Do You Want to be Made Well? There are Risks While Getting Off Your Matt.

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
John 5:5-6 NLT

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Dear Friend,

At first glance, that quote from Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda may sound like a ridiculous question. “The guy’s been waiting at the pool for 38 years hoping for an opportunity for healing; of course he wants to be made well!” It’s easy for us to answer that question when we’re talking about someone else. Sooner or later, all of us will face this same question in our own lives. Do we really want to be made well?

There is a lot more to that question when you go below the surface. In today’s terms, Jesus would be asking that man if he wanted to be made well, which would mean that he would lose his social security benefits and his bridge card. He would now be responsible to find a job, work faithfully, and provide for his own necessities. He can no longer rely on others to fulfill his needs. He will have to learn to receive empowerment from the Lord, take appropriate risks, and learn to perform skills that were previously impossible for him. That is scary.

It’s very similar in our recovery. Our addictions have kept us on some type of matt for years. We simultaneously hate it, and fear the day when the Lord calls us off our matt to walk away from our sinful addictions. We know how to be broken. We don’t know how to be whole. We’ve even received false comfort from our addiction. Will the Lord really give us something better? We know in our heads that He says He will. In our hearts we aren’t so sure.

If Jesus is calling you off your matt, you don’t have to do it alone. Reconciliation Ministries can help. We offer licensed professional counseling, prayer ministry, and support groups. Call 586.739.5114 and find out how we can assist you in your recovery.

In Christ,

Dan Hitz and your friends at Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.

P.S. You can read a related story in this month's newsletter. Those who have experienced the trauma of abuse also have to consider life off the matt of emotional devastation.

Prodigals Are Coming Home

Dear Friends,

Your prayers and financial support are touching many lives. Although we’ve seen a dramatic cultural and political shift towards homosexuality in the recent years, something has shifted in the spiritual atmosphere since the beginning of the year. Many prodigals are returning to Jesus.

Starting with the implosion of Exodus in 2012, and continuing through the legalization of same-sex marriage and the celebration of Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn, it seems like many who would normally seek help to overcome LGBT issues had decided to accept and act upon their desires. In the past two months we’ve seen many of these prodigals coming home. In fact, we’ve had more people wrestling with LGBT issues seek help in the past two months than we’ve had in all of 2016 combined. Unfortunately, they’ve also experienced the devastation of life as a prodigal. Instead of the freedom and self-actualization that the LGBT community promised, they’ve experienced the devastation of being HIV positive and having marriages that are ready to collapse. Others were feeling suicidal while they were embracing and acting upon their LGBT desires. They have learned the hard way that sin only brings further pain and bondage.

The Father is merciful to the prodigals. Instead of shame and condemnation, He greets them with love, cleansing and forgiveness. Sadly, they still have to deal with the effects of their time “in a distant land”. The good news is that they are also learning the redemption and restoration that Jesus Christ has to offer. It is beautiful to watch their lives being restored.

We are excited to open up registration for Mending the Soul, our brand new program for male and female survivors of abuse and neglect. Mending the Soul is a great addition to the Living Waters program and the professional counseling and prayer ministry already offered by Reconciliation Ministries. It will be run by licensed therapists and focus specifically on overcoming the devastating effects of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Mending the Soul effectively combines Scriptures and powerful recovery insights and experiences. The group runs for ten weeks and will meet every Monday night from 7 to 8:30pm beginning April 17th. If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of abuse, call Reconciliation Ministries at 586.739.5114 and find out how you can register for our upcoming group.

Thank you for standing with us to uphold Biblical truth. Thank you for praying with us as the Lord expands our vision and brings more lives to touch. Your prayers and financial support are changing hearts for all of eternity. You can donate securely online by clicking here.

Your brother in Christ,

Dan

An Expanded Vision: More Lives to Reach

Image licensed through www.shutterstock.com.

Image licensed through www.shutterstock.com.

The Lord has given us a lot to accomplish together in 2017. The thought that best sums up my heart lately is, “God is expanding our vision, and giving us more lives to reach”.

No ministry organization can change lives in its own strength. It takes a great team of intercessors, financial supporters, ministry team members, board members and many other faithful volunteers working together for the Kingdom of God. Whether you have helped us stuff newsletters, given a one-time donation, provided financial support on a monthly basis, volunteered for the ministry team, or simply helped spread the word; please know that your service is greatly appreciated and has touched many lives for eternity. Thank you for sharing a rich history with us, and for walking with us into the future.

We started Reconciliation Ministries in 1984 with the vision of helping men and women overcome homosexuality. There were few such ministries back in those days. Jack Hickey and our early ministry partners were some of the brave pioneers. With Tom Cole as the director in the mid-90s, the ministry vision grew to include a wider variety of sexual and relationship issues. Together, we began offering help to heterosexual strugglers as well as homosexual strugglers and Living Waters became one of our main ministry offerings. In the late-2000s we added licensed counseling to the pastoral care offerings and continued to grow in our expertise and impact.

As we pass through the mid-2010s the Lord has been putting on our hearts an increased focus on helping those who have been traumatized by sexual abuse. We have spent the last year researching a variety of resources and are excited to announce that we will be offering a new program called Mending the Soul this coming spring. Mending the Soul is a 12-week therapy group run by licensed therapists. It is designed for men and women who have suffered from any form of abuse, including sexual, physical, emotional, spiritual and neglect. Mending the Soul is a great addition to the Living Waters program and counseling services already offered by Reconciliation Ministries. We’ll be announcing more details in the months ahead.

Together, we will continue to expand our ministry offerings in the near future. Reconciliation Ministries is blessed to have you as a part of our ministry team. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, and thank you for being a part of what God is doing to transform lives.

Your brother in Christ,

Dan Hitz, Director
Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.

P. S. You can help transform lives through your tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

Lives Are Being Changed

“Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT 

“At forty-five years old, I was overwhelmed with the secret pain I carried from my childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse and prostitution. Words cannot express the gifts of healing I have received from Living Waters. These faithful servants of Christ helped me out of my dark hiding place and into the light of His mercy and truth.”

“I came to LW full of shame from same-sex attraction struggles as well as the pain of rejection from my father growing up. I lived through a filter of pain I couldn’t get rid of, and blamed myself for it. The Lord began to bring healing as I opened up in the group ministry and took away the sting and the shame of that pain. Living Waters brought freedom beyond what I thought possible.”

“I came to Living Waters filled with guilt and shame because of my struggles with heterosexual pornography addiction. The healing process revealed to me the sources of the pain and the triggers of my addiction. I found the tools to help defuse these triggers before the addiction cycle kicks in full. The Lord still works with me on these things to this day.  I now know that the Lord's love can heal the wounds of my past with His love.”

Dear Friends,

Perhaps you can relate to these profound testimonies of recovery and transformation. Maybe you are still waiting for that day when you, or someone you love, can speak such words of hope and freedom. Reconciliation Ministries exist to walk with people who are broken and bound by sin, and help them find healing through the wonderful power of Jesus Christ. His birth, His sacrificial death on the cross, and His resurrection, provides all that we need to overcome the worst forms of abuse, trauma, and sexual sin.

You can make a difference in the lives of hurting people. Your prayers help break the chains of addiction and heal the wounds of abuse. Your financial contributions reach out to those in need through the Living Waters program, professional counseling, and support groups.  You can encourage, educate and equip by sponsoring seminars and newsletters. You can even reach people on the other side of the world by sponsoring missions trips – healing leaders and raising up others to carry the message of redemption and transformation through Christ.

Maybe you don’t feel like you can make an eternal difference in anyone’s life. I am amazed at the people that the Lord used in Scripture. The very lineage of Christ is full of people like Rahab the prostitute (Matthew 1:5), and Judah and Tamar who conceived a child in sin (Matthew 1:3). From the very beginning of Jesus’ life, the Father showed His love to those whom others cast away. His birth was announced to a group of shepherds who were simply doing their job of taking care of a bunch of sheep somewhere in a field in the middle of the night. Those shepherds had the privilege of hearing the Heavenly choir of angels announce the Savior’s birth and being among the first visitors to see Jesus in the manger. Jesus showed his mercy to the woman at the well (John 4); a woman who had five husbands and was currently living with another guy she wasn’t even married to. He spoke into her heart and showed her how to find what she was really looking for. He showed great mercy to the woman caught in adultery and offered her another way to live when He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). Even in his death and resurrection, Jesus revealed Himself first to Mary Magdalene, “out of whom He had cast seven demons” (Mark 16:9). Jesus loves the broken.

These beautiful Scriptures are just a few of the many examples of Jesus’ love for those in need. No one is beyond His love and care. No one is beyond his power to transform lives. If you or someone you love is trapped by sin and pain, reach out for help as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Call Reconciliation Ministries at 586.739.5114 and let us walk with you to Jesus.

You CAN make an eternal difference in the lives of others through your prayers. Contact us at info@recmin.org and join our intercessors’ list. Any financial gift of any size can change someone’s life. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made through the form included in this newsletter, or securely online by clicking here. Make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting today.

In Christ,

Dan Hitz and your friends at Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.

P.S. Here are a few more testimonies. All were used by permission.

“I came to Living Waters after a period of personal crisis— I knew that God loves and forgives me, but I was still deeply confused about the sources of my addictions. Hearing the testimonies of others, reading and working through the lesson plans, and sharing in group discussions has freed me from much darkness that I did not even realize remained.” 

“Growing up I was expected to achieve and perform to be acceptable. Only rarely was what I did enough by my parents' shifting standards. During Living Waters I learned that I am of value just because I am; that God loves me expecting nothing. He transformed my mind through the loving and prayerful leaders at Living Waters who cheered me on in my progress toward learning who I am in Christ and being able to accept myself as being worthy of love.”

“I came to Reconciliation Ministries full of self-hatred and condemnation because of my struggle with same-sex attraction. In the process of healing, the Lord touched the roots of my SSA and also brought healing from childhood sexual abuse. I now know who I really am in Christ and have a deep sense of purpose.”

“When I first came to Living Waters Ministry I felt stuck in an abyss of pain that I couldn't seem to escape from no matter how hard I tried. Living Waters helped me discover the root cause; wounds and breaches from my past that were ruling my present. Through the help of loving leaders, I was finally able to name specific abuses and the way these violations impacted my life. As they led me to release my soul wounds into the Cross, and exchange lies for God's truth, I began to walk in peace and freedom. My past abuse was no longer was an unwelcomed guest in my present life!”