Written by Pastor Wes Pinkley
Every Tuesday night in Fort Wayne Indiana you will find a community impacted by The Lighthouse. Founded by director Brandon Bower, this transitional living program seeks to help men recover from addiction and engage in meaningful life, all the while giving back to the community.
As a step two program, these men are given opportunities to succeed and be responsible. This serves to publicly demonstrate further proof that God is at work in restoration. A typical day sees the men working first shift jobs from 8 to 5 or 9 to 5 and engaging in Scripture daily. They take care of their own meals themselves and serve The lighthouse by doing chores.
Throughout the week there are four groups that they attend. One of the most significant is the Tuesday night Burger King group. It inspires the public openly as anyone can attend and a biblical life skill is presented weekly as well as a time of prayer. Other groups the men attend include a Thursday night study on Biblical manhood plus their mentorship meeting as well as the required attendance of an approved church.
By working the program in the public eye, it serves the public as well. During the Tuesday Burger King group, the men deal with anger management and life issues alongside the community. It has also had a positive effect upon the patrons who come in for a burger and a coke. The public has been greatly encouraged to hear how they too can apply the Bible to their lives and hear how the gospel will help them overcome addictions, anger, and provide life skills to live in the abundance of Christ.
Talking with Bower, you get a sense of the authenticity of the gospel as it applies to his life and so many others. Distinctively fitted for his job with a masters in biblical counseling from Trinity Seminary, he’s also a state licensed addiction therapist. Therefore, he is a unique fit dealing with the secular side (courts and legal issues) and the spiritual components of recovery. His passion for God and for people needing discipleship shows through.
Sober for 16 years, he began The Lighthouse six years ago. Driven for change, Bower saw a need for biblical counseling as many secular places worked with people, but failed to talk of Jesus. His joy is the ability to share Jesus freely with God holding his heart.
The Lighthouse just recently purchased a building that adds 22 additional beds. That purchase expands the ministry from the current 16 spaces. The long-range plan is to one day become a self-sustaining ministry.
The Lighthouse raises its funds through community donations from churches, businesses, and local grants. Yet those enrolled in the program, whether it be for six months or two years, engage in their own support by paying one hundred dollars a week rent once they have found a job. Additionally, The Lighthouse raises support through community drug testing and consultation. They even run a thrift store were residents of the program can serve to work community hours and have a sense of belonging.
Another hope of The Lighthouse is that when people come by and walk through the front door, they would see that this transitional living facility is upscale. It’s a home, not just a halfway house where people lounge around in community. The team of The Lighthouse desires to glorify God by showing what is obtainable through sobriety and how God does work and change lives. It is the only faith-based recovery home in the community. So therefore, truly The Lighthouse a shining a light into the dark world that others may have hope and restoration in Jesus Christ.
To gain access to the program and applicant will go on the website filling out an eight-page referral form. At that point, Bower and a team will look for the best fit for the program, not necessarily the next name on the list. This is to minister to the person who would most likely succeed from this ministry. They then invite that man to visit a community group and discuss the opportunity face to face.
The Lighthouse seeks to go the extra mile. Being proactive in nature, they work with the resident to form an individualized goal sheet. Using this as a commitment tool, the volunteers and people such as Bower work together to help that person achieve those goals. Among the standards for success of the program is the person’s development of monthly accountability as well a salvation in Jesus Christ.
Pray for The Lighthouse. Pray that their light would so shine that people would be won to Christ and know true freedom in Him.