Lessons From a Fish Tank

This week I have been trying to get back to “normal.” I have a friend who struggles with some significant mental health issues who reminds me “Normal is just a setting on a dryer!” It has been an extraordinary rather than ordinary week. I learned some valuable lessons this week and like many of life’s lessons it was learned through challenge difficulty and seeming failure.

Yesterday during a visit to the Christian addictions centre, Village of Hope. I was given an illustration that let me put my learning into perspective. One of the key leaders there spoke of moving fish from one tank or environment to another. He told of the shock to the system that can kill the fish if they are simply removed from one pool of water and plunked into another. This tragic ending is avoided by including water from the previous tank in the transfer. This simple step enables a safer, healthier transition!

The past couple of weeks we have had to deal with the fallout of someone who did not do well with us and relapsed. While I fully acknowledge that individuals make their own choices, I feel a responsibility to provide an environment for people to thrive rather than struggle. This will mean we will have to make some changes. We will have to include ‘some of the water from previous tanks. By this I mean that during the initial period with us (a minimum of three weeks) our residents will have a much more structured environment, similar to that of their previous experience at recovery centres. This will give us the rest of their “Year of the Lord’s Favour” to work toward a transition to recovered life beyond our walls.

To accomplish this, we will need to add a staff position with responsibility for “Recovery Programing.” This will require additional finances and faith, but we trust God is leading!

This week we also had a visitor to Threshold House. Moni currently works at Harvest House in Moncton and has a wealth of experience in both addictions and homelessness. He sees himself as a missionary to Canada from his native Samoa. He has been a wonderful prayer partner over the week and a great source of wisdom. It was a delight to go to Village of Hope with him yesterday. There we met a gentleman that Moni had know while working at a homeless shelter. This gentleman then seemed hopelessly lost in his addiction. It was such a joy to see these two meet and for Moni to witness God’s act of transformation. This was the fourth former client he met during his visit and all four are walking with the Lord in sobriety and service! This is what God does! Moni was encouraged and his encouragement was infectious. We may not always be given the joy of seeing God’s work, yet He is certainly at work. One day we will see if we do not weary in well doing.

On a person note, Victoria’s funeral and visitation turned into a ‘super spreader’ event. Our son, his in-laws, our daughter, and Linda were all recipients of the virus. Somehow I have tested negative through it all and been able to get back to things as “normal.”

We will be processing some new applications in the days ahead. Please pray for us and the prospective residents.