Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” -Nehemiah 2:17
At a time when it appears there’s no real good news to share, it’s refreshing when one comes across a truly inspiring story.
And so it was for me this past Tuesday evening here in Dallas. Let me be more specific, South Dallas, and if you’ve ever been down there off I-45 you know exactly the area. But it was there I found a beacon of hope, a ray of light that illuminated what could be considered the deep darkness of despair. I was the Tuesday service speaker at the “Men of Nehemiah” (MON) center.
From their website, “The Men of Nehemiah is a Christian Community Service movement designed to rebuild the lives of families that have been torn apart by the vicious onslaught of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, crime and violence. Initiated in South Dallas, TX as a catalyst for the permeation of God’s love and presence throughout North Texas and beyond, our primary ministry is a comprehensive discipleship and addiction recovery program for men, particularly men who are homeless and/or formerly incarcerated.
The Men of Nehemiah believe that as a man’s life is rebuilt through discipleship he is restored to his God-ordained position as a good Steward of his life, the Head of his family, a Leader in his community, a Minister (servant) to mankind, and a Witness of Hope to the world. The Men of Nehemiah Discipleship Program provides homeless and formerly incarcerated men with residential accommodations, individual discipleship training, addiction treatment including individual, group and family clinical counseling, mentorship, job readiness training, case management, computer literacy training, and an array other recovery support services.”
The theme of the Men of Nehemiah center is taken from the verse shared above: “rebuilding the wall” — the inner wall, the fortification of these men to make them what God intended them to be, responsible “watchmen on the walls.”
The vehicle used in this center is not the prescription of man, but rather using God’s love and faith to restore, renew, rejuvenate, and reestablish these men to be what God intended them to be.
At a time when we’re facing the opioid crisis in America, and our U.S. Senate believes $45 billion will rectify the situation, this simple program headed up by Louis Harrell Jr., is providing success, one man at a time.
Louis’ story is a unique testimony to the MON.
In other words, Louis is teaching and investing in these men to overcome that which he, through the Grace of God, has overcome. There is no more powerful manner of instructing and recovery than for it to come from an example, and in the area where there is so much hurting. But what I love the most about the Men of Nehemiah is the use of military discipline as a vehicle for rehabilitation and structure.
The 15 Biblical Principles of The Men of Nehemiah:
1. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must face the Truth with the understanding that truthfulness is the foundation for his recovery.
3. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must face himself and admit that drugs are not the root cause of his problem; he must seek to find that root cause.
4. WE BELIEVE THAT CONFESSION OF SIN to Jesus Christ knowing that He is Just and Able to forgive us of our sins.
5. WE BELIEVE THAT FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST is the source of our strength.
6. WE BELIEVE THAT TO GAIN VICTORY IS THROUGH SURRENDERING our will to the Will of God for our lives.
7. WE BELIEVE THAT ONE MUST MAINTAIN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD and with those friends who help in our recovery.
8. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN should gracefully reach out and share with others his recovery and how he overcame through Jesus Christ.
9. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must make provisions for at least 3 daily devotions with God so He can transform his life.
10. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must keep a personal inventory of his life just to allow God to remove all defects.
11. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must have a change of attitude, knowing that attitudes lead to actions.
12. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must learn to forgive himself and others so he can experience the forgiveness of God.
13. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must understand his addiction to drugs were not the root of his problem, but sin against God was his problem.
14. THAT EVERY MAN must know that Jesus Christ has set him free from sin and his addiction, and he will strive to remain free from this yoke of bondage, which is sin.
15. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY MAN must know how he overcame this sin and addiction, by the blood of Jesus Christ and by his testimony.
It’s impressive to watch the strength of character of these men who come to realize that they are victors, not victims. To shake the hands of one who has gone through the nine-month program and has a $50,000-a-year job awaiting, has already started working and has a viable bank account. This is how we change lives. This is how we tackle the dark specter of drug addiction and irresponsibility with men. This is an example of what that chucklehead gay activist Tim Gill described as the wicked” when he talked about Christians, as I wrote about here. Perhaps Mr. Gill would be better served to put some of his millions of dollars behind Men of Nehemiah instead of his selfish, radical, ideological LGBT agenda. Perhaps Mr. Gill should ask himself, what is more beneficial to our society, his agenda, or this Christian ministry to help men recover from homelessness and drug addition, enabling them to be responsible, and better fathers?
My message to the U.S. Senate: we don’t need government to believe it can do this. But what’s best is to stop the insidious wealth redistribution policies to demonize the “rich.” Allow Americans to take care of Americans, free up more capital to be able to be donated to a cause such as this which is producing results…and some of the men I met Tuesday night were from as far away as California.
I just had to share this awesome story with you. And I implore you to visit the Men of Nehemiah website and listen to the testimonies. Perhaps you’ll even decide to support this needed ministry. If we are to rebuild the walls of America we will need men, we will need men of character and resolve…we will need the Men of Nehemiah.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]