Thursday, May 20, 2010


Luke Wetzel, Durham, N.C.

On Sunday I got to attend Duke's commencement exercises. Yesterday, on my third day at Urban Ministries of Durham I attended a graduation of a different sort. Eleven people graduated from UMD's HOPE/BELIEVE recovery program. These men and women had completed a rigorous five months of residence, classes, support groups, and service in the Urban Ministries shelter. Each were making plans for jobs, housing, and clean and sober life outside of the shelter. Some of them already had jobs and housing lined up, others were in process, one woman expressed the desire to learn to play the saxophone. The ceremony was inspiring. It featured an address by Duke Divinity preaching professor, Dr. Charles Campbell. Dr. Campbell reminded the graduates of the remarkable witness that their sobriety is to the power of God to overcome addiction, not only to drugs and alcohol, but to consumerism, to violence, to busyness. Todd, Victor, Wilbert, Jack, Robert, Mike, Lamont, Bobby, Kenneth, Thornton, and Monique still have a ways to go. Addicts don't talk about being "recovered," but "recovering." For them and for all of us there are temptations and challenges daily.

You can read about the event in the Durham Herald-Sun here.

No comments: