There Is Hope for All Who Enter

December 16, 2018 1:21 am by Elizabeth Perry in Uncategorized

This past Thursday, during a Christmas luncheon at KCRM, a man who joined our Christian resident recovery program spoke up about his years of drug addiction.  “I’ve burnt some bridges,” he said, “and I’ve scorched the heck out of a whole lot of them.”

Those words hit home for a lot of the people listening. Heads nodded at table after table as men thought about the situations they’d left behind to come into KCRM’s recovery program and acknowledged they’d burnt bridges of their own.

But the conversation quickly turned hopeful as man after man shared stories of reconciliation with wives and kids and good friends: “My sister prays for me every day” and “I’ll be at my mom’s for Christmas” and “I want to be the uncle my new nephew’s gonna need!”

The decision to go into a long-term Christian recovery program can be a difficult one. Giving up the semblance of success — still holding down a job while drinking yourself into a stupor each night … hanging on to the car you are sleeping in because it’s all you have left … the hardship of admitting to yourself you will die if you don’t get help now — can be a fence a lot of people just can’t climb. But the decision can be the difference between life and death.

On KCRM’s doors is painted the words “There is hope for all who enter here.” As Executive Director Joe Colaizzi has said, “Many don’t even know what that means until they’ve experienced the love of Jesus Christ firsthand and the change that love can make in their lives.”

It’s true. It’s what the guys were talking about amid the good food, camaraderie and safety we all felt as we dined together.  But the flip side can be devastating.

 Earlier this week, our alumni specialist, Paul Masao, said: “People need to know what happens to the person who is missing the element of hope.”  It was on his mind because we’ve lost some of our guys recently.

One gentleman was found dead in a nearby parking lot, probably from exposure to the cold.  Two others simply disappeared.  All three had often spent the night in our emergency shelter. Chaplains and residents in our recovery program had encouraged them to join the recovery program … to accept the offer of freedom and hope KCRM offered.  But each time the answer was no.  No because it was too hard to give up the drugs and alcohol.  No because they’d tried it all before so why would it work this time around?  No because they were afraid of what would happen once they no longer were medicating their pain.

Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  In our dining hall on Thursday, hope was passed from table to table along with the barbeque and beans and brownies.  Our hope each day at KCRM is that deeply hurting men and women — our neighbors on Kansas City’s streets — will take what Christ Himself offers through the ministry of KCRM: Hope for all who enter here.