This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 4/26/22. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, let me welcome you today to Stand in the Gap. I’m Jamie Mitchell. I’ll be your host today. With me, Isaac Crockett, the regular co-host for Stand in the Gap TV program. Isaac, thank you for joining me today. It’s always a joy to share with our audience with what I would classify today would be life and death information.
Isaac Crockett: Well, hey, thanks, Jamie, for having me with you, especially today. We don’t even have Sam on. Usually, you and I are on with Sam. So you’re going solo. Thanks for thinking of me and having me on. And I agree though. This is such an important topic today. I think everyone will have stuff to learn and things they can relate to. I know this impacts my family, extended family. This is just such an important topic. I’m really looking forward to our guest today.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, one of our goals at Stand in the Gap is to take from the news, headlines or issues impacting culture and consider how it’s affecting the church and really, how Christians should respond. You just need to turn on the TV tonight and you’re going to hear about the crisis at our border. Millions of illegal aliens are entering into our country, some fleeing very difficult and dangerous situations. But sadly, many are coming into our country with evil purposes. And one of the tragedies from the border crisis has been the flood of illegal drugs into our nation.
Central and South American drug cartels are unleashing another pandemic upon our citizens and it’s killing our people at an unprecedented rate. In just the past few months, 97,000 people have died from drug overdose and 72% of those deaths occurring from opioid overdose such as fentanyl. And that’s a 20% increase in 2021. Among youth and young adults, the average overdose death is up to 12.6 out of 100,000, and the number’s growing. Men have more than twice women are dying from drug overdose slightly faster than last year’s rate. And it’s just an epidemic. Matter of fact, overdose death is just below diabetes in terms to the highest death count in our country. We are facing a huge, huge crisis and addiction is crushing us.
Now, we could be tempted to look outside the church and blame the unbelieving world, but statistics on drug use and addiction in the church is no better. A matter of fact, it is just about the same statistically in regards to all kinds of addiction when you compare the nonbeliever to the Christian. Now, in the past 20, 25 years, the church has tried to stem the tide of addiction. Many churches offer support and recovery groups. But this present wave of illegal drugs is not only going to overwhelm our country, but you can just guarantee that the church is going to be dealing with addiction, a greater measure than any other time before.
And so today we want to consider this issue. We’re titling our program, Poison in the Pew. Dealing with the reality of addiction in the church. And to help us, we’re thrilled to welcome to Stand in the Gap, Dr. Bill Welte, the president of America’s Keswick. Keswick is the oldest and one of the most fruitful Christian residential addiction recovery ministries in our country since 1897. That’s 1897, not 1997. Keswick has been providing a place for men to come face their life dominating struggles through biblical based programming, combining counseling, the study of God’s word, work therapy, and then transitions them back to the local church for an eight month aftercare program. By God’s grace, a few years ago, Keswick began a ministry to women. And so Keswick has been dealing with addiction and helping the church fight this ugly and difficult battle.
And Bill, we welcome you here. We got a lot to cover today. And so first, I want to know from you the facts that I alluded to in the opening, is addiction a real issue in the church and in these past 25 plus years that you’ve been serving at Keswick, how pervasive is addiction among Christians?
Bill Welte: Well, Jamie and Isaac, it’s good to be on Stand in the Gap today. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to dialogue about this issue. When I came to Keswick 25 years ago, the church was sort of in a shell shock position. Most of the men who came to America’s Keswick the Colony of Mercy, were guys who were recommended by the local church. And really, most pastors did not understand how prevalent that addiction was in the pew. And what we have learned in 25 years is that instead of putting on the screen in the church the praise and worship song lyrics, if we flashed the pictures of men and women in the church who are struggling with addiction, I think most pastors and church leaders would be devastated to see how many of their congregation are involved in all kinds of addiction issues, anywheres from alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, it’s the whole gamut. And it’s very frightening.
And the other issue is that more and more pastors are really complicating the issue, I believe, because they are preaching a message that gives Christian liberty a platform to say that certain issues like alcohol are okay for men and women in the local church. And so there’s a lot of confusion, there’s a lot of devastation, and we have guys in the program who have become addicted to alcohol because they’ve been introduced to alcohol in the church at small group Bible studies and other church functions. That’s basically how this ministry got started because our founder, William Rawes and his wife, over 125 years ago, were introduced to social drinking by the deacons’ wives and the deacons in the church in England.
Isaac Crockett: That’s so sad what you’re saying. I want to kind of pick up there. Some of us pastors and preachers and things tend to minimize or even kind of avoid these things. What are you saying then as far as the attitude of the church when it comes to dealing with addiction and what are the changes that maybe you’ve seen in the last 25 years?
Bill Welte: Well, I’m going to give you an illustration. We run vacation with our kids in North Dakota. My kids lived in North Dakota for a year and we attended a very large evangelical, fundamental, Bible believing church. And we sat in an auditorium of 2,000 millennials, generation X, and listened to a pastor give a message on what happened when Jesus called Matthew. And basically, said to the people in that congregation, “Jesus and Matthew went to a party. And so what I want you to do is I want you to go to the bar this week, grab a bunch of your friends, take some beers and sit down and have conversations about Jesus.” And I was furious, Isaac, because I just really could not believe the irresponsibility in the pulpit because every alcoholic tells you the same story. It all starts with one drink. And for those young people to hear their pastor endorse that social drinking was an acceptable practice was travesty to me without explaining to them, hey, look, if you have alcohol in your background and your family history, that’s not a wise thing for you to do.
The other issue that kind of made me laugh was it was Communion Sunday. And the only juice was real wine. But if you wanted to, you could get a gluten free wafer from your usher. There was something terribly wrong with that picture.
Jamie Mitchell: Hey, we have a major problem in our nation and for sure in the church. When we get back, we’re going to talk about how people get hooked. How does addiction occur in a life? Don’t go away. We’re dealing with addiction in the church today. We’ll be back in a moment with Stand in the Gap.
Well, welcome back. We’re addressing the issue of addiction in the church. And we know we have a major issue in our nation in these past few years with lockdowns and isolation, lack of relational connectiveness and community, people being paid to sit at home. All of those stoked the fires of alcoholism, drug use, all kinds of vices. And we’re discussing the reality of addiction in the church with Bill Welte of America’s Keswick, addiction recovery ministry in Whiting, New Jersey.
Bill, we began by being honest about addiction in the church, admitting we have a problem, and the attitudes that we see within the church and maybe even the inconsistencies that we see. And what you’ve heard and seen over the years from many who have come through Keswick’s program of recovery, are there insights that you can share in regards to how addiction begins? Are there common threads that you’ve identified as, let’s call them, seeds of addiction and maybe a profile of a person who’s susceptible to addiction? I think our people need to start to become aware of these things.
Bill Welte: Well, the message that Keswick has shared, and this was the heartbeat of what William Rawes taught for the early part of his years, because he got saved late in life and only lived about 50 years and the Lord took him home, he himself came out of an addictive lifestyle. He was addicted to alcohol and lost everything. And he believed, and that’s the same message that we teach 124 years later, is that addiction is not a disease. The issue is it’s sin. And so if you’re trying to get a handle on who’s going to be addicted, we’re all sinners and sin tends to lead us to those kinds of lifestyles. And those are the lifestyles that we’ve been confronting and trying to deal with for the last 124 years. I like what Dr. Ed Welch said in his book, Addiction Banquet to the Grave, addiction is bondage to the rule of a substance, activity or state of mind, which then becomes the center of life defending itself from the truth so that even bad consequences don’t bring repentance and leads to further estrangement from God.
John Maxwell said, when he talked about sin, sin will take you further than you want to go, it’ll cost you more than you’re willing to pay, and it’ll keep you longer than you want to stay. And that’s really the story of every man and woman now, through the ministry of Barbara’s Place, that has come to our doors. Addiction is no respecter of persons. It’s no respecter of economic status, the rich, the poor. It’s young, it’s old. When I first came to Keswick, the average age of the addicts that were in our program were 40 and above. And unfortunately, now we’re seeing so many men come into the program who are 18, started in their addiction at age six, seven, and eight. That’s when they started in their addiction because for many of them, their families were already addicts, using alcohol and drugs and exposing their kids to the things, and the rest is history. They too now have become addicted to all kinds of issues.
Isaac Crockett: And Bill, picking up where you and Jamie are kind of leaving off. You said addicted to all kinds of issues. So often we hear addiction, we think drugs and/or alcohol. But I think there are other things that go either along with that or in addition or separate from that. But there are other types of addictions. Could you maybe kind of highlight some of the things that you’re seeing people gripped by? Maybe what are some of the main things that you’re looking and helping people with when it comes to addictions?
Bill Welte: Well, obviously, the major issue at Keswick, at the colony and Barbara’s Place, is still alcohol. We are also dealing with drugs, illegal drugs, prescription drugs. Marijuana is going to become a huge issue now in our state because we just recently legalized recreational marijuana. We also deal with gambling, pornography. We have people that come to our program who have issues with food. We have a guy in the program right now whose issue is he’s addicted to work. Again, it’s a substance or activity or state of mind that becomes the center of our lives and causes us to worship that idol more than worshiping God.
Jamie Mitchell: Bill, I guess I should make a full disclosure here. For years, I’ve been involved in support of Keswick’s ministry, been involved with a number of the pastoral covenants with the colony guys. And Bill, I remember something you said years ago when I was at Keswick and it was about how you’ve seen things change. I mean, you just kind of alluded to it when you said the average age when you first got there was 40 plus and now it’s getting younger. How has the profile of the Keswick resident changed and why do you think that change has occurred in recent years?
Bill Welte: Again, I think it goes to the fact that so many parents are already addicted and the kids are learning about their addictions from their parents. I am so tired of reading on social media of parents who are taking their kids when they turn 18 out to the bar so that they can teach them to drink responsibly. We have drugs that are so readily available. Kids can get them in school. We talk about, in our state, the average kid in junior high school can look forward, backwards, sideways, and within minutes have his or her drug a choice. And so it is so easy to secure whatever those drugs may be, wherever the alcohol may be. And so what we’re seeing is, again, these kids are starting in their addiction at a very, very early age. The tobacco companies make a very strong position that they want to get kids at young ages addicted to tobacco because they know if they can get them addicted at age eight, nine and 10, they’ve got a customer for life. And I think this is what you’re going to see happen with marijuana because they’re already targeting the schools and wanting to say that this is an acceptable form of addiction.
Isaac Crockett: I’ve taught in public schools, middle school and high school. We had to search the kids for drugs and things like that coming in. But my kids are younger. They’re elementary and middle school age. What advice would you give to me and to other parents out there? What should we be guarding our kids against? What should we be looking out for in these types of issues, I think for all addiction issues, but even with the drugs and alcohol, even at a young age with our children?
Bill Welte: Well, my first plea is that parents should not be drinking and using drugs in front of their kids because they’re the role models for their kids. Don’t have it available in your home. And then have those conversations. We can’t assume that our kids are not being exposed to these issues. We need to make our homes a safe place where kids can reach out and be open and honest and not be condemned if they are using or the stuff is available, but being able to reach out to their moms and dads and having very significant conversations. We have a pamphlet that we can make available to your listeners. We can send you a bunch and you can make it available. But there’s a whole pamphlet of information that parents can use to walk them through what are the kinds of things that they need to do to guard their kids from getting into addiction.
Jamie Mitchell: We’re talking about seeds to addiction. And one of the things I heard this summer when I was at Keswick, and it was really interesting, one of your chaplains mentioned this, that you’re seeing more and more, as you talk to your colony residents and even Barbara’s Place, that they go through a trauma. Some kind of serious thing occurs in their life and that begins to spin them out of control. What kinds of things should we be looking for? When you say a trauma effects of life, what do we mean by that when it comes to addiction?
Bill Welte: Well, it’s interesting, Jamie, that you mentioned that because right now, what they’ve discovered is 97% of men and women addiction have had some kind of major trauma in their lives, which has made the addiction issue one of those things is to try and numb the pain from that. Obviously, there’s the big obvious ones, PSTD, people that have been involved in the military, policemen, firemen who have been involved in horrific crimes and fires and have seen losses of life. But our definition of trauma is any major life hurt that causes you to spiral out of control, it causes depression, it causes pain, it causes the ability to not be able to function in life. And so one of our goals through the trauma counseling is to help men and women to understand how to biblically deal with life hurts. So instead of running to alcohol or drugs, they’re running to Christ. They’re preaching the gospel to themselves every day so that they can understand that the gospel is there to set them free from the bondage of sin and that through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they can live a life of sustained victory.
Jamie Mitchell: I hope all of our listeners are really leaning in today because one of the things you’re hearing both from Bill, Isaac and myself, having been a pastor, is that no one is safe. Nobody can say, “Well, this is not going to happen to me.” Anybody, anywhere, anyhow, can have an experience in their life, some kind of trauma, see something, experience something, lose something, have a loss in their life. And if they’re not anchored to Christ, and even if they are anchored to Christ, the door can open for addiction to come in. And as you said, Bill, it’s to numb, it’s to escape the pain that they’re experiencing. And so obviously, they haven’t learned how to cast their cares upon Christ, how to lean into the Lord.
Friends, listen, I hope you’re listening and praying for your church. Maybe praying for a young person or somebody in the body that’s gripped. I mean, that’s one of our goals in our program today, equip you. So when we get back, we want to consider this. You know someone who’s struggling. What do you say? How do you help them? How do you direct them? We’re going to confront the problem and know what to do when we return for the next segment of Stand in the Gap today.
We’re examining the reality of addiction in the church with Dr. Bill Welte from America’s Keswick Addiction Recovery. And Bill, before I forget, someone listening today may know of someone who might be a candidate for your 120 day residential program for men, or even your program for women at Barbara’s Place. How would they find out about Keswick and how could they talk with somebody who could help them?
Bill Welte: Well, there are two ways. You can call 1-800-453-7942 and our guest services representatives will be more than happy to put them in touch with the Colony of Mercy, Barbara’s Place. But you can also go on our website, www.AmericasKeswick.org and there’s a little dialogue there for addiction recovery. And there are hundreds of resources, anywheres from pamphlets that talk about the various forms of addiction, how to get help, how to become a resident of the Colony of Mercy or Barbara’s Place. It talks about the support groups that are available each week. It talks about our podcast and how we’re reaching men in addiction on Thursdays through the [inaudible 00:20:26] podcast. So there’s a lot of resources that are available. They can also go to our Keswick YouTube channel, America’s Keswick One on YouTube. There are also addiction recovery resources there. But if they desperately need help, then I want to encourage them to call that 800 number, 1-800-453-7942.
Jamie Mitchell: Now, one of our objectives today is to help our listeners gain some insights on how to help those in their circle of relationships or influence who may be dealing with addiction. And the first step is we got to confront the issue with them and then try to get them to someone qualified to help them with their addiction. And Bill, if I know someone who has an addiction issue, I might even be living with somebody or I may know somebody in my church who is struggling, the question is what should we then do? What steps do I take to help them? And how do I confront them in love about this issue?
Bill Welte: Well, I think the hardest thing is that so often we try to pretend that there really isn’t a problem. And we think, well, maybe it’s just something I’m perceiving. Maybe it’s not something that’s really real. It is really hard to have those difficult conversations. But if we really love the individual, then we’re going to be willing to say, “Hey brother or sister, there is something really, really gone wrong in your life and we want to get you help.” I mean, it could be simple things as noticing that the person is very depressed, more depressed than usual. They’re missing work, they’re missing school. Their rooms are more messy than usual. They’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.
But again, if we don’t confront them in love, and sometimes that tough love, as you know, Pastor Jamie, is so hard to do, but it is so necessary because if we don’t take those steps, unfortunately, the result is going to be death. And we have seen that over and over again, particularly in the last five years, of men and women, some of them who have been out of the Colony of Mercy and Barbara’s Place for a number of years, whose wives and family members noticed that there was something wrong, but didn’t want to confront it and then came home and found their loved one dead.
Isaac Crockett: Bill, for so many of us, it’s maybe awkward, like you said, difficult. We’re afraid we’re not saying the right thing or they’re going to say we’re judgemental. But there’s things we should be doing. There’s things we should be looking for. But on the other hand of that, out of ignorance, or out of just that pride and fear of making a mistake, there are times that we walk into this situation and we do something we shouldn’t be doing. So you just gave us some things we should be looking out for and doing. But what should we avoid? What should we try to not do in order to make a bad situation even worse? What are some of those things?
Bill Welte: I think the thing that we do wrong is by still not confronting. I mean, we have a good friend right now who this is his third run since he’s graduated. It has come to light because all of a sudden, last week marijuana became legal for recreational use and he was gone. He was gone in less than 24 hours of that decision and left a wife and three kids. And it was really, really difficult for his pastor to intervene. But the consequences of that, he’s now five days into using, has been high for five days. And yeah, I mean, the guy can really talk his way out of a brown paper bag. But the issue is if he continues on this path, he will be dead because the next step from using marijuana is going to be using fentanyl.
Jamie Mitchell: Bill, obviously the church and specifically pastors need to be part of helping those who struggle with addiction. But I have to admit, if it were not for my connection to Keswick, I wouldn’t have had a clue how to help those who are struggling with these life dominating issues and really, what to look for. Many pastors listen to this program. What insights would you encourage, specifically pastors today, in regarding to shepherding those with addiction in their flock?
Bill Welte: Well, again, I think the cool thing about our ministry is we’re not here to be the end all. I think a lot of pastors think, okay, we can dump the person on Keswick and they’ll take care of it. We’re here to assist the church. And so we’ve got a lot of tools. We do some training on campus. We’re willing to have our team come and train the church. What do you need to know in dealing with men and women that are battling addiction? You don’t have to do it alone. There are so many great resources that we can make available to the local church and to pastors. We’re all a phone call away. I encourage pastors all the time, if you’re in a situation where you just don’t know what to do, maybe you’re not sure, maybe you have questions, that’s the time to pick up the phone and call 1-800-453-7942. Chaplain Juan Mendes, Ali Lang, who directs our Barbara’s Place ministry, we stand ready to assist the local church to help you reach men and women in your church that are battling addiction.
Jamie Mitchell: You and I were talking last night and you said something in our conversation that just broke my heart. In regards to the whole last couple years with COVID, some of the decisions that our culture and our world has been making has not stemmed the tide of addiction, it’s fueled it. What did you mean when you said that to me last night?
Bill Welte: Well, you talked about the border issue and I’m sure some of your listeners saw the news that last week in California, they confiscated 92.5 pounds of fentanyl. That’s 42 kilograms. And I did a little research. One kilogram can take out 500,000 people. So that means that was 21 million kilograms. That could take out all of Florida. And COVID, in the state of New Jersey, our governor made so many things non-essential. But what infuriated me was how he made everything related to addiction be essential. For instance, we kept all of the state liquor stores open. We made curbside drinking available for every restaurant. You didn’t need to have a liquor license to do that. Curbside pickup. We kept the casinos open. You couldn’t eat 24 hours a day at the casino, but at night, COVID didn’t come out so you could still gamble throughout the night. And on and on and on.
And the hard part about this was, Jamie and Isaac, there were support groups for these guys and gals that they were not able to attend because of the social distancing and because we were locking people down. But they could go to rehabs, they could go to places and get a 30 day supply of their drug of choice to keep them going in their addiction until things changed. So imagine, for some of these people, I mean, they were just handed carte blanche their drug of choice for 30 days and then there was an extension of 30 days. We saw a rapid decline once the doors opened to the Colony and Barbara’s Place again. Guys and gals were not coming in very quickly because they were getting a government subsidy to keep them out of programs, to keep them home, to keep them socially distanced from people. So we fueled addiction during COVID.
Jamie Mitchell: Wow. As you’re talking and we’re talking about confronting the issue of addiction, I know there’s a difference between people who want help and who say they want help, and people who are truly repentant and they will do anything to change. And as you’re listening today, that’s probably one of the things I would say as a pastor over the years, there are plenty of people who say, “I need help. I need help. I need to get this thing fixed,” but deep down, they were not repentant. They hadn’t come to the end of themselves. And that’s, I think, what we really need to pray for.
And friends, today’s program hopefully is a help to you. But you might be here right now saying to yourself, I wish so and so was listening or I wish my pastor was listening. Can I encourage you to encourage your pastor and anybody who doesn’t listen to Stand in the Gap regularly, get them to the APN Stand in the Gap app or direct them to StandintheGapMedia.org. We have a plethora of archived programs. They can listen to this one. When we come back for our last segment, we want to talk about steps to freedom. That’s what we’re about. We want to see people become free from their addiction. We’ll be back with the last segment of Stand in the Gap today.
Stand in the Gap today. Our title has been Poison in the Pew. Dealing with the reality of addiction in the Christian community. And our guest has been Dr. Bill Welte from America’s Keswick. Bill will be back with us in a second. We’re having a little technical problems. But there are various passages of scripture that comes to mind when it comes to addiction and how to get freedom. Isaiah 61:1 says this. The spirit of the Lord, God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison to those who are bound. For those who are trapped in some kind of addiction, it is as if you are in prison and you need to be set free, you need to experience liberty. And even though there are all kinds of very elaborate and very expensive recovery programs out there, unless a man or woman has an encounter with Jesus Christ and the holy spirit invades their heart and begins to control their lives, they will never experience full victory.
And by God’s grace, places like America’s Keswick has some amazing stories of fruitfulness and victory over the years. But first and foremost, it’s always because the person has believed the gospel, the power of God unto salvation to be the answer. And so you recognize without Christ, an addict will never experience full and complete deliverance. Now, there are other things that Keswick does, but one of the key things is that they help people find freedom and victory from addiction. And so Bill, glad that we have you back. Those stories of victory, what are the steps to freedom and victory that Keswick has seen happen in people’s lives?
Bill Welte: Well, I think it’s important to understand that our program is all wrapped around the person of Jesus Christ and the gospel and the word of God. And so unlike most secular programs, we spend a lot of time building into the spiritual lives of the men, the women, their families. And it’s not just the men in the program, the women in the program. Jamie, as you know, we come alongside the total family through our ministries of Enrich, Families for Christ, Higher Ground, New Creations. And so we have the guys studying the Bible. They memorize 120 Bible verses during their stay. And that’s not so that if they’re in the midst of a crisis, they can just slap on a Bible verse. We want to see the word of God take root in their hearts. That’s where the life change takes place.
And the thing that I want to say as we kind of wrap this thing up, it’s real easy to focus in on all the problems and all the defeats and all the difficulties. But I want to tell you, there are 21,000 men who have gone to the Colony of Mercy. Has every one of them been successful? Absolutely not. But there are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of grads out there who have walked in victory for many, many years. I’m happy to tell you that we have on our staff 19 graduates of the Colony of mercy and one Barbara’s Place student. And that means 42% of our staff are men and women who have graduated from the program.
We have pastors that are serving local churches. We have a pastor who planted a church and is now serving a church in England, Chris Thompson. Our graduate Bill Pruitt and his associate, Troy Fink, are now serving at a ministry called New Hope Philly. We have Dan Gavin who comes along churches and provides support groups through addictions victorious. It isn’t the program that works. It’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that comes to set a man or woman free, and through Christ and through a living relationship with him, can live a life of victory.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. That victory is what we want to preach. That’s the gospel. That is the good news. Now, Bill, not every person that’s struggling with some form of addiction is necessarily the right candidate for a residential program like what you’re talking about. But there are times when that is necessary. How do we recognize that? When is it time for us to consider? Maybe it’s a spouse, a parent, a child, a church member, a friend, a family member. When is it time for someone to consider that they might need a residential program?
Bill Welte: Well, I think in most cases, when that individual is so absorbed in their addiction they can’t function in life. They can’t hold their job, they won’t go to their job, it’s affecting their life physically, you see a point where they’re just crippled by addiction, that’s really the time. And really, sometimes Keswick is that place where people come when nothing else has worked. We have a guy in our program right now who’s been to probably 25 rehabs and it didn’t do anything. And finally, he was given information about our ministry. And I was talking to him last week and he was saying this is the first time in his life that he feels hope and that he’s so excited about what God is going to do in his life. So if that person reaches that point of desperation, I believe that’s the time to pick up the phone and call 1-800-453-7942. And it’s important to know that our program only costs $500 for a man to be there for 120 days. The average price for an addiction recovery program, secular and faith based, can be anywheres up to $10,000 a day.
Jamie Mitchell: Bill, what a gift America’s Keswick has been to the church. You come alongside of what the church is trying to do. And when it’s too much for the church, and there’s no pun intended, you stand in the gap with us. And as I mentioned before, if you want to know about Keswick and its ministries, please contact them. Go to the website, AmericasKeswick.org.
Isaac, as we come to a close today, thanks for joining us. And I do want you to pray. I want you to pray for people who are maybe struggling with addiction, maybe people who know of people in their lives that they need to confront, pastors who need to address these things honestly. But before you pray, would you just take a minute, and I think it would be really encouraging, to share your own testimony of your family and what God has done, and then pray and close off our program today?
Isaac Crockett: Thank you, Jamie. It’s an honor to be on here with you and Bill. My dad, in his preaching ministry, he was a pastor before the Lord took him home, he had a lot of neat opportunities to help people in this kind of situation that we’re dealing with, addiction. And I know that a great part of that was because of his own testimony. As an older teenager, he, through peer pressure, negative peer pressure at school, got sucked into the lifestyle of addiction. It wasn’t just one substance or another. It was multiple other issues that he was addicted to with it and the lifestyle that went with it. He and my grandfather, they had some issues, didn’t talk well, didn’t communicate, had stopped talking completely.
And that victory that we heard about through the gospels, what happened to my dad, real quickly, my dad was coming home drunk from a party that the designated driver got lost, sees my grandfather’s car in the middle of the night with a couple other old farmers and people from that church at the church building. And he says, are they having a party at the church? And my dad stumbles in drunk, here’s them praying, having an all night prayer meeting, praying for him. He hadn’t even talked to his dad. They’re praying for him. He had listened to a Christian radio program that he knew would give the truth. And through that, then he was able to find somebody to give him the gospel, to get saved, to get discipled, to get away from that lifestyle, to find victories through Jesus Christ.
If you’re a parent like my grandfather was, you’re not perfect necessarily, you don’t know what to do, you can always pray, seek pastoral and other advice and help and pray for that person. The Lord will work.
Let’s pray right now. Our gracious heavenly father, I thank you for the work you did in my dad’s life so many years ago. I thank you for the work you’re doing in hundreds and hundreds of lives with Bill and others who are helping with this. And I thank you for what you can do right now for every listener. We pray right now, not in our own power. We pray through the power of the spirit. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our savior, that you would show forth in a wonderful way your mighty works, your grace and your peace, and that you would help us to overcome whatever stands between us and your ways and your will. You bring salvation from the sin that we are in. In Jesus’ powerful name we pray this. Amen.
Jamie Mitchell: Hey, thank you so much for being with us again on Stand in the Gap today. We’re here to serve you, we’re here to serve the church and continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. For Sam [inaudible 00:39:15] and the rest of the APN Network, we thank you again. Have a great day. God bless you.