Houlton Pioneer Times

Resting Arms Ministry group speaks to Houlton Rotarians

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club met for its Monday luncheon meeting on July 30 with Rotarian Janice Lovely hosting guest speaker Jeff Wong from Resting Arms Ministry in Island Falls.

Wong is the supervisor of the project and introduced himself as a recovering addict who went through many rehabilitation facilities that did not work for him. Wong explained he was caught up in the lifestyle and saw no way out of addiction. He was in jail for yet another offence when his family once again bailed him out and put him into a residential program that was faith based in southern Maine.

Wong said he feels that most programs failed for him because they were based on behavior modification. This program, however, was based on the fact that there is a higher power who loves him. Wong is now 11 years clean and sober and wants to help others who have the same challenges.

Resting Arms Ministry has been open for a year in Island Falls and is located in, what used to be the old Island Falls Hospital. The organization is supported by grants, donations and the support of various churches.

Wong described the day’s schedule as the following, arise at 5:30 a.m. and make beds, 5:50 a.m. morning devotional that is taught by a resident, breakfast, forty-five minutes of private morning devotional and journal time, work-out time with a fitness program, group gathering to share journals while working on accountability, lunch, and then a work schedule.

Many residents have never held jobs and are taught to build things, do yard work, anything that might help them to get jobs when they graduate. Dinner is usually provided by an outside entity such as a local church. Dinner is followed by some free-time, then Bible study with all residents attending a prayer meeting at 8 p.m.

Wong turned the talk over to a man named, Jessie,  who was a heroin addict. He held his drug habit above everything in his life. He was sitting in a car one day, intent on stealing it when he asked himself what he was doing. He sought help from an aunt who knew Randall Burns and five days later he was in the program. He believes that the goal is to have the word of God change a person’s heart. The program taught him about being accountable and becoming a man.

The belief of the organization is that addiction is a sin and can be overcome through the sacrifice of Jesus, who modeled right living. The program has three phases. Phase 1 is two months of a highly restricted and monitored schedule. Phase 2 is four months of serious Bible study with some work outside of the residence emphasizing the service to others. Phase 3 is the final six months of application of all that has been learned in the preceding months to be able to find full employment, pay rent and follow house guidelines with continued church attendance. The mending of past damaged relationships and meeting financial and or legal obligations is stressed in this phase. Online application can be made at www.restingarms.org following the link to the CRD application.

Resting Arms Ministries is operated by Calvary Residential and the director is Dave Norsworthy who can be reached at davidnorsworthy@ccbangor.org of 207-991-9555. The email address for the Island Falls residence is 2017.resting.arms@gmail.com and the phone number is 207-463-2126.

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