February 22'

What’s Up in the Tree “Today I have morals, goals, hopes, dreams, love, compassion, empathy, optimism, and genuine care and concern for humanity. Hatred, vindictiveness, and the need for revenge don’t play a part in my life [anymore]. I have already accomplished things in my life that I couldn’t have done on my own. The reason is God and my willingness and nothing else.” - a resident

February 2022 In this Issue: Before & After, God’s AmazingTiming, Family Farm Fun Day

BEFORE Sometimes it is hard to communicate the change and transformation that is happening in our resident’s lives. This month we are going to let our residents, past and present, speak for themselves. Let’s read what their lives were like before they came to The Jeremiah Tree and after they came. “I avoided contact with anyone and everyone, not caring at all. I fell back into several pre-adult, almost child-like thought patterns and actions. Effectively I was digging a hole that was becoming deeper and wider each day.” “I did not care how I affected others’ lives around me.” “Somehow I came to an understanding that drinking and drugs was O.K. for me. I thought that if I went to jail once in a while, that it was O.K. This idea was insidious; it snuck up on me.” “In the early days I leaned on my own understanding of things.” “[Heroin,] you consumed my life; I was obsessed with you; I couldn’t live without you. When I didn’t have you, I couldn’t breathe or function. I was sick when you weren’t around. Life was truly unbearable with you not around. I [gave] you every dime I had. You clouded my judgement so bad that I would lie, steal, beg, cheat, con, amongst other things just to keep you in my life. You caused me to discard my hopes, dreams, morals, relationships, family, until there was nothing left. I have done numerous years over you, and that [is] time I can’t get back. You have left me empty inside with so much guilt and shame it makes life unbearable.” “Before coming to the Jeremiah Tree I was facing all kinds of demons that tried to make me take my own life, thinking I was a failure and wouldn’t make it as someone who was successful.”

AFTER—- “I did not realize this until I accepted Jesus Christ into my life which has shown me a different way to look at a set of problems or opportunities.” “I am very lucky to have found an alternate way, the Christian Way, to assist me understanding and rectifying several of the problems that I have brought upon myself before I found Jesus Christ.” “Rely[ing] on my own understanding! That [was] the problem; the solution is Jesus… I ended up coming here to The Jeremiah Tree where I started hearing things like ‘Lord, I thank you for my affliction for it brought me closer to Your decrees’…[hearing] the value God has put on me, the price Jesus paid for me. The more I understand the more I realize the more I don’t know! I do understand that to live a life worth living, I have to stay connected to the Word of the Bible and the people that are for God, do things that I’m shown and told to do by the Holy Spirit. Right now, I’m living a very much higher quality of life than I ever did and it’s because I let Jesus in… Without Him I can do nothing.” “Repentance comes only from God, from His love and mercy. Through God and God alone we can be made new.” “God brought me out of my funk. He gives me the strength to not do drugs. He gives me the want to be better and the conviction of the Holy Spirit makes me want His will for my life. I owe all the success I have gained over the last year to Him and I give Him all the praise and glory.” “[Jesus is] walking every step in this journey with me. Through prayer he has allowed me to become a new person in Christ.” As I read these and many others I kept saying, “Look what God has done!” Please be in prayer for our residents, staff, and Board. There is real spiritual warfare going on here! And none of us can do anything without God.

FAMILY FARM FUN DAY May 21, 2022 is going to be a fantastic day! So mark your calendars now! May 21, 2-7pm Live music, BBQ, barrel rides for kids, a fishing derby, baby animals and more! The evening will be capped off with a concert by Andrew Scott Wills. Andrew grew up in Spring Valley and is now a singer and songwriter in Nashville. Watch for more details!

GOD’S TIMING! by Pastor Steve Wilson I was having dinner with our GreenHouse residents, Tod and Adam, on January 25. With both of them working during the day when I'm normally in the office, I thought it would be good to spend one evening per week with them and this was the first evening I had done this. During dinner, I mentioned a potential new resident, who I'll call NR. NR was in Adult Detention and wasn't expecting to be released until the end of February. I had gone to meet NR the week before through the recommendation of a partner ministry. After dinner, I went upstairs and heard Tod calling for me. He said NR was at the door and wanted to know if he could let him out of the cold. I thought Tod was joking but said yes. Sure enough, there was NR in a pair of shorts and no coat, and it was below zero outside! He had been released from jail early and had walked to the GreenHouse. He had a choice upon being released - come to the Jeremiah Tree or walk to a friend's house and continue in his old way of life. I believe the Lord had me stay that evening at the GreenHouse, because if I had not been there anyone else would have appropriately told him to come back in the morning – and who knows if NR would have actually done that? Do you see how God arranged the timing for NR to come be a part of the Jeremiah Tree? The recommendation from our ministry friend working in the jail, the meeting I had with NR the week before, the early release from jail, my presence at the GreenHouse that night. We don't always see how God is moving... but this time we did. These glimpses help us remember that God is moving and working even when we do not see it so clearly.

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