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Greetings everyone! On behalf of our board of directors and our wonderful volunteers we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Below is an update on where we are and where we are heading, but before I get into that please allow me to communicate something very special that has happened down in the city, at The River of Life Church where we have planted one of our support groups.
One of our volunteer Co-leaders, Pastor Gayle Brzozowski from The River of Life Church, has helped two of the people attending that support group get off of suboxone. Both suboxone and methadone are used to help people detox off of heroine, and are supposed to be a short-term step (3-6 months) with the end goal being completely drug free. An article written in Yahoo News states that ”Opium-related drugs, like Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan and methadone can be very addictive and are usually prescribed for just a week or two for intense short-term pain, though their use for longer-lasting pain is growing.” Unfortunately, both suboxone and methadone are both being used inappropriately and are becoming an addiction themselves. Pastor Gayle is very invested in the community where her church is down in Kensington. She is daily meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the people in her congregation and in the surrounding community. There are two people who have been attending our support group who have been on suboxone for several years. Through Gayles prayers, patience, love and hands on investment in their lives, both Maryellen and Danny made a life altering decision to get off of suboxone! After waking up one day and verbalizing to our other Kensington Co-leader, Sharon Shantz, that “I am sick and tired of taking a pill to start my day!” Maryellen decided to go into a 3 week program that would detox her off of suboxone.Through the support and accountability of Gayle, Danny took 2 months and self-detoxed off of suboxone. Angela and I saw both of them this past Tuesday, and we noticed a major difference in their attitudes and spirits, they were both clear minded and clear-eyed with a joyful spirit. Our Mission through LIFEiLEAD is to Biblically educate, develop, train and equip men and women who have been freed from the bondage of addiction, with knowledge, competencies, and skills to become passionate leaders with integrity in all areas of their lives. Through Pastor Gayle and the support group we have planted in her church, our mission in Kensington is being accomplished!
LIFEiLEAD has been operating as a nonprofit organization since February 1, 2013 when we received The Articles of Incorporation. As of now, though, we are not yet Tax Exempt. We filed in June of this year with the hope of receiving a Letter of Determination from the IRS by this time, unfortunately we have not received this document but we did hear back from the IRS and all they are asking for is a year-end financial statement so we can move forward. Our 501(C)(3) status is approaching! Meanwhile, Angela and I are still moving forward with day-to-day operations and strategic planning. Even without being tax exempt between 2012 and 2013 we have raised $12,096.83. All of you that have given to our mission thus far, we are so very thankful! Heading into 2014 the expenses are increasing and we are asking for more help (detail of those expenses can be found here http://lifeilead.com/donate-2/).
The word is spreading and there is interest from more churches and other organizations in wanting to plant and facilitate our support groups. So far we have planted four support groups successfully this year and trained ten volunteers to facilitate them. We are forecasting that we will be planting at least four more in 2014. We have three support groups in PA, with the potential of several more. One is in NY with potentially two more there as well, but it will not end there. We are praying for an opening in Chicago in 2014 where we can come and speak to whoever might be in need of our support groups in their community. Our goal is to have a solid presence not only locally but nationally and even one day globally! Our long-term vision is to open up a Teaching Site in Philadelphia and Chicago, creating a place where men and women in recovery can pursue formal education and training to further enrich their personal and professional lives. Although we have a long-term vision we need to attend to the present needs in order to build the bridge that connects the vision. We ask you to please consider an end of the year donation to LIFEiLEAD to help us meet our growing budget of nearly $15,000.00 for 2014. We have set in place a fund-raiser called 300 & 50. We are looking for 300 people to give a one time gift of $50. Angela and I would like to thank the 21 people who have contributed a one time gift of $50. We are asking for 279 more people to give a one time gift of $50 made out to LIFEiLEAD or through our secure Paypal link http://lifeilead.com/donate-2/.
PO Box 633 , Warrington, PA 18976
Each donation will help us to share the hope that there is in Christ through training leaders and planting our support groups. The donations will also help us supply Life Recovery Bibles and meet the needs of those hurting in our community. Thank you for your continued support and prayers for LIFEiLEAD as we truly believe that we are making a difference in the lives of those wanting transformation in their lives and hearts.
May you all have a blessed Christmas season!
It was Thanksgiving 2000 and my mother, after diligently searching for a program for me to enter, had found one, but, it was not for another 2 weeks before I actually had to fly out to New York. It was Thursday morning on my way to my apartment after an “after hours” party. I had been up for 48 hours snorting cocaine. On my way home I purchased more cocaine. You see, for addicts, holidays are very hard to cope with. Addicts are consumed with guilt and shame and the only coping mechanism they have is to self medicate (or get higher and higher) with drugs, so that the pain, shame, and guilt may go away. My Thanksgiving dinner was a quarter ounce of cocaine and to 5ths of vodka! After being awake for almost 72 hours, drinking and drugging, I finally passed out. I never went to Thanksgiving dinner (as always) and I never communicated to anyone where I was (again, as always). I woke up late Friday afternoon so hungry; on my way out the door I saw an aluminum pan with Thanksgiving leftovers. I felt so lost and hopeless in that moment. Never in a thousand years, in that desperate, moment would I have ever thought 13 years later (today) I would be writing about this, sober, married, and providing help for those who are in need of help. We serve a mighty God! Praise Him!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
300 @50 Campaign
As of November 22, 9 people have contributed a one time gift of $50. We are asking for 291 more people to give a one time gift made out to LIFEiLEAD or through PayPal of $50. Thank you very much for those who have given so far!
For more info on this campaign please click on this link. http://lifeilead.com/2013/11/11/300-50-campaign/
Please make out the check to LIFiLEAD and send to:
PO Box 633
Warrington, PA 18976