May 2016 Newsletter





Dear Friends,                                                                                                May 2016

Over the last six months, a young man named Tony has gotten out of prison, and has had quite a journey towards freedom and wholeness. He had been “inside” for a number of years and has to re-learn everything!  The everyday decisions we make on a daily basis to function in the world and succeed are what he is learning. He is learning how to take care of himself so he can do life in a healthy way. He did a great job adjusting for the first four months. He entered a half-way house with a program, found a job and was paying his bills. He had very few positive contacts “outside” except for me and a good friend of mine that I introduced him to named Jim. As he looks back, he says he was getting bored and started a slow “fade” from doing what he needed to do.

Tony is in his late 20’s and started to deal with loneliness and emptiness from a lack of healthy relationships and social life. And on top of everything, he had little contact with the influences from the body of Christ. My friend Jim and I aren’t exactly the type of guys he can hang out with every day because of our generation gap. From my perspective, I saw his life going in the wrong direction like a tire on a bike that is out of balance.For a person who hasn’t known how to take care of himself well, this is a huge time in his life getting established by developing a new skill set of healthy habits.

For the first four months, he did great. Then he got bored and started questioning all the ‘whys’ of making healthy choices and took a sabbatical from healthy choices for a weekend and dove into the deep end of the world’s pool of self-destruction. Then he started jumping in the same pool every week. The slow fade was complete. My friend Jim and I had to confront Tony and let him know that we weren’t going to be able to help him anymore because where he was going we had no resources except an intervention. It shocked him! He was looking for someone else to do the work he needed to do which is absolutely unacceptable because it can’t be done. It’s impossible. We can only help him make the next step in the right direction and he came to the point of needing a treatment facility. Tony is learning the extent of his personal limits of what he can do and what he can’t. Consequences are very unforgiving. So, he called me the next week and told me he put himself in a treatment facility! That was a great choice. As both Jim and I have followed up, he sounds like the free clear-thinking Tony again. He has mentioned he has had a breakthrough in his personal life.And what I see from my perspective is Tony is learning about himself which is a very powerful thing. We don’t fix people or make decisions for them. All we can do is come alongside and point them in a specific direction. They have to choose! Building a relationship with them and becoming a trusted friend gives us the platform to speak into people’s lives.

I mentioned Tony a month or two ago to you and asked for prayer. Thank you for praying! This is part of the result of your prayers. Hopefully you will get to meet him someday.

Grace and Peace,

Phil and Jane

3rd Annual Father’s Heart 4U Golf Tournament: Friday, Sept 23rd at 4pm Rum River Hills Golf Course

See the Father’s Heart 4U website for more details!