August-September ’15 Newsletter

Waves_big_wave“Surfing the wave of grace”

XL Project / Love Them To Life, August – September Newsletter

It is amazing how quickly the summer has sped by. Between the busyness of a daughter getting married (congratulations, Susy and Trevor!) and representing our ministry at America’s Keswick during the family conferences, it seems that the summer went by in a blink. We had the opportunity to speak to many hurting people who had family members or friends in addiction. In addition, Joe has had many opportunities to do counseling at the Colony of Mercy.   Our Fall looks busy, including several trips. We will be at Grace Fellowship International from Sept 12-17 for some time with our mentor Dr. John Woodward. In October, we will be visiting West Davenport Free Baptist Church near Oneonta, NY, as well as representing the ministry at the Fall Ladies’ Weekend at America’s Keswick. In November, we will be teaching a one-day Exchanged Life conference at a church in the Pocono Mts. of Pennsylvania.

One of the joys of our ministry is to see lives changed and to watch people find hope. The following is a powerful testimony of a mom who has been attending Love Them To Life meetings at America’s Keswick

Lori’s testimony

Well, here it goes; my testimony is only because of Christ and Him dying for me and the lost and sick in the world. It is only because of God’s grace and my yielding and obeying Him that I have been able to stand and testify.

I was married 17 years and was never so lonely; my ex was a good provider, but we never found love in our relationship. It was both of our faults, not understanding how to love properly. We built a business, or should I say an empire, based on money being my ex’s god, and I had the 3 boys I had to keep out of my ex’s way. He never spent quality time with us, and the boys behaved terribly due to his lack of attention. I grew angry and bitter and drew far away from him as the marriage was ending. Around the same time, I discovered that my 2nd son Joseph, age 14, was using pills and then progressed to shooting heroin. Nicholas, my first son, soon started using oxycodone and then heroin. My 3rd son, Vincent, at the age of 15 started using pills & then heroin, 10 years after his brothers started.. So, from 2003 thru 2015, all 3 boys were addicted to IV heroin. All three dropped out of school due to not functioning. Between all 3 boys there were more than 15 detox’s, rehabs, personal families trying to help, people praying, police, principals, arrests, motor vehicle accidents, fines… By the way, my ex would not help, never answered the phone in any crisis, told me to handle them my own way, and that I was causing them to be this way. It was horrible and no one understood why he wasn’t helping. Then he started using crack cocaine, lost his business, ended up in jail, asked me to put my house up for bail, tried to manipulate me, hired a private investigator to prove me unfit, stopped paying child support, and did not provide health insurance anymore. I was so fearful and cried constantly; each boy was worse off daily. I found 50 heroin baggies under the bed; I also found needles often. My neighbor was robbed; my friends were robbed; I had police knocking at my door telling me my son was in the hospital beaten up from a drug deal; a dealer followed me in my car; I found my son shooting up in my bathroom; my youngest told the school principal; Department of Youth and Family Services arrested me; state troopers broke my doors in, looking for guns. I installed a security system on my home because I was afraid of my children and their friends. It kept getting worse. Then came the grandbabies. One granddaughter was born addicted. It was horrible to see her wean off of opiates, requiring a 2-3 month stay in the hospital. While I was hoping & praying, worried about her growth and future, I also wanted to die, as it was easier than watching the boys kill themselves. It went on and on; anyone who knows my children and me will tell you it was horrible to watch; no one could help them.

I had such guilt trying to figure out what I had done to them for this to happen. 3 boys in addiction is hard to wrap your head around! Who has this happen to all of their children?? For the past 15 years I have cried, been depressed, lost my job, and was broke. I tried to look like I had it ALL under control, but I was in so much pain physically that I was going to admit myself to the hospital. Looking back now, I may have had a nervous breakdown or heart attack. I found out about Love Them to Life, the support group for mothers whose children are in addiction, when my 2 sons were at America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy and started going, hoping for help. The group has been a life saver for me and others. We support each other and there is no condemnation. We are healing and growing because we all understand each other’s pain as a mom and a human being. Looking back, God has restored me daily and all I had to do was ask and believe; He always came through, in His timing.

Today I am set free and will continue to stay steadfast in God’s loving arms and believe my children will also be set free.

The Scripture that comes to mind often is 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power & love & a sound mind (mature, wise, responsible, peaceful, calm).

John 8:32: If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

 

Lori and Cherri at a LTTL meeting

Lori and Cherri at a LTTL meeting

 

Ann, Anna, and Lori. One of the blessings of the group is that deep, transparent friendships are formed, always centered around the love of God for us.

Ann, Anna, and Lori. One of the blessings of the group is that deep, transparent friendships are formed, always centered around the love of God for us.

 

In LTTL, we deal with deep heart issues for mothers whose children are destroying themselves through addiction

In LTTL, we deal with deep heart issues for mothers whose children are destroying themselves through addiction

 

There are several churches starting Love Them To Life groups in their local area. The addiction epidemic is everywhere and there is such a need to have local groups for mothers whose hearts are breaking due to their children’s choices. Please consider talking with your church regarding starting an LTTL group. More information can be found at lovethemtolife.com.

While it is difficult to talk about finances, we depend on support from churches and individuals to keep the ministry of XL Project/ Love Them To Life going. Some of the upcoming expenses are:

  1. Travel costs
  2. Reprinting the book Beside Still Waters: Discovering Peace in the Midst of Your Child’s Addiction. We have sold over 150 books and will need to refresh our supply soon.
  3. We do not charge for counseling. Our only support comes from donations. Many of the people who reach out to us for counseling have very limited finances due to the toll addiction has taken on themselves or their families.

If God lays this on your heart, please consider giving to the ministry on a monthly basis or as a one-time gift. There is no gift too small to be valued by us. More than anything, we ask for your prayer support, as we could not continue on without it!

Gifts can be sent to: XL Project, 31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759.

They can also be sent electronically by going to xlproject.org or lovethemtolife.com and clicking on the “Donate” page.

Our mailing address is:
31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759
Joe’s phone: 732-484-6004
Cherri’s phone: 732-773-7747

Thank you for praying for this ministry and spreading the word about freedom in Christ!

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