Christian Life & Discipleship

From Rehab to Rescue

Jake stared out the window from the front passenger seat, as the jeep bumped and twisted around corners of the curvy, mountainous road in North India.  The driver’s unique playlist provided constant amusement for him and for the rest of the Frontline Discipleship Training School team during their long hours on the road.  The extra speaker in the back only added to the road trip mood, pounding the bass even more.

“Pump it!” Denis called from the back.

Jake upped the volume and once more turned his gaze out down the steep edge of the rocky cliff.  It was less than a meter from the wheels of the jeep but the mountain driving no longer psyched him out as at first.  The driver’s skill at the wheel, quick reflexes, and creative communication with the horn to approaching trucks and jeeps had reassured the team that he knew what he was doing.

Suddenly, the jeep pulled off to the side of the road and stopped.  A second jeep pulled up behind, carrying a Backpackers Discipleship Training School from New Zealand, who had teamed up with Frontline for the past week.  Jake jumped out, eager to get going.  They had come to visit a rehabilitation center, and he couldn’t wait to share his story with those he would meet here.

The two teams descended the steep steps down the mountain, passing houses, bushes, and trees, before finally arriving at the rehab.  Jake took in the surroundings: a dirt courtyard, surrounded by bushes and several trees, led up to the two-story red building in front of them.  Several men approached, welcomed them, and began setting up a speaker and microphone.  About 15 men gathered and sat in chairs around the courtyard, leaving an open space in the middle.

After the teams had done several songs and performances, it was Jake’s turn to step up to the front and take the mic.  Looking around the circle, he said, “Hi, my name’s Jake, and I’ve been sober for 14 months.”

Then, through a translator, he took his listeners on a journey through his life: from being bullied in primary school to the time his hamstring snapped in martial arts, from struggles with family relationships to being homeless on the streets, addicted to hard drugs.  His listeners sat motionless in their seats, their eyes riveted to him.  Jake shared how, in desperation, he cried out to God.  And God had answered by helping him get into a Christian rehab 2 days later.  There, Jake told them, he had given his life to Jesus, who had helped him overcome his addictions to drugs and alcohol and finally get free.

As Jake wrapped up his story, he said, “I’d like to invite any of you who want to accept Jesus to be the Lord and Saviour of your life to please stand.”

The words had barely left his mouth, when men began standing.  All around the circle, 13 men stood up.  A hush fell over the courtyard.  Then the teams rose and began to talk with individuals and groups of men, asking their stories, and offering to pray for them, which many men accepted.

As they left the rehab center that day, Jake thanked God for the opportunity to share his story and help others in a similar situation to find hope through trust in Him.