Ministry

Ministry

XL Project / Love Them To Life newsletter
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XL Project/ Love Them to Life
August- September Newsletter
Summer Trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

We were blessed to be able to be able to travel to Tennessee this July to spend time at our parent ministry Grace Fellowship International and with our mentor Dr. John Woodward. John has been urging us to get some recording of Joe’s testimony and a promotional video of Love Them To Life done for quite a while, so he arranged for this to be completed while we were in TN. We are so grateful for John’s constant support and wise leadership and are also grateful that, despite health issues, we were able to get this project finished. Thank you also to Bob Denney and his ability to walk us through the recording process with relative ease.

The following is a link to Joe’s testimony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkPvgAWgyxY

We are very grateful to John Woodward for his godly wisdom and persistence in urging us to get the recording completed. Thank you Bob Denney for your recording skill and encouragement all through the process.
Love Them To Life

One of the privileges that I (Cherri) have in this ministry is to talk individually to women who are desperate to get help for themselves and their addicted children (some of whom are in their 40’s or 50’s). Besides facilitating two of the LTTL groups, I receive many phone calls and emails from mothers who have no idea of where to turn for help.

The following is an excerpt from an email I received recently (used with permission):
” My son is a heroin addict. He has 2 small children. I have been enabling him for many years. I know that I should not do it but when I hear his voice in desperation not knowing where he’s going to sleep or what he’s going to feed his children, I cave. I have gone through thousands of dollars hoping that this would end, but it never does. I feel hopeless and helpless. I hate it, I yell at him, but I still do it. I have even contemplated suicide to stop this anguish. Everyone tells me that I should just stop, but it is easier for them to tell me that and walk away. I am crushed in my spirit and can’t even seem to get back to God, whom I’ve known since 1978. I hear nothing. I can’t even find peace to rest in him. Maybe this is where he lead me today {to LTTL]”

At LTTL, we are able to share our personal stories of pain but also the truths of our identity in Christ. It is amazing to see moms come to the group crushed and defeated and to see the changes that take place as they learn about topics such as enabling and codependency. More importantly, they begin to understand that they have to get healthy, body, soul, and spirit, and that Jesus Christ is the only answer to their needs.

The heroin epidemic threatens to wipe out this generation of our children. As we say often in our groups, we don’t want to be the ones nailing the lid on their coffins by enabling destructive behavior. Your prayers and financial support are what keep us going in this very necessary ministry. Please spread the word that there is hope to any mothers you know who are struggling with this issue. One great way to help us is to “like” us on our Facebook page and share us with your friends. Thank you.

We could not continue in this ministry without your prayer and financial support.

If God lays it on your heart to give a tax deductible donation, this can be accomplished in the following ways:

– Checks may be sent to XL Project, 31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759

– electronic giving at the following link: http://www.lovethemtolife.com/ and click on the “Donate” tab.

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Ministry Update – September, 2016

Waves_big_wave

“surfing the wave of grace”

XL Project/ Love Them to Life
August- September Newsletter

Summer Trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

We were blessed to be able to be able to travel to Tennessee this July to spend time at our parent ministry Grace Fellowship International and with our mentor Dr. John Woodward. John has been urging us to get some recording of Joe’s testimony and a promotional video of Love Them To Life done for quite a while, so he arranged for this to be completed while we were in TN. We are so grateful for John’s constant support and wise leadership and are also grateful that, despite health issues, we were able to get this project finished. Thank you also to Bob Denney and his ability to walk us through the recording process with relative ease.

The following to Joe’s new video testimony:

We are very grateful to John Woodward for his godly wisdom and persistence in urging us to get the recording completed. Thank you Bob Denney for your recording skill and encouragement all through the process.

july-pf_pics

 

Love Them To Life

One of the privileges that I (Cherri) have in this ministry is to talk individually to women who are desperate to get help for themselves and their addicted children (some of whom are in their 40’s or 50’s). Besides facilitating two of the LTTL groups, I receive many phone calls and emails from mothers who have no idea of where to turn for help.

The following is an excerpt from an email I received recently (used with permission):

 

” My son is a heroin addict. He has 2 small children. I have been enabling him for many years. I know that I should not do it but when I hear his voice in desperation not knowing where he’s going to sleep or what he’s going to feed his children, I cave. I have gone through thousands of dollars hoping that this would end, but it never does. I feel hopeless and helpless. I hate it, I yell at him, but I still do it. I have even contemplated suicide to stop this anguish. Everyone tells me that I should just stop, but it is easier for them to tell me that and walk away. I am crushed in my spirit and can’t even seem to get back to God, whom I’ve known since 1978. I hear nothing. I can’t even find peace to rest in him. Maybe this is where he lead me today [to LTTL]”

At Love Them to Life, we are able to share our personal stories of pain but also the truths of our identity in Christ. It is amazing to see moms come to the group crushed and defeated and to see the changes that take place as they learn about topics such as enabling and codependency. More importantly, they begin to understand that they have to get healthy, body, soul, and spirit, and that Jesus Christ is the only answer to their needs.

The heroin epidemic threatens to wipe out this generation of our children. As we say often in our groups, we don’t want to be the ones nailing the lid on their coffins by enabling destructive behavior. Your prayers and financial support are what keep us going in this very necessary ministry. Please spread the word that there is hope to any mothers you know who are struggling with this issue. One great way to help us is to “like” us on our Facebook page and share us with your friends. Thank you.

We could not continue in this ministry without your prayer and financial support.
If God lays it on your heart to give a tax deductible donation, this can be accomplished in the following ways:

– Checks may be sent to XL Project,
31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759

– electronic giving at the the “Donate” page here.

Ministry

June-July XL Project/ Love Them To Life newsletter
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XL Project/ Love Them To Life
June-July Newsletter
"Surfing the Wave of Grace"
He restores my soul – Psalm 23:3.

Our mentor, Dr. John Woodward of Grace Fellowship International, reminded us of this well-known phrase in one of the most beloved passages of the Bible. Although I have read and heard and memorized it, somehow that thought really captured me this morning. I noticed that it is written in the present tense, describing an ongoing process. As we minister to people dealing with addiction, either theirs or that of a loved one, we see deeply wounded and worn-out souls. We ourselves struggle through the implications of Joe’s ongoing illness as well as the stresses of full-time ministry in a hurting world. King David was no stranger to suffering, yet he assures us of Father’s ongoing work in our souls (our mind, will, and emotions). He is intimately aware and involved in our pain and woundedness and offers that cool cup of water when we long for peace and relief.

One of the definitions of the word restore is" to repair or renovate so as to return it to its original condition." The idea is to make something as good as new. Our gentle Shepherd longs for us to allow Him to make us new, offering healing to our minds, our wills, and our emotions. Why do we fight against what we so desperately need? Is it because we want to be in charge, independent, and able to handle our own "stuff? All He asks is that we find our love and acceptance in Him – He will do the rest.

The old hymn Peace, Perfect Peace says it well:

"Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin? The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round? On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown? Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours? Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.
It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease. And Jesus calls us to heaven’s perfect peace."
Edward Bickersteth

We had a wonderful weekend of ministry with our friends Pastor Mark and Joyce Musser at New Village Church, Lake Grove, NY, on May 14-15, 2016. Joe was able to share his testimony at a men’s breakfast and during the Sunday morning service. There was a dessert fellowship Saturday night for family and friends of those in addiction. We had the opportunity to share our ministry and then have a time for questions/answers.
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Love Them To Life is currently meeting in 5 locations, including our newest group at Bayside Chapel, Barnegat, NJ. We are also excited that a new group will be starting in the Fall in Memphis, TN, at a large Southern Baptist Church. It is exciting to see what God is doing to "restore" the souls of moms who have no idea how to handle having a child in addiction.

The following are text messages I received from a mom (used with permission):
" I truly want to say thank you for the book you wrote. My husband & I have our differences when it comes to J. Today was not a good day for us due to J’s choice. I wanted to help again (enable) and my husband wants to do the "tough love" thing. So I took a ride to church ad prayed. When I came back I reached for your book and started reading, then I thought we should read this together. so that is exactly what we did. My husband said, "this is right on." We both read up to chapter 12 and we feel a great sense of peace from your writing of this book. Thank you and God bless."

" I just finished your book. Praying for my other son, age 23, now because he seems different. So hard to believe how we have 4 children, 2 very strong in the faith and the 2 younger ones going down a dark path. Hope and pray I’m wrong. We can’t go through this again. I will continue to pray and listen to my older kids …Let go, let God. Looking forward to next week’s meeting."

If God lays it on your heart to support XL Project/ Love Them to Life, checks can be sent to:
31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ, 08759. Please make the check out to XL Project.

Donations can also be sent online:
https://cherriraws.wordpress.com/donate/

Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry.

Our mailing address is:
31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759

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Ministry Update

XL Project – Love Them To Life
March-April, 2016 Newsletter
“surfing the wave of grace”

Cairns

Cairns are human-made piles of stones used as a monument to some event or to mark a location. The Old Testament of the Bible records many times that God directed the Israelites to erect a cairn, or stones of remembrance, to commemorate an event in the life of the nation of Israel. Today we will erect a cairn of words to commemorate an event that took place 6 years ago in the life of Joe Freeman, one that has had a ripple effect into many lives.

Joe_F_4_16Six years ago today, Joe walked into the office of the Colony of Mercy at America’s Keswick, ready for the first time in 40 years to surrender to God as his only hope of deliverance from addiction. At that point in time he had lost just about everything: good jobs, homes, marriage, children, and health. Joe had started drinking alcohol as a teenager, discovered cocaine in his 30’s, got addicted to pain pills after a sports injury, and ultimately became an IV heroin user. He went from being a top sales manager in Fortune 500 companies to living in a crack hotel, broken in body and desperate in emotion.

One night, after seeing some pictures of his 3 sons that a friend had sent to him, Joe decided to borrow a gun and end his life. He called his friend Bobby to see if he could help him get a gun, but instead Bobby told him about a place where he had gone to get well: America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy. Although Joe had given his life to God in college, he had wandered in the wilderness for many years, rarely getting sober for even a whole day. Joe applied for the Colony and was accepted for admission on April 29, 2010. During that time in the Colony, he surrendered fully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and began to understand the truths of Galatians 2:20.

God has used Joe in many lives, both in the Colony ministry and at Cooper Hospital as well as counseling with those in addiction and family members as part of XL Project. Although his body is broken and in constant pain, Joe shows up to share what God has done for him and in him. And so, this cairn … crafted not from earthly stones but eternal boulders. Kingdom building, not with earthly riches but with heavenly rewards.

Love Them to Life News

We are delighted to announce that a 4th LTTL group has begun: there are now 3 groups in Ocean County and 1 in Hunterdon County, NJ. There are 2 additional groups that are looking to start in the next few months, including 1 in Barnegat, NJ, and one in Memphis, TN.

The following is a testimony of the group leader of the Hunterdon County LTTL group:

Hi, my name is Linda Jamer and I am the grateful mother of a recovering heroin addict. I did not grow up with addiction but married into it. My story is bittersweet, as I divorced my husband for alcoholism. After many years of broken promises, emotional abuse, and a lot of lip service and no change, I was the one who had to change. It came to the point where I had to “take care of myself” or I was not going to survive!

It was devastating and heart wrenching to find out my son was using drugs. After many years of living with his dad’s addiction, I was very weary and not ready for another battle! I was in a constant state of sadness and depression from all the craziness, broken dreams, and fear of losing my son. Alcohol was one thing, but heroin! This was a fast road to death. The only thing that kept me going was my relationship with Jesus. I can remember many days not even knowing what to pray for and just weeping in my quiet time with Him. But He guided me step by step, day by day, month by month in staying the course and making tough decisions. I have become a stronger person from the trials and truly know my son is alive because of His guidance!

Last summer, my son re-entered the Colony of Mercy for his heroin addiction. During one of my visits there, I heard about the Love Them To Life support group. I had attended Al-Anon meetings for years but this was different. I immediately started attending LTTL and it soon became a blessing! After several months of prayer, I felt God was leading me to use my emotional pain and experience to have a group in Hunterdon because of the current heroin epidemic in our county. I wanted other moms to have a safe place to share their pain, learn about healthy family boundaries, ask questions, be encouraged in their faith, and not feel alone. I am so blessed that I can be a vessel to help others on this journey.

The LTTL group meetings are as follows:

America’s Keswick, Monday nights 7:00-8:30
Jackson Baptist Church – 360 Bennetts Mills Rd., Jackson, NJ 08527 – the meeting is on Monday nights from 7-8:30 pm.
New Life Church (formerly First Baptist Church of Toms River – 700 Main Street, Toms River, NJ, 08753 – meeting on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9pm
The Church of the Nazarene, 80 Beaver Ave, Clinton Twp (Annandale), NJ 08801 – the group is meeting on Thursday nights from 7-8:30pm

Upcoming Event

May 14-15, 2016 – We will be at New Village Church, 3 Wildwood Street, Lake Grove, NY, 11755 (on Long Island). All are welcome! For more information about events and times, please see the church’s website: www.newvillagechurch.net

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Ministry

 

 

Ministry

January-February 2016 Newsletter
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XL Project/ Love Them To Life Newsletter

“Surfing the Wave of Grace”

As I sit looking out my window on this extremely cold day, my thoughts are drawn to the thousands of people who are homeless, especially those who have lost everything due to addiction. The fear that is expressed by the mothers and fathers of those in addiction is palpable – what is to become of my child? We receive many calls from the family members of addicts and yet are continually reminded that only when the person in addiction wants help will that process begin. Our job with the families is to point them in the direction of getting healthy themselves so that they are not enabling and codependent.

We are in the process of putting together a seminar called Love Them To Life for Family and Friends. Although the main thrust of LTTL is to mothers, it is important to reach out to other family members and friends who are also hurting and confused as to what to do and what not to do to help their loved one. Many churches have little or no experience in addiction and do not know what to do when members have loved ones who are addicted. The seminar would be a one-day presentation (most likely on a Saturday) that would address issues such as roots of addiction, pathways of addiction, how addiction affects loved ones, relationships within the family, emotions, codependency and enabling, financial issues, the world’s answers to addiction, and God’s answer to addiction. Please contact us at lovethemtolife if you think your church or group would be interested in hosting a seminar.

This is a powerful poem I came across recently that expresses so well what addiction looks like from deep within its bondage. Our mandate is to share the power of Jesus Christ to free people from bondage and to give them new, abundant life.

I NEED To Get High.

I’m your child, or spouse, or friend.
But I’ve changed.
I don’t care about you.
Not in the way you want me to.
I care about getting high.
I WANT to get high.
I will do ANYTHING to get high.
I LOVE getting high.
I NEED to get high..
and I will step over you to do it.
When I look at you, I don’t see YOU.
I see a means to an end.
You have money.
I want it.
End of story.
I don’t care if you can’t pay the rent.
I don’t care if you need groceries.
I don’t care if you promised not to give me money.
I don’t care if you lie to Dad.
I don’t care if you’re broke.
Sell your rings, take a loan, sell your electronics, max out your credit cards, or borrow the money, because if you don’t, I will STEAL it.
I WILL find a way to get HIGH.
You think you can CHANGE me, or SAVE me.
But you’re WRONG!
I don’t respond to love.
Something cold and dead slithers within me.
You can CRY all you want.
It won’t change things.
My morals are a thing of the past.
I will say anything, do anything, and hurt anyone, to get my next FIX.
Although I may play the game with you, make no mistake.
I play, because I want money for DOPE.
I’ll say what ever you want to hear, I’ll promise you the world, I’ll look you in the eyes, and I’ll break your heart…
Over and over again.
I don’t have a heart.
I have a HUNGER.
It’s calculating and manipulative, and it OWNS me.
In a strange way you’re thankful for this.
For when I need something I find you, quick!
Then, when I’ve gotten what I want, I leave.
You’re anxious without me.
You offer to buy my food, or pay my rent.
You live to GIVE.
By now, you’re NEED is almost as great as mine.
I can’t stay SICK without you.
You can’t breathe without ME.
You think you’re helping me.
You believe you’re making a difference.
But what you’re really helping, is my ADDICTION.
I won’t tell you this, but you know it, deep down.
If we keep going like this, one or both of us, will die.
Me from an overdose, that you paid for,
and you from a heart attack, or stroke.
You’ve waited YEARS for me to change, or see the light.
You keep my secrets and protect my lies.
You clean up my mess and bail me out.
You love me to the exclusion, of EVERYONE else.
My addiction, changed you.
You hide from your friends and isolate.
You’re bitter and depressed.
Your world revolves around one thing only… ME.
But will your LOVE, ever become greater than your FEAR?
Would you be strong enough to reach out for help?
Will you learn to say NO?
Will you allow me to experience the consequences of my actions? Will you LOVE me enough to feel your discomfort and stop enabling, my addiction?
I lay trapped with within the confines of this cold dark, serpent – addiction, and I am… dying.

Lorelie Rozzano
www.jaggedlittleedges.com

One of the ways you can help us is to “like” us on Facebook and share us with your friends so that the word gets out. We post regularly on both the Love Them To Life page and the XL Project page. Please help us spread the word of help and hope for the addicted and for those who love them.
We also depend on your financial support in order to stay in full-time ministry. Gifts can be sent to XL Project, 31A Yorktowne Pkwy, Whiting, NJ 08759. You can also go to the “Donate” tab on
xlproject.org
lovethemtolife.com
All donations are tax-deductible.
Your prayer support is what keeps us going. We do not take that for granted and thank you so much for being a part of this ministry.
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Out of Control

“Since 1978, Norman Miller has been the Chairman of the Board for Interstate Batteries, now the number one replacement battery in America. In 1974, after years of heavy drinking, Miller realized he was an alcoholic. Asking God for help, Norm stopped drinking and gave God full control of his personal and professional life. On this website you’ll hear Norman Miller’s personal story of success and how he and his management team remain committed to making God’s love and help a priority in business.”

Read or hear his testimony at Lifestory Foundation