Faith-based recovery program beginning in Region 8

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - Several people gathered to learn how to help others deal with the issues that are negatively dominating their lives at a seminar in Harrisburg Saturday.

The Living Free seminar was part of a training course for Restoration House Ministries, a faith-based, four-phase recovery program started by First Assembly Church of God in Harrisburg.

"We're training people to be facilitators, and they'll walk away from today with a certificate of training," said Ruth Brown, the executive director of Restoration House Ministries.

Brown said the facilitators will meet with people who are part of the program all over the community.

"We're either going to be in the jails, or be set up in different churches or homes to talk about depression, substance abuse, prescription abuse."

First Assembly of God Senior Pastor Chester Passmore says substance abuse is a top priority.

"I've been here five and a half years at this church, and coming to Northeast Arkansas from Western Arkansas, immediately I was confronted with the severity of the drug culture that is here in Northeast Arkansas."

One way the program will work with the community in tackling the drug culture is by providing a home for women who need help at a house given to First Assembly by an anonymous donor.

"(It is) a Beautiful, large home, five and a quarter acres of property," said Pastor Passmore.

Helping people learn to live free is the ultimate goal for everyone at the seminar. Those who need help just have to ask, says Kelley Fowler, who is training to be a facilitator.

"Several years ago I was from the drug culture and I had some life controlling issues," she said. "Don't be afraid to share. Someone is listening, whether you think they're listening or not, they take that information and they can help you, but they can't change you. You have to be willing to decide to change yourself."

Click here to visit the Restoration House Ministries web site, or call (870) 578-9002 for more information.

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