What’s Up in the Tree “I am forever grateful to [a staff member]. [He] started out as a caring soul who turned into a friend, a role model and I can say a part of my family that I will love for the rest of my life.” -- a graduate August 2021 In this issue: Welcome Spence!, Rooted in Hope, A Volunteer Shares, Branches of Growth with Jeff - Baptism!, Becoming a Resident
Welcome, Spence… thank you, Stephen! LaShaun “Spence” Spencer is our new House Manager. He is a nearly life-long resident of Greene County. Spence went to Xenia High School and then attended Central State University on a football scholarship, playing wide receiver. After college, Spence went into the army. Spence is a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan and also loves to cook. Spence has 3 daughters and 1 son and was happily married until he lost his wife to breast cancer. God has brought Spence out of addiction so he can readily relate to the men who are here. Stephen Taylor finished his year commitment to The Jeremiah Tree in early August. He was married several months ago and he has been greatly looking forward to more time with his bride. Thank you, Stephen, for serving so well! And for honoring your commitment to us. May God lead you and Bethany into your next area of ministry! And please come back and see us!
Rooted in Hope Gala Rooted in Hope will be held on Saturday, October 2 at Whattapuddle Farm Event Center. Whattapuddle has an elegant large barn which will be used for registration, hors d’oeuvres, and the silent auction. Dinner will be served in the new pavilion which will provide great ventilation and protection from poor weather. Special speaker: Elder Ronald C. Todd II, the minority affairs liaison for Governor DeWine’s office, co-chair of the RecoveryOhio Minority Health Working Group Will you sponsor a table and invite your friends to fill it? We are hoping some new friendships in ministry will be made this night. We know that many of you are not able to volunteer in person at the Tree, but helping with finances and prayer support are equally essential. Individual tickets are also available.
Words from a Volunteer “One of the greatest joys I have is to witness God transform a life. I love having the opportunity to teach at the Jeremiah Tree because I get to pour into men, who were once broken and hopeless, and get to see them become a new creation in Christ and walk in His Victory. Just having an opportunity to play a small part in helping these men get an understanding of their identity in Christ is priceless to me. It also truly blesses me to watch God restore these men and often times their families as well. Also, as someone who once battled addiction, it helps me to give back and to allow Jesus to use everything I went thru to help someone else.”--Jason Johnson Jason is our Monday morning Bible teacher and our newest Board member.
Branches of Growth with Jeff — a baptism! The things we teach here at The Jeremiah Tree give us such awesome opportunities to do things for our residents like mentoring, counseling, teaching and sometimes just listening. And one of the highlights, if that’s what you want to call it, is when a resident makes a confession of faith in Jesus. And one of our residents, Jesse, made that confession shortly after arriving here. Jesse was escorted here, in handcuffs from the Greene County Adult Detention Center after being arrested on a probation violatioin. Jesse was a free-spirited, selfish, self-centered guy at that time. He was easily annoyed and felt rejected by most folks. He did not work well with others. Since making that confession of faith and beginning the journey of working on himself we have seen a complete different attitude in kindness, gentleness, and especially self control. He has joy in life now that I've seen. Recently he decided he wanted to be baptized. And that shows transformation has happened. So out to the lake he went with Gary Chapman and was baptized. That is a blessing to see. Jesse is a month away from completing a year here and I'm excited to see the next step in his journey. The first link below is to Jesse’s testimony recorded in February. Thank you goes to Levi Curby Media for recording it for the spring video fundraiser Growing Pains, and for sharing it with us now. The second link is to Jesse’s baptism. Also baptized that day were the wife and daughter of another resident. This was first put on Facebook Live by our Program Manager, Gary Chapman. Video was made by Tara Palmer.
Becoming a Resident Applications can be picked up at the Tree or downloaded from the website. It is filled out completely and dropped off or emailed. It is reviewed by the Executive Director and staff, with final approval by the Exec. Director. A background check is done and a search for open warrants conducted. If applicable, a report from the applicant’s PO (parole/probation officer) is required. Any applicant who is on a registered sex offender list or has violent charges currently or in the past will be denied entry. A urine drug screen is administered so that we know that it has been several days since the applicant has used drugs. We do not have the necessary (medical) staff to help someone go through the awful process of detox (getting the drugs out of the system) so men must detox elsewhere before entering our program. Upon a clear drug screen, a man is fully accepted, at which point all of the things he brought are searched and sanitized and he moves into the house.
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