New Year’s Eve is culturally a party night. For the men at the Union Rescue Mission it is a night that historically has brought them trouble. It is a night now that involves the risk of falling back into addictions that nearly destroyed them.
Therefore, Deed and Truth, sponsored a Safe and Sober, but certainly not Sane, New Year’s Eve Party. We rounded up a number of graduates from the program and served up lots of tasty grub and humorous games. One of our grads, who is now a lay pastor, gave a short but inspiring message of hope for the new year.
We spent the final 15 minutes of 2016 praying at our round tables then praying in a huddle in the middle of the gym. You haven’t heard prayers of gratitude till you’ve heard these men pray. Their prayers are tender and honest and fervent and simple. Prayers of gratitude for the basics of life… such as simply being alive and free from the power of addictive behaviors.
As the clock neared mid-night (Eastern Time) we counted down the final ten seconds by slowly dropping a giant piñata from the gymnasium ceiling. Then to bring in the new year they beat the tar out of the thing when they could hit it. It was so funny watching them dive for the candy when it finally gave way!
What a blessing to be able to serve these men by providing a healthy alternative to the cultural tradition of New Year’s Eve. Check out the joy on the faces of these men in the pictures and video. It warms my heart and brings me joy just to be a part of their lives and to watch the transformation in Christ happening day by day, before my very eyes.