A Message of Hope
By Jim Smith
Heart Cry is an integral part of Freedom Life’s mission and message. It is a gospel band that performs bluegrass, southern gospel, and contemporary music styles that also includes many songs of the original composition. The combination of wholesome music along with moving and inspiring personal stories creates a powerful concert event that has touched the lives of many people in the Western North Carolina Region.
I recently had Heart Cry attend my church. I was very impressed with the quality and genres of music they brought to the table. Throughout the worship service, stories of redemption and renewal were shared. Since coming on board with Freedom Life, I have begun promoting Heart Cry to other Ministers of Music. We have created several ideas that would involve your congregation in the service if you host Heart Cry. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
Scott Kelly, a former Freedom Life client, is one of the trio members in Heart Cry. Scott has no formal musical training, but shines in worship and has a tremendous voice. Scott has also written several of the songs that Heart Cry sings – which again, I was very impressed. Along with Scott, many other clients from Freedom Life attend these worship events and share their testimonies of hope. To me, there is nothing more powerful than hearing how God took hopelessness and turned it into victory.
“Recovery Happens!” It does not happen by accident or without great struggle and sacrifice, but by the grace of the God we serve, recovery does happen.
At Freedom Life, we are committed to the pursuit and celebration of “Recovery” as much as we are committed to helping men and women who have faced incarceration successfully navigate through the transitional needs and transformational opportunities of “Reentry”.
Up to 90% of Freedom Life clients struggle with some form of life-altering addictive behavior. 80% struggle directly with various types of substance use addiction. The McDowell community, much like our nation as a whole, continues to be deeply impacted by the opioid crisis as well as other drugs such as meth. Individual lives and families are being ripped apart.
Yet, amid this deep and difficult struggle, there is great work being done by agencies and organizations within our community to address the underlying issues of addiction and promote the great certainty of hope that recovery isn’t just a possibility, it is a reality.
Freedom Life has been working with other organizations for the past five years to help lead the fight against the destructiveness of addiction and for the powerful hope that is recovery. We have chaired the McDowell Substance Use Coalition, a collaborative group of local agencies and organizations that are working together to research root causes and create new initiatives, resourcing, and strategic solutions that address these causes while also providing help directly to men and women trapped in addiction. In order to effectively serve the needs of our clients in reentry, we must collaboratively serve the needs of our community in recovery. It takes a community working together to make a difference.
Heart Cry is in the process of making its first CD project this spring with a local producer. We hope that this CD Project can help others find hope through music that will point them to a redeeming Savior.
I would encourage you to talk with your pastors about hosting Heart Cry. There is no fee requirement, just a simple love offering. For more information concerning how to schedule Heart Cry please contact the Freedom Life office at 828-559-2224, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Smith is an area Worship Arts Director, He is the Development Director at Freedom Life Ministries, and manages the production company wjscreativegroup.com
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