TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There are programs all across East Texas for those who struggle with addiction. Several have wait lists and others can be rather expensive. But there's a free program in Tyler that's providing a way for people to recover and reconnect with Christ.
For many people, it's the hardest six months of their life. The Salvation Army is helping those battling addiction. Bruce Watson, a facilitator explained, "ReConnect is a faith-based recovery program for folks who are struggling with addictions; alcohol, drugs. And this started from the heart of others who have struggled."
It's divided into two phases, ending with a transition phase to help clients return to society with a healthy, productive life and it's all built on a foundation of faith. Watson said, "The idea is to reveal to people who God really is, His love for them and how that makes a difference in their life."
Benny Henderson is a military veteran who has struggled with addiction for most of his adult life. He was referred to reconnect by the VA last year after other programs didn't work. Henderson told us, "I said God, whatever I need to do, I'm going to do it."
The small group meets daily, opening with prayer and praise and worship. Henderson's class, led by Watson, worked from this book, "Freedom from Addiction." Henderson said, "I talked to him a lot in the classes and he gave me a lot of good answers straight from the word of God."
"We talk from the scriptures, we talk about life and are just real with it and honest with it. I guess that's what I do, facilitate the truth being heard and understood," Watson said. "It's been incredible. The thing that is so neat is that it's definitely a group of people that are open to hear something because they're struggling."
Henderson completed the six-month program a few short weeks ago. He said, "It feels good. The work is not over. It's a new responsibility that I have and I accept it. I've learned who to go to, who to talk to and where my help comes from."
He also has a message for anyone out there who is struggling with addiction right now. "There is hope and faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God is the key to your freedom."
Right now, there are 12 clients in the ReConnect program. They take up to 16. For more information on how to enroll, or if you would like to offer financial support to continue to keep these services free for those who need them, contact Cheryl Andreason at 903-592-4361.