Any serious reading of the New Testament illustrates the fact that Jesus was dedicated to casting out daemons and healing the possessed from the ravages of their illness. When a person is possessed, they are driven by a power beyond themselves. They have no control, no authority, and no capacity to override the demonic power that seeks to destroy their personhood.
In the modern world, there are many ways in which a person can understand these realities, but in my personal experience as a pastor and pastoral caregiver, one prevalent expression of demonic possession is in the form of drug and alcohol addiction. In my professional career I have spent years working with victims of this dreaded reality through my work with Carlsbad’s Villa de Esperanza — a 28-day inpatient rehabilitation center that has been a part of the community for over three decades.
Hollywood, social media, and political rhetoric are quick to paint the addict as the worst type of dangerous, militant, and antisocial form of disgrace to humanity one can imagine. This caricature of addiction may be rooted in truth, but it is skewed to accentuate the most extreme minority of humanity that struggles with this dreaded evil stain, and a lie. Addicts are both beautiful human beings and loved by Christ. They deserve love, respect, and understanding.
The vast majority of addicts are genuine, loving, and caring men and women who have made choices that have led them into a cult of life-destroying behaviors of addictive behaviors. They are not bad people. They are not evil people. They are not cursed. They are not people whom Jesus would condemn to an eternity of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Rather, they are beloved children of God whom Jesus would choose to embrace in love! Much like the leapers of Jesus’ day, the drug addicts of our modern world are women and men whom society would love to cast off to isolated encampments that were cut off from what most would presume to be “descent society.” Yet Jesus chose to cross that social boundary and love the leapers, touch them, embrace them, and heal them.
In addition to my Christian witness as an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I am personally proud to have spent the last 6 years of my life working with Carlsbad’s Villa de Esperanza and, for the past several months, to serve as the Program Administrator of this healing ministry standing in faithful opposition of addiction.
I am happy to acknowledge that in a faithful agreement between Carlsbad’s Life House Ministries, Lakeview Christian Home, the City of Carlsbad, and Villa de Esperanza under the visionary leadership of Golden Services, the ministry of healing and wholeness that has been a part of Carlsbad for over three decades, is ready to begin a new ministry of healing and wholeness for the entire state of New Mexico.
Beginning April 1, LifeHouse Inc. will take over management and operation of Villa de Esperanza. Additionally, as of May 1st, the operations will move to the former Health Services Center on Westridge Road which has long been a faithful ministry of the United Methodist Church, and most recently a healing ministry of Lakeview Christian Home. The change of ownership is nothing short of an extension and continuation of the Christian witness of all the organizations that led up to this healing ministry. Golden Services, Landsun, Lakeview, and LifeHouse, have been devoted, faithful, and Christian organizations fundamentally grounded in Christ’s dedication to healing ministries. This brings forth new blessings and opportunities for Carlsbad and the healing ministry of Jesus Christ for those who struggle with addiction!
Address: Manchester, New HampshireWebsite:https://getoffdrugsmanchester.com/Phone: (855) 942-3433