Program for Changing Habits
By Justin Norris
Many blessings to my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus! My name is Justin Norris, director of the Reformers Unanimous of McDowell County. Reformers Unanimous, or as we like to call it, RU, is a Biblically based, Christ-centered recovery program designed to rescue, recover, and restore those with addictive behaviors with the power of the victorious life found only in Jesus Christ. My wife, Kayla, and I started out with what we truly felt was a calling to be missionaries to the inner city of Philadelphia. After several months of prayer and preparation, our pastor at New Manna Baptist Church, Tony Shirley, approached us about this ministry and expressed the great need in our community. We had a past of addiction ourselves and the inner city of Philadelphia was a perfect place for us to minister. This type of ministry is what we had in mind, so we decided to seek The Lord more intently. The close of 2016 brought us to a decision, and we decided it was most certainly God’s will to stay and minister in Marion, North Carolina. We went to Rockford, Illinois and learned what this ministry entailed and decided this was it. So, we set a startup date on May 26th, 2017, and we have been growing and have had the pleasure of seeing lives made free and transformed through the gospel of Jesus Christ! Here are a couple of our attendees who have experienced this very thing, and these are their testimonies.
“My name is David Orostica. I grew up in a catholic family in the Republic of Colombia in Central America. By the time I was 6, I was out of church and started running the streets. At the age of 8, I was introduced to drug dealing and started to traffic drugs myself. I didn’t start doing drugs until I was 9, and for 22 years from that time, I lived a life of hustling, gang activity, and violence. In that time, I fatally harmed and even took others’ lives and had many attempts at my own life. It became such a problem that my family had to move to Florida in hopes to get me away from my lifestyle, but it only continued. Addiction took many loved ones and close friends in these years and God was completely absent from my life until I made the decision recently to seek Him, ask for His forgiveness, and turned my will and life over to Him. Since that moment, I have had 6 months of victory over drugs and am highly active in the community, church, and other organizations. I am still striving to better myself and fulfill the purpose that God has planned for my life and blessed me with.”
“My name is Ruthie Tepal. I was raised in church my whole life and my mother taught me about The Lord. Unfortunately, at the age of 14, I began making wrong decisions and started using drugs. From then on, I was in and out of jail, mental institutions, and even served two sentences in prison. In those dark years, I sometimes prayed, and every once in a while, darkened the doors of a church, but I felt there was no way out of this lifestyle and all hope was lost. On March 1st, 2017, I finally started an attempt at a sober life, but it wasn’t until June 2nd, when I went to Reformers Unanimous at New Manna Baptist Church, that my life changed. I learned what having a true relationship with Jesus Christ really was and that’s when I became truly free. I want to thank God for saving me, for this program, and for my church that started it, and lastly, I want to thank my mother for planting the seed of God’s Word in my life. I have now had victory over addiction for 9 months and have a true relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It is our passion to be a guidance and help to anyone who struggles with any addiction, and we believe with all of our hearts that “once an addict, always an addict” does not have to be the standard. They can have complete and true freedom, only through Jesus Christ. Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life”. We defer hope when we believe our addiction is an incurable illness that we must battle the rest of our life. The Bible tells us in John 8:36 that “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye SHALL be free INDEED.” We welcome you to our program at New Manna Baptist Church located at 245 East Court Street, Marion, NC. Our meals start at 6:30 PM and our program starts at 7 PM until 9 PM every Friday night. You may contact Justin Norris at (828)544-9883, or Kayla Norris at (828)381-1689 at any time. We look forward to serving you and your loved ones!