March 22'

What’s Up in the Tree

“I’m here because of the Lord’s marvelous mercy, grace, and love --- IN SPITE OF MY SIN, short comings and forgetfulness. Today I’m not wondering where a safe place to go is so I can be “myself” with my beer and stuff to get high on. Today I’m trusting more in the Lord and HIS PLAN than mine.” — a resident

March 2022 In This Issue: Community Service, Family Farm Fun Day, Finances, Flourishing, and The Jeremiah Tree program

New Community Service Opportunities We have been able to come alongside a couple other Xenia ministries on an ongoing basis. The men do some manual labor and heavier stocking needs for The Nickell House Clothes Closet, run by Christ Episcopal Church. Most Thursdays our men set up for The Caring Place dinners at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church. It is a blessing to be a blessing to others. It is important for our men to have the opportunity to give back, to know they have something to offer to society, not just be takers.

Family Farm Fun Day Saturday, May 21st Family Farm Fun Day is designed as a fundraiser; however, it will include much for every member of your family! The event will kick-off at 2:00 PM with games and activities for the whole family, including face painting, crafts, back-yard game tournaments, and more. Live musicians will perform throughout the afternoon. Dennis Porter, a local caricaturist will be there sketching portraits and there will be a special presentation from Greene County’s Division of Wildlife at 3:00. Then you can enter the fishing derby, which will have some fantastic prizes for biggest, smallest, and most fish. Uncle Jumbo’s Catering will provide a scrumptious BBQ supper. The evening will conclude with a special concert from Andrew Scott Wills, a Greene County native who now records in Nashville. Individual tickets are $40 through May 4. A Family of 4 ticket is $130 through May 4 and extra food tickets may be added to a family ticket for $11. Please plan now to join us by putting the date on your calendar and buying your tickets!

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Finances Have you wondered how The Jeremiah Tree is doing financially? We started the calendar year in the best position we have ever done. However, since then we are steadily losing ground. This year we have some big things coming, including the hiring of an Executive Director and, Lord willing, another staff member. The larger of our two houses has serious issues and we need to either sink a whole lot of money into it or sell it. We would love to purchase something with a few acres so our men can be outside more. This would also keep them away from where their former drug dealers walk by on the sidewalk. Will you help us regain that slipping ground and be ready to hire an Executive Director?

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Introducing: Flourishing The Jeremiah Tree has long desired to stay connected with the men who have been in our program. This month we have been able to begin a program with this in mind. Flourishing is a gathering place for former residents, staff, volunteers, and Board members. We gather once a month for food, fellowship, and a study that can be helpful to each of us. As time goes by, we hope more and more of our past residents will join us. Pastor Bill Schwochow of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Xenia is teaching our class.

What is the Jeremiah Tree program? by Pastor Steve Wilson For those of you wondering what our program consists of, we are a year-long residential discipleship ministry for men seeking freedom from addiction. Part 1 The TreeHouse The year is divided into two phases. For roughly the first six months, men live in the TreeHouse under the constant supervision of our staff and volunteers. They do not have access to their own phones or the internet. They don’t go anywhere unsupervised. They don’t go to work. Their only job is to be discipled. I think of this phase of the program as being a combination of Jesus Boot Camp and a spiritual retreat.

Part 2 The GreenHouse After six months, if a resident is doing well, he moves next door to the GreenHouse. We help him find full-time work, enter into a job training program, or go back to school to earn either a GED or start a college education. They’re still required to attend weekly Bible studies and church services, but they have the freedom to decide what church they will call their home. A year after entering the Jeremiah Tree, the men are ready to graduate and live independently. They may ask to stay in the GreenHouse for a little longer while they make housing arrangements. We also invite them to stay in contact with us and take part in our monthly Flourishing aftercare program. Some residents go on to be volunteers or donors to the program.

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