FROM OUR PRESIDENT…
The alumni of Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge have experienced the miraculous work of God in many ways. As an alumnus of this great program myself, I have personally come to the realization that recovery is not only possible, it is lasting!
Our alumni have experienced the call of God on their lives as they have been transformed from death to life. Throughout this process, our alumni have also come to know and believe that hope is real and future success in life is a reality. One scripture verse that all PAATC alumni are familiar with is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, verse 13 which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Our alumni have also explored, and many times discovered, the gifts that God created them to use and they leave with a passion to develop these gifts. But most importantly, our alumni have come to a firm belief that God is for us and He is not against us, which gives strength and courage to walk the long path of recovery.
There are many opportunities throughout the year for our alumni to stay connected with and to support PAATC. This is critically important for our alumni as they travel down their path of recovery. This difficult path is meant to be traveled in community, not alone. Staying connected with the family of PAATC and supporting others in the program where possible will aid the process of successful life transformation. Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Thank you to all of our supporters as you continue to help further our vision of “Bringing Wholeness to the Hopeless” and participate in the process of life transformation for our patients, students, and alumni!
Kris J. McFadden, Sr., M.A.R.
My name is Debbie Riccelli and I am the Alumni Coordinator for Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge.
Allow me to share what brings me here. I have been in recovery since January 10, 2012. My husband and I walk this journey together, with the Lord. We have three sons that are thriving and doing well in school. All three of my boys have a passion for basketball.
Working in recovery is my passion! Psalms 40:2 is my life verse because He has brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings. This is my ministry and I feel blessed to share openly about my recovery, and more importantly what the Lord has done!
Which leads me to our Alumni program. PAATC is excited to officially launch a community dedicated to supporting our alumni. The purpose of the Alumni program is to edify and encourage each other in our walk and eventually join each other in sober events.
If you are an Alumni of one of our programs, please take a moment to complete the survey included in this newsletter and send it back to us. Or, feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the Alumni program!
By Julian Kopano
“It was the 80’s and I was arrested for having two $20 rocks of crack cocaine. I’ll never forget the presentencing reporter who was taking my statement for the judge. When I told her the story of the last six months of my life, she looked right at me and called me a liar.”
Her disbelief was understandable. Within six months of trying crack cocaine, Vladimir had gone from being a successful husband and father who was leading a Phoenix, AZ insurance agency to a man who had lost everything. His wife and daughter moved back to the east coast, and he was selling crack cocaine to support his own addiction.
Vladimir was incarcerated for nearly two years. After his release he went back to using crack cocaine, and was again arrested for possession. This time he got four years in Arizona State Penitentiary.
In prison, Vladimir encountered Jesus Christ. After hearing a graduate of Teen Challenge speak at a prison church service, Vladimir knew that Teen Challenge was where God wanted him to go.
In an answer to prayer, Vladimir was granted parole and was admitted to Teen Challenge.
When he came to Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC), Vladimir was discipled, grew closer to the Lord, and began to understand his purpose as the seeds of mentorship and reconciliation were planted in him.
“I had some really great experiences, and I just met God there! He made himself real in so many ways at Teen Challenge when my daughter came running into my arms after not seeing me for four and a half years. He used PAATC to reunite me with my baby girl!”
A friend and supporter of PAATC, Vladimir has been in recovery for over 23 years and walks as the faithful husband, father, and grandfather that God has called him to be.
He is the Founder and CEO of Sound Community Solutions, Inc. (SCS, Inc.), an organization whose primary focus is on mentorship for men and women coming out of prison.
Contracted with the Department of Corrections, SCS, Inc. is the number one mentoring program for re-entry in Pennsylvania. SCS, Inc. currently has offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Delaware County, York and Lancaster.
LET’S BUILD HOPE TOGETHER!
PAATC and Naaman Center are participating in the ExtraGive and Giving Tuesday.
ExtraGive is the region’s largest online giving day. Hosted by the Lancaster County Community Foundation, the ExtraGive is on Friday, November 20, 2020.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
Giving Tuesday is December 1, 2020.
RELATIONSHIPS IN RECOVERY
By Michael Fanjoy
While we are all experiencing challenges during the Coronavirus crisis; it can be especially difficult for those who need to prioritize connection with a recovery support community. It is important for all of us to remain connected during times of stress and uncertainty but for people in recovery, emotional deregulation can leave a person vulnerable for relapse.
Thankfully, online resources exist to safely gather people together to share their faith, experiences, strength, and hope with each other.
We can also connect through daily phone calls to remain connected and check in with each other. Many therapists, counselors and mental health professionals are also offering online services and telehealth visits to keep connected with mental health resources. Naaman center, a subsidiary of PAATC, is currently offering these services.
Building, repairing, and maintaining healthy family relationships in recovery is important. These relationships will help generate feelings of connection, value, and significance. Strong relationships are a key factor in successful recovery, so it is important to focus on developing a healthy bond with family.
Equally important is having a strong group of healthy friends. While social situations can be a source of anxiety, there are many ways to overcome these fears such as joining church support groups, 12-step support groups, recreational groups, volunteering, or hobbies. One group that can be very helpful is Celebrate Recovery.
Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program with foundations firmly established on biblical truth. It is designed to help participants find freedom from challenging hurts, hang-ups, and habits of any kind. Many of these groups are currently offering online services through various video chat platforms such as ZOOM. You can learn more about this program at celebraterecovery.com