“Recovery is something that you have to work on every single day, and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.”
In my own life, I have been privileged and blessed to have some of my hardest battles reserved for adulthood. In many ways my growing-up years were free from some of the big hurts and traumas that so many others face. As an adult, I came to understand that wasn’t true for many, many people in the world.
It certainly isn’t true for many people in El Salvador, and many children and teens are facing truly life-defining battles. Among them are the residents in our New Dawn Residential Program. This is our program for children and teens between the ages of 10 and 17 that struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol. At a young age, our residents must face down what will surely prove to be one of the biggest battles of their lives, and one that they will most likely continue to fight even as they grow.
Entering the program means signing up to battle day in and day out…no days off, no breaks, no vacations. Every day waking up to once again fight forward toward recovery, restoration, and a new way.
Our residents do not battle alone. Our staff is committed to providing interventions, therapies, activities, devotionals, workshops, tutoring, and so many other things to serve as tools and weapons in the battle. Our staff are at war too because serving someone through recovery can feel like a fight. Not all days are good, and recovery never, ever takes a day off.
We also want each resident to know they are loved, they are worthy of being whole again, and they are more than their traumas, addictions, and hurts. They are even more than their daily battle. They are created in God’s image, and loved by Him. He deeply desires a relationship with them so that they will never, ever walk alone.
As people, we can’t work miracles and we can’t snap our fingers and hope a disease like addiction just disappears. But we can sharpen the swords, and join hands, and pray, and advocate for each young life we are privileged to shape in this hard, hard war.