Cliff recently had a doctor’s appointment at Loma Linda University Medical Center. As we walked up to the desk, a lady with a cheerful smile greeted us as she checked Cliff in. A few minutes later, she came from behind her desk and gave us the following note: “I want to “Thank You” both for having a big impact on my life 27 years ago. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.”
We were both curious to find out how she knew us. She said that she attended one of the very first weekly support groups we held in our home. We talked briefly and invited her to come speak at our Friday night Vespers and share her testimony. The men were glad to have a female share her victory over drug addiction. It made a great impact on them. Listen to Myrna’s testimony:
I attended a Christian boarding school during my senior year of high school. My roommate’s older sister picked a few of us up for a weekend get-away. Being five years older, she asked if we wanted to try amphetamines (‘meth’). We agreed, believing it would be a one-time thing. Wrong! I became hooked! At the age of 18, I fell in love with ‘meth’. We even introduced ‘meth’ to some of our friends who used cocaine since it was much cheaper and the ‘high’ lasted longer.
With my bubbly personality and being active in helping others, no one noticed my drug use. I was always overweight and I loved people telling me that I was losing weight. I was in too deep with drugs by the time I graduated from high school. Since I knew no drug dealers in Riverside, I would drive 70 miles to Oceanside, CA to purchase drugs.
I began stealing from my parents and family members who visited our home. My father warned the family not to send me money. I was finally sick of using drugs and I cried out for help. My parent’s insurance paid $10,000 for one week’s stay at a recovery home. They then sent me to Mexico for one week but I didn’t get any counseling and I felt like I was in jail. My parents picked me up and was told about the outpatient program at DAP. I was skeptical but attending the meetings was the only way I could have my car back. During the six weeks I attended, I began to open my heart to God. When the group sang for a concert at Campus Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loma Linda, featuring Dr. Ben Carson, I was broken in spirit and wanted to have a family.
The church members did not know about my family’s trauma, however, they saw the sadness in my parents’ eyes. They felt the need to pray for our family and our circumstances. God answered their prayers and I have been ‘clean and sober’ for 23 years. My family is very involved with the church and the community.
Mr. Harris, thank you for not turning me away and allowing me to attend your support groups. Even to this day, your doors are still open for men addicted to drugs and their families.
I often asked myself, as a child of God, why I was doing so much harm to those who loved me. I concluded that God loves me and He has a purpose in life for me. Right now, I don’t know His plans, I often asked myself, as a child of God, why I was doing so much harm to those who loved me. I concluded that God loves me and He has a purpose in life for me. Right now, I don’t know His plans, but my favorite Bible verse gives me hope: “For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jesus is in full control of my life. Most people of the world think Christians are perfect. Not true. The devil’s aim is to overcome those who believe in God. Some Christians are weak and fall into Satan’s hands.
Now I work as a receptionist at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Every time I see the DAP trucks on campus, I thank God for this ministry that helped to save my life. I have a B.A. degree in Social Science and I attend San Bernardino to a certificate for Alcohol and Drug Counseling. I have a new husband and together we have four beautiful children that we are raising in the atmosphere of the Lord. We all serve the Lord and tell others about His love and soon return.”
Myrna has offered to be a “big sister” to the men and encourage them in their recovery. She and her husband love to cook and plan to make Mexican dishes for them. The clients will also be giving their testimonies to the Adventist Youth Group at Myrna’s church, the Riverside Spanish SDA Church, 3625 Ottawa Street, Riverside, CA 92507, on Sabbath, May 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Please come and join us.
Last month, “My Brother’s Keeper” Scholarship Fund increased by $6,000, totaling $58,000 toward our goal of $70,000. These funds increase our capabilities to help the clients who enter our doors with just the ‘shirts on their backs’. Your gifts make this all possible. Look for your blessings as you share your resources with these precious souls. Jesus says, “When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord – and He pays wonderful interest on your loan.” Proverbs 19:17 Amen,
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!