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Guest post by Mary Shaw

“Because it feels like an island sometimes…”

We often hear people on the front lines of ministry to those struggling with addiction say they definitely are in need of help and especially encouragement. If you are committed to a genuinely biblical approach to addiction ministry, then you often feel very, very alone. 

TAC is providing workers in the field of addiction ministry a much needed avenue of encouragement and edification, and we couldn’t be happier to be the vehicle through which ministries with a biblical approach are strengthened and built up in Christ.

Dr. Mark E. Shaw’s latest conversation with Jim Quigley and Pete Higgs was a classic example of what God continues to do over and over through TAC. 

The “Connection” of The Addiction Connection is multi-faceted because we get to see so many connections made all the time! It truly is a relationally-based ministry.

By God’s grace, The Addiction Connection is Connecting the Hope of the Gospel with the Heart of Addiction.

In addition, the leadership team and participants in our network get the privilege of:

  • Connecting the fellow workers in biblical addictions ministry to one another in a mutually encouraging way 
  • Connecting people who need residential and non-residential programs with those who offer them
  • Connecting addiction ministry in a practical way to the local church
  • Connecting people who need biblical addiction resources with solid books, videos, curriculum, and in-person speakers
  • Connecting those who desire additional training in addiction biblical counseling with those who offer our personal and relational commissioning process

Yes, there are all kinds of connections going on at TAC! 

We keep meeting people who are offering the hope of the Gospel for the Heart of Addiction! Across the U.S.A. and around the world.

Recently, Dr. Mark Shaw chose two servant-leaders in addictions residential programs, Jim Quigley and Pete Higgs, to join him in a discussion of their past “connections” and also to talk about the current blessings and hard work of offering residential hope and help for men struggling with addiction issues. 

The way God orchestrated Jim and Pete’s connection to one another and then their subsequent connection to The Addiction Connection family is awe-inspiring. And Mark is so blessed to know both of them now. I know you will be blessed by taking the time to hear their stories.

God keeps bringing more and more people across our paths at TAC. And God is so good at joining people together in connections that may have never met each other before but for HIS grace and sovereign plan. 

QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE GUESTS

So allow me to give you some background facts as you listen to this podcast.

  1. Men’s Residential Addiction Programs, Freedom Farm and Renovatus, are listed on The Addiction Connection’s website because they both offer the hope of the Gospel for the heart of addiction.
  2. Jim Quigley is a Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselor with The Addiction Connection, and serves on TAC’s Board of Directors, while at the same time serving Freedom Farm in Boone, North Carolina as the Executive Director.
  3. Pete Higgs, of Renovatus in Jefferson City, TN, launched a residential addictions program when Pete and his wife accepted the call from the Lord to help broken and hurting people, particularly men and their families.

Now that you have those facts, here’s where the conversation started.

Galatians 6:1-6 (with a focus on verses 1 and 2) opened their discussion.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (NIV)

THE BACKGROUND STORY

There’s a neat story behind how Pete and Jim first met each other about a decade ago, and it had nothing to do with The Addiction Connection actually! Jim was serving in a position of lower level leadership at Freedom Farm, while still a resident himself. Pete needed residential addiction help for his two sons. You will hear all the details of the whole story on the podcast.

Jim spoke to the hard work of ministering biblically to men who are struggling with addictions. ‘Slow is the pace and often few are the resources,’ was the sentiment he expressed. On the flip side though, Jim expressed how much a joy it is to see how well both the men (Pete’s sons) are doing now—growing in their walk with Christ. 

Pete jumped in immediately with how much he himself learned during the time that his own two sons were with Jim at Freedom Farm in Boone. He also commended Jim for how wisely he dealt with his sons, appropriately using gentleness and truth whenever needed at the time, for which, as a father he will forever be grateful to Jim.

Thankfulness also poured out of Pete for the most recent journey they have been on, as they have gone from a goal of restoration at Renovatus, to a now more biblically fine-tuned goal of transformation as they are ministering to the men God sends their way. He shared excitement that his men at Renovatus are now going through The Heart of Addiction material and reading it three times per week, loving what they are reading. 

MORE ABOUT THE RENOVATUS FARMLAND

The year long men’s residential program in Jefferson City, Tennessee, with a majestic view of the beautiful Smoky Mountains, has as its vision, 

“Empowering people to be free from drug and alcohol addiction and restoring them to Christ-centered living.”

Faithfully stewarding the farmland is sustaining the ministry of serving the men who come to the program, because they are able to sell their produce and eat it as well. Farming is essential to their day-to-day operation. It also provides so many opportunities to talk about Jesus and how so many important biblical teachings are agriculturally related symbols, Pete explains.

With pigs, agricultural produce, and good old fashioned hard work in the dirt, the addictions program is helping men find transformation through Christ alone while simultaneously helping the local community by offering delicious, farm fresh, produce from their seasonal crops like squash, beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, kale, lettuce, cilantro… and the list goes on and on.

The Renovatus 2021 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is currently taking orders.

See what they usually have growing at this link https://www.renovatusrc.org/csa

JUST ONE TESTIMONY OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE

The podcast concluded with Pete telling a glorious and beautiful testimony about one particular man who has been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ from alcohol through Pete’s sacrificial and loving work at Renovatus. You don’t want to miss this story of renovation and restoration.

Mark, Jim, and Pete’s conversation will have you tearing up with the stories they tell about God’s sovereign hand guiding them in their ministries, and then you may share a laugh or two with them as well. In my opinion, this podcast is “classic TAC,” because of the connections that God has sovereignly ordained by His gracious Hand. To Him alone be all the glory.

-Mary (Encouraged and Excited for all that God is doing and WILL do through TAC)