The Lazarus House, operated by House of the Risen Son Ministries, is a residential recovery program that focuses on physical, spiritual, social and emotional recovery and healing of damaged souls. The Lazarus House program is designed to assist people who are overcoming addictions by producing a clean, safe environment to learn a Christian value base and life skill that will allow them to heal and become fully functioning members of society.
- To provide the opportunity to establish through new relationships a strong sense of identity, self worth and accomplishment to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- To establish a strong value base that will assist the person to become independent.
- To provide a safe clean physical housing environment to allow for life change.
- To establish structured and informal learning opportunities for the participants to learn safe living practices that can be taken with them in their future lives.
- To teach independent living skills that will assist the participant to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
- To provide structured teaching through Bible study classes, Overcome’s Outreach 12-Step program and both formal and informal work opportunities.
While traditional detoxification units and programs provide the basic teachings of recovery to participants, they do not impact the participants’ old friends or circumstances nor do they generally establish a new base of friends or community as a support system. Therefore, often participants will resort to their old ways because they do not know how to relate in a clean, dry society and do not have the supports to help them do so.
A person dealing with their addictions and compulsive disorders normally suffers from extreme anxiety, feel self condemnation, and have low esteem and a high level of shame. Experience within the Lazarus House program has shown that after two weeks within a supportive Christian environment this begins to change. After two months, people begin to think differently and the person begins to experience success. The feeling is often new and success can sometimes cause a setback in the person’s recovery. This setback is lessened within a supportive environment, hence the strength of participating in a residential recovery program. The Lazarus program is designed to recognize and work through many stages of healing. A number of components are crucial in the healing process including relationships, mentors and leaders, a Christian value base, job readiness and preparing for and receiving healing, maintaining a clean living environment. The Lazarus House program strives to provide for these needs and come alongside those seeking restoration to productive living.
“Lazarus house, a place of refuge, mentoring and healing for the mind, body
and spirit of men, so that they may be free from addictions and have life
and have it abundantly.”
A “Story” by Jerry
This is not a story. It has a beginning, but no end.
I thank God, as I understand Him, for the possible and impossible in my life; inside His house.
I’m doing for a house what a house has done for me. It’s home right now. I’ve been in the house for one and a half years. I’ve found peace and healing in this house. I’ve seen broken, hurting, lost men like myself respecting each other’s pain and letting them deal with it their way. Some make it, some don’t; but they have my respect and they have given me the same. Because all the men who have come and gone had no material things, no future, no plan, and no hope for one, we all gave up on people, friends and family. We cut all ties. We don’t like ourselves. How do you start over trying to like someone else, caring for anything or anybody? I found out people, places, things, situations can change if I’m willing to change. It wasn’t easy. I made things tough. I made a decision to stop being stupid. I committed myself to a rehab foundation: first step to sanity – 50 years of it! I wanted peace from drugs, alcohol, gangs, and jail. I wanted out, period. The people I hung with let me be. I was solid so they let me slide. Just like Christ did. They know where I am and how I’m doing. They keep six. (watch)
So I was looking for a place to hang. I found one: a restaurant called the Oil Can Café. What attracted me were all the bikers in front of it. So, what’s the scoop? I’ll check it out. Hmmm…
Christian bikers. I knew some of them. We used to ride together. They turned things over to Christ, they
said. Good for you guys. Not my cup of tea. Bible thumpers, they cramp my style, I figured. But good luck to them. A pastor, rumour had it, a biker. ‘One of the boys’ they said. ‘Started it up.’ What kind of pastor is that? Word was he’s not a Bible thumper, either. Go figure! So I check out the dude. In the corner of the restaurant is a scooter, I call it, put together from various bikes, I guess. That’s his pulpit? Right… Headlights, the whole nine yards, with wheels. He preaches out of there. Yeah, he’s not going through the motions. Looks like a biker. Has attitude like a biker. Seen him shake down a couple cops; asked them a bunch of questions – do they go to church, would they like to, do they have problems at home, do they have a problem with drugs or booze, can he help? They roll up their windows and take off. We have a conversation about his hat he was wearing; turned out to be a ‘hello – goodbye’ relationship.
That was 1999. I hung around and got to know and love a lot of people like me. I’m proud to say I ate the very last meal there with the sister who was the Cook and Manager – slash – Sister in Christ. I met her family. We still hang together when time permits.
Seven years later … I’m writing this from my home right now; it’s June ’06 coming up. I’m now a member – this year, in fact – of the House of the Risen Son Ministries because my pastor, Chuck Sheridan, and all the pastors at Zion Church gave me a break. And I’ve not been an easy egg to crack. I gave all the grief a man could muster (they know what I mean). I love those guys. They did something nobody thought of. They didn’t once tell me what I got to do. Or I wouldn’t even be here. They asked me what can they do to help me help myself. They’re tough dudes.
Since then I’ve been with Chuck, my brother in Christ. I’ve applied myself to serving his ministry when my health allows. Lot of damage done to this old body! I’m healed inside; that’s where it counts. The inside of my cup is taking a long time to clean. But it sure feels good! Now I’m doing what God has done for me.
I’m opening a door to anyone that wants to enter. Be it coffee or a conversation about their day, I share their problems, their pain, and their happiness. Some stop by just to say ‘Hello – Goodbye’ just like I did. You can stay away if you want or come back anytime is what I tell them. We all have addictions and afflictions. It makes me look at myself and how far I’ve come. Jesus rules. He runs the show. I don’t judge, jury, or execute anyone. That’s not me anymore. I wear many hats in this ministry but I don’t let it go to my head. They call me the Card here; that’s biker talk for a funny guy. I share my experience, strength, and hope. Sometimes we even pray together. My gift is the gift of gab. I use it to make my brothers and sisters laugh. If just for a couple minutes they forget about their problems and I forget about mine, they tell me they feel better leaving the house than when they came in it.
We have things happening here – a 12-step group that helps each other help themselves. You don’t got to do it. You can check it out if you want. My family and friends are all back in my life because of it. THEY LOVE ME! Now how did that happen?!
Gotta go – someone’s knocking on the door!
Jerry (not my real name)
Jerry is one of the hero’s of the Lazarus House program. He is an example of what happens to an addict when he applies himself to Christ. Jerry encourages others and treats all the others like a brother. At 62, he is a learner and now a teacher. He wrote this letter unsolicited, because so many people ask him about the house and he felt he had a story to tell. We did not edit it for language or grammar, it is just Jerry. Pray for the man he is yet to become. He is a blessing and encouragement to many.
Pastor Chuck Sheridan(my real name)