, an awareness breakfast, hosted by the Leadership Class of Campbell County, benefited the Celebrate Recovery program by bringing attention to the individual lives changed.

“Celebrate Recovery is on the cutting edge against drugs, alcohol and other dependencies,” said Christine “We really are seeing lives changed.”

The leadership class chose the Celebrate Recovery program as a project for this year.

Celebrate Recovery identified the need for awareness of its program and the class started by advocating that March 2009 be declared as Celebrate Recovery month.

Though the leadership class has completed its program, class participant Monica White said she hopes the classes each year will choose to benefit Celebrate Recovery in March.

In addition to the month long awareness, the class held the breakfast in which many testimonies were shared in a variety of ways.

Individuals involved in the program participated in a cardboard testimony presentation. The humbling show of honesty portrayed each person’s hurts, habits and hang-ups on one side of a cardboard box.

On the other side of the cardboard box read the resolution to those painful experiences.

Drug and alcohol addicts where transformed to people who now rely on Jesus instead of substances because of this faith- based program. People who struggled with eating disorders or co-dependency were set free from the bonds of their habits.

And many who were victims of sexual or domestic abuse had gained freedom from those hurts and have forgiven their perpetrators.

This display of people holding signs of their personal journeys was showed to a large audience at the First Baptist Church in Jacksboro.

After the presentation, Billy Sanders was among the people to share a personal testimony. He let out a short laugh as he recognized the many faces of judges, officers and attorneys in the audience.

Sanders struggled with drug addiction. He said that because of  Celebrate Recovery he has been clean for three years. During the bulk of his dependency he sold drugs to many people. He served time for his crimes and now he sees many of the people he once sold drugs to, enter the program.

Because Celebrate Recover dramatically changed his life, Sanders is now able to help many people in the program through his example.

Tammy Elliot also gave her testimony.

It was a heartbreaking recollection of enduring abuse, loosing her parents and fighting  multiple drug addictions.

By the time Elliot had her third child she was heavily addicted to cocaine, she said. Elliot hit the very bottom before she found her life restored through Celebrate Recovery.

“I have been clean for a year and my family has been restored,” said Elliot. “If God be for us then who can be against us.”

When Brown asked the individuals of celebrate recovery to stand at the end of the presentation, the people in bright orange shirts were the very essence of perseverance and strength.

The audience gave a loud applause to those who have made the decision to permanently change their lives.

Celebrate Recovery is a 12 step teaching process. The national organization spread to Campbell County about three years ago and now it is used to help people in Jacksboro, Jellico and through a women’s ministry at the county jail.

The leadership class of Campbell County was able to raise over $600 for the program in addition to helping them raise awareness.

For more information contact Brown at 494-7293 or visit www.JellicoCR.com.