Care for Aroostook’s lost and broken

9 years ago

To the editor:

At some point in all of our lives, a mom or a teacher said, “When you point your finger at someone else, three are pointing right back at you”.  Resting Arms Ministries chooses not to point the finger at the Governor, law enforcement, the government, the judicial system, or the treatment community about the growing problem of addiction in Maine.  There are no single answers to stem the problem; prevention alone, treatment alone, law enforcement alone will never solve this problem.  But in all these strategies, one is missing.

There was a day when many services to people in need were provided by the Church — meals, visits, health care; an encouraging word, a friendly face, and a helping hand.  There are moments in history when Christians were known to wait in boats under a bridge in Rome to rescue the unwanted babies that would be tossed there.  They were there in times of deadly epidemics of smallpox and measles in which Christians stayed by the bedside, risking their own lives, to care for and serve those who were sick or dying. They formed hospitals and orphanages, brought food, medicine, education and dug water wells, all in the name of Jesus to provide for those in need and show His love to His children.

In many communities, organizations such as these are still a bastion of hope against many of the hardships that plague our state and our nation.  In Aroostook County, Resting Arms Ministries is about to launch His Resting Arms as another weapon in the war against addiction.  It is the Church in action once again.

His Resting Arms (HRA) is two facilities to help people with addictions and compulsive behaviors.  This one-year program for men and women, staffed and funded by the church, will provide individual and group counseling, Bible studies, work and education programs; all encompassed within a community of compassionate and loving Christians.

Because the Church and Aroostook County understand poverty, this program and its services will be provided free of charge.  Approximately 30 beds will be available; a small answer to a big problem.  But it’s 30 less fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, relatives, loved ones, and friends who need help.

A program like this is totally impossible without people being generous and sacrificial with their time, talents, and resources.  Monies coming into Resting Arms Ministries are to provide food and shelter; necessities to run a program such as this.  Staffing is provided by volunteers whose mission is to invest in the lives of other people; to give them a hope and a future that comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Not everyone wants or desires a Christian program, but many people are desperate and seeking answers that can only come from someone bigger than us.  You don’t have to be a Christian to come to His Resting Arms, but you must be open to His truth.

His Resting Arms is housed in what was previously the Emma V. Milliken Memorial Hospital and the adjacent house belonging to Dr. Swett.  Located in Island Falls and originally developed as a place to heal the sick and bring forth new life for rural Mainers, it is once again being opened as a place to heal the sick and bring forth new life; lives torn apart by addiction and compulsive behaviors.

Somewhere along the line, a big part of the Church abdicated their responsibility to love and care for the lost and the broken.  The responsibility and burden was placed on the government, but the government is not big enough.  The problem is overwhelming and there is only one entity big enough to take on a problem of this magnitude, and that is the Church.  United by love and mercy, compassion and grace, we can offer hope, compassion and love in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

It is time we stand up and give like we have never given before; He is calling.  Houseparents and mentors, counselors and physicians, compassionate, loving people who stand ready to invest in those who need to know and feel the love of God.  Churches willing to support, encourage, and sponsor people at His Resting Arms and being their safe place when it is time to transition back to society.  It is time to reclaim lost lives, and bring victory back into hurt people; all under the banner of Jesus Christ and for the glory of God.

For more information, to help or be helped, please contact Resting Arms Ministries at (207) 463-2126, info@hisresting arms or www.hisrestingarms.org.

Michele King

Island Falls