[W]hen we last left our heroes, “D” and “B” were just about to celebrate their first year of sobriety.  “J” was still in the windy city, and “S” was living on the streets, alternating between chillin’ and kickin’, depending on when he was able to score his last hit. On a busy day where I was more out of the office than in, I had just gotten back to my desk1 when my computer beeped that I had gotten a message on Facebook.  It was “S”, who, although I would comment on his posts now and then, I had not actually heard from for months.  “how u doin pastor steve?” is what I read, and my heart jumped. Either “S” was doing great, or he had hit rock bottom.  I found out which when I replied, asking him how he was doing and he sent the reply, “eh. def not where i planned to be.”

We kept chatting back and forth for a few minutes.  All the while I was texting “D” to get on line as well and connect with his old friend. Then came the text I was waiting for from “D”.  “Jamie (Staggs, founder and lead counselor at Just One Recovery)2 wanted to see if you could put in a request with Joy Squared to sponsor “S”.”3 While maintaining my conversations with “S” and “D”, I sent a quick email over to Scott Denton to see if Joy Squared would consider sponsoring “S” to return to Just One. Knowing that discerned giving is a key point in the mission statement of Joy Squared4, I told “D” that is might be a week or so before we got a confirmation.  Almost at the same time I sent the text, I got an email reply from Scott wondering if I talked to Jamie.  I had. The next step was to talk with other board members about my request. Within minutes5 the answer came that Joy Squared was on board and ready to sponsor “S”.   I raced to atoledo text “D” that it was a go.  By that time “S”, who we later found out had been using a computer in a local library, had logged off.  Both “D” and I left him a message to contact one of use as soon as possible.

Even with all God had done up to that point, I have to admit I was disappointed, thinking that it could be days or more before “S” got back to a computer and contacted us. It was about an hour later I had to ask God for forgiveness for doubting Him, when I got a call from “D” saying he and “B” where in the Just One van and on their way to pick up “S”.  MY heart truly soared.

Less than twenty-four hours later I was sitting across from “S” in the back yard of Just One Recovery.  He looked much better than the first time he arrived at Just One.  If I had to guess the smile was one of relief, and he was putting on a brave face as he was heading into the detox phase of his recovery. It was great to see him laugh and to share with him how God had orchestrated his return to the house. He was extremely thankful for Joy Squared for stepping in when he had nowhere else to turn, and for believing in him.6 “S” has a long road ahead of him.  I will update his story at the end of his initial 30 days. Please keep him and the other three Justkateers in your prayers.  Addiction is a lifelong battle, at times it may seem easier to deal with, but it is always there, waiting to be used by the enemy. With God on our side addictions can be managed.


Footnotes: (God’s hands were all over Purchase Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design this)

1 It was an exceptionally busy day that took me away from my office most of the day. “S” could have easily left me a message and I could not have seen if for hours and by that time he would have been gone. God put me at my desk just in time to hear the chime to let me know there was a message.


2 Again God had great timing.  “D” works by his phone and needs it with him so I knew I could get a hold of him, but the fact that Jamie was standing with him when I texted was all God.


3 Jamie is also very discerning about who is able to rejoin the program once they left the house. His speed in requesting “S” to come back to the house and reaching out to Joy Squared had God written all over it.


4 “Joy Squared helps facilitate involvement to come alongside hurting people, bringing transforming joy to both those that are helped and those who help.” Ok, discernment isn’t written in the mission, but it is on the letter head and business cards as “The exponential multiplication of joy through discerned giving”, and it certainly modeled through other requests they have received. We try not to do anything without asking God first.


5 I had literally thought that the process of getting approval for this could take several hours at best and maybe even a week.  My request to Joy Squared was to pray about this situation and let me know when a decision was reached. The speed (minutes) that the entire thing transpired from initial contact to Joy Squared agreeing to come alongside “S” was nothing less than a miracle.


6At some point I will let “S” in on the truth.  We have extremely tiny faith.  It was God’s love for “S” that got him back to Just One.  Thankfully there were people along the way that were obedient to God’s might hand that got him back to the house.  I, for one, love the times when God shows us his hand and consider myself blessed when I get to be a part of his plan.