This collection of over 700 islands in the Caribbean, with their beautiful beaches and coral reefs, are popular with tourists, but the wealth of those in banking and tourism contrasts sharply with the poor. Today, we’ll read a story from The Haven ministry in Nassau, which offers a one-year residential programme of Bible study, devotion times, life-skill lectures, group therapy and one-to-one counselling for people with alcohol and drug addictions to lead them to a saving knowledge in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some who leave The Haven programme prematurely relapse back into their old addictions.
Such a man is Marcus.*
Marcus comes from an abusive background whose wealthy siblings left him to nurse his senile mother. His siblings would not financially support either their mother or Marcus. Marcus would be found in the streets of Nassau washing cars to fund his addictions and to support his mother.
For 13 years we picked Marcus up off the streets time and again, after finding him in desperate physical need, and of course spiritual need too. Just over a year ago we saw Marcus and shared how the Lord was still waiting for him to give up his old ways and ask Him into his life and be free of alcohol and drugs. We invited him to return to The Haven. Two weeks later, on a Friday afternoon, much the worse for wear, Marcus appeared at the gate surrendering himself to The Haven programme for the eighth time.
Meeting Marcus at the Sunday morning service, with the other ‘students’ from The Haven, he said he had something to share with us. He said that, when he went up to the dormitory and before he unpacked his few processions he had laid on the floor, he implored the Lord to come into his life and asked for the Lord’s forgiveness for stubbornly keeping Him out of his life all these years.
Marcus is still with us in the programme and struggles with his Bible study and grasping the joy and freedom of his new life in Christ. He also struggles with literacy and longs to be proficient in reading and studying his Bible for himself. Reguarly, we see evidence of fruit in his life as the Holy Spirit gently but powerfully changes Marcus before our very eyes. Recently he asked me if he could go and visit his mother who was dying in hospital, as he had to be certain that she was not just religious but had in fact truly give her life to the Lord.
…he implored the Lord to come into his life and asked for the Lord’s forgiveness for stubbornly keeping Him out of his life all these years
*name changed to protect identity
- for Marcus, and other students in The Haven programme, especially over the Christmas period when the attraction of the party season could provoke cravings for their old lifestyle
- that the Lord will not only continue His work of grace in Marcus’ life but that all of The Haven students will eventually invite Christ into their lives and in time return to the community as a true trophies of God’s marvellous grace
- for people battling alcohol and drug on these islands, where the inequalities between rich and poor are so apparent.