Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Janelle & Donald Owen
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000134B
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:14 You know, for a lot of people,
00:16 it's just uncomfortable to talk about
00:18 who we are sexually
00:19 but I just feel like we are a mass.
00:21 I remember even when,
00:24 for some of you know the Ashley Manor thing,
00:26 where 45 million people were on a dating site
00:30 where they were just having,
00:31 they could find someone to have sex with,
00:34 never even get their names right,
00:36 half of them were married.
00:37 Most of them were in relationships
00:41 with other people but we are a mass
00:42 in every single way and I think unless we talk about it,
00:45 unless we stop hiding and stop living in shame...
00:50 We are going to be hijacked
00:52 in every way with any addiction,
00:54 as soon as I can say out loud, you know what?
00:56 I'm powerless with this.
00:57 I need some help, as soon as I can start
00:59 bringing people into my life to keep me accountable,
01:02 I'm going to be stuck and that's any addiction,
01:05 eating, sex, work, spending,
01:08 religious addictions, any of that kind of stuff
01:10 and so for folks that are a little nervous
01:13 when we talk about sex itself is that I just wanna say,
01:17 thank you so much,
01:19 'cause you shared a lot with us, so far both.
01:22 Donald and Janelle, you were talking about
01:24 from the time you were kids.
01:27 You've used sexuality in a way to escape,
01:30 to feel good, to get into a fantasy world to cope,
01:34 now you met each other, fall in love, move in together.
01:38 Did you know about each other's kind of sexual addiction?
01:41 And where did that play
01:43 in your first part of your relationship?
01:46 I'd say maybe onto the depth of it.
01:48 Probably, a little bit but yeah,
01:49 as far as with my area of sexual chat,
01:52 she had no clue.
01:53 And I was doing sexual chat on the pornography,
01:55 so I'm watching the movies and stuff
01:57 actually we did together,
01:58 so that part, yeah, but the sexual chats,
02:00 she did not know, I kept it quiet
02:03 and had to expose that years later
02:05 after I finally came clean
02:07 but, yeah, it was not really as prevalent.
02:10 Go ahead.
02:11 We were together for a while
02:13 before we actually started going to the video store
02:14 and the "back room."
02:16 You know, where they had the little section
02:18 with the porn and stuff and where we were kind of,
02:20 had to sneak back there basically, because the room...
02:24 The place is full of people and it's kind of like
02:26 you feel ashamed just going in there
02:28 and it was kind of like, you know,
02:29 the more we went in there though the less and less,
02:32 you know, we just became desensitized just like,
02:35 you know, we became desensitized
02:37 in a lot of ways because of our past
02:40 but just, you know, going in there and, you know,
02:42 getting the videos and even at the checkout
02:44 was like, wow, and kind of embarrassed about this
02:47 but eventually, I wasn't,
02:49 but we were together for a few years
02:51 before we started doing that and go in and get...
02:53 Before you were that open with each other.
02:56 So now you're still living together,
02:58 openly acting out together and everything is fine.
03:03 No problems.
03:04 You find out that he's also in chat rooms
03:08 talking with other people and so, you know,
03:11 even everybody has these kinds of things
03:14 but that's across the line, I, you know,
03:16 you are now cheating on me.
03:18 Yeah. Basically. Yeah.
03:20 And I think I kind of suspected something when he,
03:24 before he told me I kind of suspected just because of,
03:27 you know, we were together,
03:29 I think maybe seven years at that point
03:31 and I just knew that he wasn't acting right.
03:34 And I could tell.
03:35 And so we finally had that conversation and it was,
03:40 you know, like when he told me and I don't even know
03:43 how I did this but he told me, you know,
03:46 what he was doing and stuff and I,
03:48 somehow I found his username and password,
03:50 was checking his stuff and I was like,
03:53 I don't even like the person I was becoming
03:54 and like I'm so distrustful of him
03:56 and just checking everything he's doing like,
03:58 I don't wanna be like that.
04:00 Eventually, you know, I became, you know,
04:02 just like obsessed about it and it was like taken over,
04:06 what I was thinking about, it was like,
04:08 it was on my mind constantly,
04:10 wonder if he's telling me the truth, you know,
04:12 and all that kind of stuff, so I was.
04:15 You know, what's really...
04:17 And this is crazy 'cause I just gotta say this out loud
04:21 is the devil never let's us just sit in our addictions
04:25 and not be trashed, we become suspicious.
04:27 We start, you know,
04:29 and literally we're lost in our addiction
04:32 but we start accusing each other, there's chaos,
04:36 there's all that kind of stuff, there is no peace in sin
04:39 after a while and I don't care what it is,
04:41 you know, there's just no peace
04:43 and what you're finding
04:44 is what was okay with us for years.
04:47 All of the sudden, it's turning on both of us
04:49 and we're having to look at that, you know,
04:54 did you guys decide that we just got to,
04:57 you know, you know this is cheesy,
04:59 just say 'no.'
05:01 We gotta stop, we gotta turn things around
05:04 and when did that come into your relationship?
05:06 For me, actually I had to back up
05:07 when we're talking about the sexual chat,
05:09 I was really being, how to put this,
05:11 so it was really disgrading on my mind.
05:13 I've got to tell her, I've got to tell her,
05:14 was constantly,
05:16 this is getting too deep and I've got to quit this,
05:18 I'm in a serious relationship,
05:20 you know, my parents were still married to this day.
05:22 I didn't come from a broken family like that.
05:25 And so I knew how serious relationships are
05:28 and I kept still, driven into this sexual chat
05:31 and I'm like, I've got to tell her,
05:33 this is gonna kill her
05:34 and I know it's gonna just break our trust.
05:36 And, Donald, when you talk about driven into that,
05:38 I have friends that said,
05:41 that even as they're in bed together,
05:43 wife reading, husbands online,
05:46 chatting or looking at something,
05:49 so it drives you, it's like every free moment,
05:52 you know, it doesn't matter if you're at work
05:54 or it doesn't matter if somebody is in the house.
05:56 I'm gonna find a way to get online.
06:00 It even followed me from my one job I lost
06:02 to the next job and I knew I was doing wrong.
06:04 I just kept going right back into it,
06:06 it got even heavier because I found YouTube
06:08 and that went really interesting
06:10 and I know world was watching what I was watching
06:12 but that's where some changes happened though.
06:16 I started realizing I need to make some changes in my life...
06:18 'Cause you'll lose your job again.
06:19 Yeah. Well, that and I'll lose her.
06:21 And so I'm just crying out to God
06:23 and what had happened is in 2008,
06:25 we had made arrangements to get married.
06:27 It was ten years later and we finally decided
06:29 we're going to get married,
06:31 August of that year and in February,
06:34 I had a very interesting dream, late February 2008,
06:38 I had a dream and I know where it came from,
06:40 it came from God
06:42 and He spoke to me through that dream,
06:45 it was very intense.
06:46 I was in a bar drinking, having some fun
06:48 with some friends and they're sitting down.
06:50 I was standing up.
06:51 This old man walks in, he had a long white beard,
06:53 long white hair, had made eye contact,
06:55 he was literally looking in your eyes,
06:57 said, "God is coming."
06:58 And I just shot up on my bed
07:00 and I just literally ran to the living room,
07:02 I've never read a Bible before.
07:03 I grabbed the Bible, started reading it.
07:04 I'm like, "Why am I doing this?"
07:06 I stated crying and like, I don't know what's going on.
07:08 This is crazy but...
07:10 It was so real to you. Oh, yeah.
07:11 So, you know, to me I just want you to address this
07:14 'cause some people say,
07:16 "God doesn't talk to us in our sin."
07:18 Oh, that's not true. Yeah.
07:20 And why do you say that's not true
07:22 because to me I think one of the most important thing
07:25 for us to remember is God never stops talking to us.
07:29 That's right. He's always there.
07:30 He's like, I can't lose you, you know, there's a, you know,
07:34 we wrote "Steps to Christ" in a recovery edition
07:37 and in that I, you know, there's a place in Hosea,
07:44 where God says, "How can I let you go,
07:46 even though you're destroying yourself,
07:49 even though you don't even know it's me that's chasing you.
07:52 I will not stop... That's right.
07:54 "I love you"
07:56 and that sense of God saying, "I can't stop."
08:00 You are pushing me away. You're shutting the door.
08:03 You're putting all of this stuff around you,
08:05 you can't even hardly hear my voice but I promise you,
08:09 if you get silent for a moment, you will know I'm right there.
08:11 Right. He's looking for an open heart.
08:14 I want you to open that heart to me.
08:15 That grace come flooding in and,
08:17 you know, when God speaks till you hear
08:19 and you'll know He's calling you
08:21 out of that darkness...
08:22 So you get the Word of God now, you're going to that...
08:26 Well, what are you thinking?
08:27 Well, I should mention, I don't think I did,
08:28 the fact that we almost broke up over this
08:31 and so there was a really rough time for us there,
08:36 for about a year and a half
08:38 and I remember these roses that he bought me,
08:40 it just came to my mind,
08:42 he bought me these roses to plant
08:44 and so there's three of them.
08:46 And so I planted them and that was like a symbolic,
08:49 you know, he wanted, it was just kind of like,
08:52 "Will you forgive me," kind of thing.
08:53 And so it was really interesting
08:57 'cause every time I would see these roses,
08:58 you know, and stuff I remember how we made amends
09:02 and at that point I wasn't thinking about God,
09:05 when we were still going through all this
09:07 but I know that he was working on both of our hearts
09:10 and so I know that seeing him struggle with,
09:13 you know, his own addictions that he was trying to quit
09:16 and so then I knew I had my own stuff too with,
09:19 I was dealing with, trying to, you know, quit
09:21 and so I knew that God was working on him
09:24 because he's after this dream,
09:26 he started reading his Bible and he was really, you know,
09:29 searching for God
09:30 and I wasn't ready at that point,
09:33 I wasn't ready for God,
09:34 I have been raised in a Christian home.
09:37 You know, my parents got divorced.
09:38 I stopped going to church, you know.
09:40 And so I knew about God but I never just,
09:44 I wasn't ready
09:46 and really wasn't sure about God at that point
09:49 and if I wanted to come back,
09:52 like at what time I would come back.
09:53 What does that mean?
09:55 What's really crazy is we get into this imagery
09:59 and this stuff and this world that is just so twisted
10:03 as far as who are we as men, who are we as women,
10:06 what is sexy, what is not, all of that thing
10:08 and the picture we have of somebody in church.
10:12 Like I remember watching Saturday Night Live once
10:15 and I don't even know if you know the earlier stuff
10:17 but there was a church lady on there
10:18 and she was in black and she had a bun on
10:21 and she would say, "Who made you do that?
10:24 Was it Satan?"
10:25 You know, and I thought,
10:27 "God, do not make me the church lady."
10:29 When somebody said,
10:30 "You're gonna become a Christian."
10:32 I would almost panic because I didn't want to be that...
10:36 I didn't want to be, you know, no fun and angry
10:39 and all that kind of stuff
10:40 and so if you're from that background
10:42 and you've been seduced into pornography,
10:44 the devil himself will make Christianity look bizarre.
10:48 And see that was something I think too that,
10:51 I'm glad you mentioned that because when I was a kid,
10:53 I saw that kind of Christianity,
10:56 I saw that, you know, the,
10:59 you know, just, you know, never...
11:01 The judgments and no happy.
11:02 Yeah, no joy. No peace.
11:05 I saw that, you know, I think that kind of made me question,
11:09 you know, do I wanna ever go back
11:10 to that kind of environment.
11:11 I'd never seen anything besides that.
11:14 And so, we know, there was all that going
11:16 through my mind at that time too, so...
11:18 So it's crazy.
11:20 So you're saying, "I'm either in this world
11:22 or I have to go to this one."
11:25 And, you know, could you imagine the strategy
11:29 of the enemy just saying, you know what?
11:30 As long as I can make this world look disgusting,
11:34 Christianity look disgusting.
11:36 I've got them trapped. Exactly.
11:38 But both of you are feeling that God is moving,
11:42 you're in the Word of God.
11:44 You're literally going to the Bible.
11:46 Yeah, actually three months,
11:48 it took me to go from Genesis to Revelation,
11:51 three months I read it and three months
11:53 and I was hungry for more,
11:55 I didn't know where to go and actually I'm going to,
11:57 I was only in church for a while,
11:59 I love to sing, I ain't a lead singer but actually
12:01 God put me in the front of the church
12:03 to kind of lead out
12:04 and I didn't know where He's leading me.
12:06 So you end up going to church.
12:08 She's panicking
12:10 and your life is starting to change.
12:14 You are now seeking after,
12:18 whatever I can find spiritually
12:20 not chat rooms...
12:22 Yep, always...
12:24 And the reason I had to say that, Donald,
12:25 because we say that God changes the desire.
12:28 It's not that we force a change, that God says,
12:32 "I will change your desire,
12:33 you just give me half a chance."
12:35 What were you laughing about?
12:37 Interesting because when I used to work,
12:39 I used to look at YouTube and all this pornography
12:41 and stuff through Youtube
12:42 and then I actually start switching
12:44 and learning truth through the internet and...
12:46 So now you're looking for sermons.
12:47 Yeah. I was looking for truth.
12:49 Yeah, I was thirsty for truth.
12:50 I wanna know what it was and stumbled on it
12:53 and it was just amazing.
12:54 When I finally see what truth really was
12:56 and finding Jesus Christ
12:58 was the biggest thing in my life, so...
12:59 Did you feel, did He ever shame you?
13:02 God. No.
13:04 Could talk about that 'cause a lot of us are afraid,
13:06 I know I was afraid that with my background
13:10 that I would be so ashamed to stand in front of God,
13:14 knowing who I am.
13:17 But when that's not the way it is.
13:19 He'll never shame you, I feel more like I was,
13:21 you know, I shamed him.
13:23 That's the way it was but, yeah, He never,
13:25 He's always accepting me, He's always pulled me in,
13:27 He's always been there and gave me the courage
13:29 and the strength to overcome this addiction.
13:32 So I was really blessed by His grace and His mercy
13:35 and time He gave me.
13:36 You wanna pull out of that because I was 22 years into it.
13:39 We're in the book "Victory in Jesus," we're looking at,
13:43 you know, Romans and in Romans 2:4,
13:48 one of the things I'd love is it says,
13:50 "Do you despise the goodness of God, the grace of God,
13:54 that He literally goes with us
13:56 for years of our acting out, years of our rebellion."
13:59 So that we understand repentance
14:02 and we turn towards Him and hand Him all this stuff.
14:05 And somebody says, "Well, why is God so patient?"
14:07 I don't know but, you know, Paul really warns us,
14:11 don't get angry at God that He's so patient,
14:14 because He doesn't wanna lose any of us
14:16 and you were hijacked as a little boy,
14:19 my heart breaks for that kid and the same thing
14:21 you were hijacked early on
14:23 and as you're watching him change
14:25 'cause he's now changing, right in front of you.
14:28 Yeah, for sure.
14:29 Yeah, and we just, our relationship became,
14:34 it just became better at that point
14:37 and I saw all of the changes in him
14:38 and I knew that he had tried to quit several times,
14:41 these chats and stuff and we were...
14:45 We had our, you know, discussions about it
14:47 and I knew how hard it was for him
14:49 and so I saw those changes
14:51 and I knew that it had to be God, it had to be,
14:53 you know, way beyond Him because of the repeated times
14:57 he had tried to change.
14:58 And so we decided at one point,
15:01 actually, he was ready.
15:03 Each time, like each step towards God,
15:05 he was ready before I was.
15:08 He wanted to get rid of our porn stash
15:12 and our toys and stuff and so, I'll say, "Well, no..."
15:15 I'm not ready. "I'm not ready."
15:17 And so he, you know, he got rid of some of his stuff
15:20 and so, you know, eventually,
15:22 I don't know there's been some time there but eventually,
15:24 I wanted to do the same thing
15:26 and it's kind of this goofy thing
15:29 that not only I was convicted of it
15:31 but also this goofy thought that...
15:33 What if there was a tornado and all this stuff that we have
15:37 is floating around the neighborhood
15:39 and people are seeing it like, "What is that?"
15:41 and so...
15:42 That actually happened somewhere...
15:44 That's funny. Yeah.
15:45 That actually happened. And so I was...
15:47 'Cause there's tornadoes around here,
15:48 so you understand what is.
15:49 Yeah, exactly, and I was like, well,
15:51 I don't want that to be my motivation
15:53 but that wasn't something I was thinking of
15:56 but I thought, you know,
15:58 how can I be really connected with him.
16:00 If he's going this way and I've still got this
16:03 and I'm gonna, you know,
16:04 it just wouldn't be as enjoyable.
16:05 You know, if he was not into it and so,
16:09 we burned the rest of our stuff and...
16:13 I should back up a little bit.
16:14 We were actually talking to each other,
16:15 we're looking at each other and it was kind of interesting,
16:17 we're looking while we can, we're convicted of this now,
16:18 we can't give it to our friends
16:20 and how can you just give up your porn stash...
16:22 Every time you say that, I think,
16:23 I don't know if you're supposed to give
16:25 your porn stash to people.
16:26 No. I don't think, no.
16:28 But, yeah,... Definitely not.
16:29 And then back to track
16:31 that what she's talking about tornado,
16:32 actually I was burning the magazine
16:34 and our neighbor's rolling up
16:35 and also just the wind just caught in all these, article,
16:38 you know, there are pictures and stuff I'm trying to grab
16:40 and throw them like, I don't want my neighbor to see this,
16:42 I'm trying to grab and throw it off,
16:44 so they're really blowing and flying and I'm like,
16:46 "Oh man, this is bad."
16:48 And this is actually years after I got rid of everything,
16:49 we found a magazine, later we're cleaning our house.
16:52 I'm like, "Oh, man, don't tell me
16:53 you had that here so had to literally..."
16:55 So everything is now burnt, your life is changing.
17:00 Before we finish and talk about that.
17:03 I wanna just meet some people at the cafe
17:06 and see if anybody has a comment or question for you.
17:08 Sure. Okay.
17:09 And I know that here today,
17:11 I have some friends that are friends locally,
17:15 in their pastoral ministries, just incredible folks,
17:19 I got a friend, Damas, from New Zealand coming in.
17:24 I know that, you know, there's marriage counselors,
17:28 you got Ricky and Richie and Timmy
17:31 but I wanna ask, Thomas,
17:34 do you have a question for them?
17:35 Do you have a comment for them?
17:37 I do.
17:38 Donald and Janelle, first of all,
17:40 I wanna thank you very much for being so courageous
17:42 and sharing both of your stories together.
17:45 As I've been listening, I do have a question
17:47 and that would be,
17:49 at the point that you were heavily involved
17:53 in this lifestyle,
17:55 was there a sense of prompting or niggling in your life
18:01 that maybe you didn't identify the Holy Spirit
18:03 speaking to you but was any of that,
18:05 somewhere involved in what you were doing?
18:09 It's a good question. I can answer that.
18:11 Except for me and just for myself,
18:13 I remember I had some books from my parents,
18:17 from when we had gone to church when I was a kid
18:20 and there's one called 'Child Guidance'
18:22 and this was like way before we even, you know,
18:27 started like, before Don's changes.
18:29 I was reading in there one day, I don't know,
18:32 had to be the Holy Spirit prompting me to read this book
18:34 and it talked about self abuse which is masturbation
18:38 and, you know, at that point, I was way far from God
18:42 and I read that in there and I was like,
18:44 I can never stop doing it
18:47 and I know that those are Holy Spirit speaking to me.
18:50 I mean, the fact I even picked the book up,
18:53 a book that I would never read except that it was, you know,
18:58 in a place, you know, where I was...
18:59 I just wanted to pick it up and read it
19:02 and I think that really was the Holy Spirit.
19:04 You know, for me, showing me
19:07 that what I was doing wasn't right.
19:09 And literally taking you in a direction,
19:11 and when you talk about, you know,
19:12 self abuse and masturbation, what's really interesting to me
19:17 is that there is a sense that God says, "You can't.
19:21 If you could just be involved in those kind of acts
19:26 without fantasizing in your head."
19:30 That would be one thing but you can't.
19:32 I mean, where you go in your head
19:33 is very dangerous and then nobody can live up
19:36 to the fantasies that you do in your head.
19:38 So you really start to disconnect
19:41 from anybody that actually can be intimately
19:43 involved in your life and so when somebody says,
19:46 "Is it right. Is it wrong? Is it good or bad?"
19:49 I think what's destructive about,
19:53 when we start to take care of our own needs
19:55 without anyone else, that nobody can compete
19:59 with what we can do in our heads.
20:01 You can't, I can control exactly where I take myself.
20:06 If you get involved, it's a little more clumsy.
20:08 So I actually will push people away
20:10 and so I love the fact that you went to a book
20:13 that said, "Be Aware, this will not turn out well."
20:19 And we're not talking about, you know, I know that,
20:22 Donald, you've talked about even the medical aspect
20:24 of some of these things
20:26 and that's a whole another thing
20:27 but just psychologically it's a big deal
20:30 and we have other questions in the cafe,
20:32 Timmy, do you have a question?
20:34 Hi, there.
20:35 I'm so honored
20:38 to just get to sit and listen to both of your guys' stories
20:41 and the authenticity in which you share things
20:43 that usually people keep hidden really well,
20:46 it's really a privilege to get to be here.
20:49 I'm really curious what your journey has been
20:52 from going from the perspective of,
20:56 "I will never stop masturbating"
20:59 to where ever you find yourself now.
21:01 I know sometimes God takes things away
21:04 and sometimes He doesn't
21:05 and there's a journey that is a part of that,
21:08 what is that been like for you?
21:09 Well, at first, it was tough to give up just the toys
21:13 but through that,
21:15 that was the really symbolic thing,
21:17 I think started the whole journey
21:19 and like you said some things fall off right away.
21:24 But there's other things that take time
21:26 and so the masturbation followed not long after that
21:29 and just like I had no desire anymore after that.
21:34 And it was like,
21:35 it was just that road, you know, He had me on
21:38 and, you know, the big step
21:40 of just getting rid of the things
21:42 that were kind of like triggers, you know,
21:45 and I think that's important
21:46 when we have something that is a trigger
21:49 to recognize what the trigger is, you know,
21:52 what is it that's making me wanna do this.
21:54 'Cause sometimes a trigger is stress,
21:56 sometimes it's anger,
21:58 sometimes it's insecurity, that it's not a sexual trigger,
22:02 it is that this is what I'm using to cope.
22:05 You know, I love those, the questions, thank you, guys,
22:08 but I wanna say now
22:09 you're looking at each other and saying,
22:11 how do we learn to love each other?
22:15 How do I stay present?
22:16 How do I not go in my head to where I typically go?
22:23 How did you guys do that?
22:24 'Cause God is gonna teach you to fall in love.
22:28 Ask God several times, what does that look like,
22:30 you know, trying to learn
22:32 what a healthy sexual relationship looks like
22:34 and I have to admit it's been a struggle
22:36 because I'm still trying to unwire all that things
22:39 that have been in my head.
22:40 So for me it's been really reading and learning
22:44 and trying to get
22:45 all the information I can to learn,
22:46 what is a healthy sexual relationship?
22:48 And it's just been, it's been a journey still
22:50 and I'm still on a journey learning and it's been...
22:54 And I love when you say that
22:55 'cause, you know, healthy means,
22:58 even laughing and loving and playing and connecting,
23:01 so it's not just the act of sex
23:04 because pornography just takes it down to,
23:07 excuse me, but an orgasm, it's just that we go right,
23:09 this is what the goal is.
23:11 But in a relationship the goal is to laugh with each other,
23:14 to love each other,
23:16 to step out in the world and say,
23:17 "Doesn't it feel good the way the sun hits our skin?"
23:20 A very sensual relationship
23:23 but it is really different than what the Word says.
23:26 I'm gonna say too on that point,
23:28 the word 'self gratification's' coming to my mind.
23:30 We really wanna please ourselves
23:31 in those moments,
23:33 we're now, we're two people wanting to enjoy each other.
23:35 It's different.
23:36 It's totally different. Yeah.
23:38 So, you know, when we first met and I just got to show this
23:42 for people that haven't seen this,
23:44 we wrote a program for the church,
23:45 it's called, "Celebrating Life in Recovery."
23:47 Really talking about not only sexual issues
23:50 but a number of different issues
23:51 and when I met you guys, you had looked at this program
23:54 and decided to run it in the community
23:57 and you went out in the community and said,
24:00 "We're gonna run this friendship support group,
24:03 talking about recovery issues."
24:04 And you went out with your testimony,
24:07 openly shared with people, this is who we are.
24:10 How did that feel?
24:12 How did it feel to go from,
24:14 "I don't even know
24:16 if we know what a relationship is,
24:17 to where we are along our journey in some way
24:20 and I wanna help someone else."
24:21 That was really like, I prayed on this and I said,
24:25 "I just wanna know what does this look like,
24:27 you know, I see the community.
24:28 I see the people hurting. I see the pain."
24:30 And Proverbs, talks about, you know,
24:33 "My people perish with lack of vision."
24:35 And I thought, "Man,
24:37 what is the vision for this community?
24:38 How can we help this community heal?"
24:40 And the word 'addiction' came to my mind
24:43 and I had that confirmation
24:44 from another co-worker at the time
24:46 and he said, "Man, I wanna do something."
24:47 We got together and we talked
24:49 and another co-worker, she said,
24:50 "I have, you know, something in my life,
24:52 it's struggling with addiction."
24:53 I'm like, "This is crazy."
24:55 Also I'm hearing all ideas of addiction,
24:56 so we took this
24:58 before our church board on this idea,
24:59 we weren't even, scheduled even to speak.
25:02 I mean, this other gentleman,
25:03 we went and they just was like,
25:05 "Wow, we wanna do this. Yeah."
25:06 So we ended up purchasing two of these kits.
25:09 We had, went out, Janelle worked on some of the,
25:13 with what you guys already had online...
25:16 Worked on some of the promotional pieces,
25:17 we wended fliers,
25:18 I went to all the major businesses
25:20 and the two bigger towns here,
25:22 and we got an amazing response
25:23 from people saying, "You know what?
25:24 My so and so struggles with this,
25:26 my family, my brother, sister,
25:28 they struggle with these types of..."
25:29 Were you excited that...
25:31 To me, when we did this in our church, the same,
25:34 but you go out in the community
25:36 and every other person says, "Me too."
25:39 "Man, I don't even know how to break free from this.
25:41 I'm stuck here or my child or my husband..."
25:44 And everybody's saying, you know, "I need this."
25:48 Were you surprised?
25:49 And what's the... To me it's the saddest thing,
25:51 is they were afraid to talk about.
25:52 Yeah, that's what I was gonna say
25:53 is the fact that when we would talk to people
25:56 we would stress any addiction
25:58 because, you know, like you mentioned,
26:00 you know, how it covers everything
26:02 and there's some things
26:03 that we don't automatically think of as addictions.
26:05 Eating, works...
26:06 Right. Stealing.
26:09 The religious addictions, yeah, gossip and just,
26:12 there's so many areas of addiction
26:15 that we just don't either want to admit
26:17 or don't think of,
26:18 the automatic ones are drinking, smoking, drugs,
26:21 all that and but, you know,
26:22 automatically that's what we'd hear a lot
26:24 when we went to the community is,
26:26 "Oh, yeah, I have a family member on drugs
26:28 and this and that."
26:29 And we said, you know,
26:31 that's something that we wanna deal with
26:34 but we also wanna deal with other things
26:36 that are more internal,
26:37 that people struggle with because those were just scary.
26:40 Those were scary if, you know, if they're there
26:42 and people don't deal with them.
26:43 Those are the scary ones, especially, you know...
26:45 And they don't get better and silent.
26:47 Exactly, yeah.
26:48 And, you know, what we found a lot was that,
26:52 you know, we would put the word out there
26:55 but, you know, we were a little disappointed that,
26:58 you know, that we didn't have
27:01 the turnout that we thought we would have
27:03 but God brought the ones that needed it
27:05 and so we're just,
27:06 you know, you want so much for people and you're like,
27:08 you know,
27:10 you see the plank in the other person's eye
27:12 you know, the person, the thing that's wrong with them
27:14 and it's like, they don't see it,
27:15 they won't come
27:17 and they won't be healed from this
27:18 and so but God brought the ones
27:21 that He wanted to be there, so...
27:22 So for one, this program is running
27:25 in different parts of the world.
27:27 Two percent of the people that are responding
27:30 are hard core drug addicts, two percent.
27:33 Most of them look really good like you and I,
27:37 you know, most of them have all this kind of stuff
27:38 or whatever
27:40 but one of the things that I love
27:43 is the fact that it helps
27:44 even the person that's leading out,
27:47 to get stronger in their own healing.
27:49 So tell me what it did for you guys,
27:52 just putting it together,
27:53 just reaching out in the way that you did,
27:56 what was that like for you?
28:00 'Cause it's kind of like, you're looking in a mirror
28:01 and you see there's this dark spots in your heart
28:03 that you're still trying to overcome.
28:05 I mean, you see that
28:07 and the cool thing is getting in this class
28:08 and watching as you're leading out,
28:10 you know, struggling with people
28:11 that are kind of quiet at first,
28:13 quiet as to I don't want to be the one talking in this class,
28:14 you know.
28:16 But over time, people as they participate,
28:17 they begin to realize, "Okay, I can be comfortable,"
28:19 because we really stressed in that class, you know,
28:21 that we're not to speak on,
28:23 you know, what's going on here...
28:24 This is confidential.
28:26 Nobody's therapist, we're here as friends.
28:28 Exactly. You're right.
28:29 And we made to be stressed out every time
28:31 and we talked about and people starting to break down,
28:32 you can see people breaking down.
28:34 That was just amazing.
28:35 As a leader, to watch that and see people stepping up,
28:38 wanting to participate and get involved
28:40 and become leaders themselves.
28:41 And when you say break down,
28:42 you don't mean psychologically break down...
28:44 No, no.
28:45 But just their trust in those barriers...
28:48 Where they don't feel like they can be themselves.
28:49 People decided to be themselves.
28:51 As the thing is, we as a people,
28:53 we tend to kind of hide, like a mask,
28:56 we wear a mask, we don't wanna to keep it real.
28:58 So we need to keep things real.
29:00 We're not really into it, sorry.
29:02 No worry.
29:03 I just enjoy about how,
29:06 in the program it encourages you
29:07 to share your testimony.
29:08 So that if somebody is there
29:10 that would connect better with you,
29:13 would be more willing to share their story
29:15 or to fill more of a connection,
29:17 you know, and that kind of a thing,
29:18 so that was important for us to share our own journey, so...
29:21 We're gonna go ahead and break and come back.
29:23 When you guys join us for the close
29:25 'cause I wanna stay with that,
29:27 'cause, Janelle, that's so important.
29:29 When you are dealing with amazing amount of stuff,
29:32 know that you don't have to wait till you're ready.
29:35 Step up, help somebody
29:36 and in the helping of someone else,
29:38 you will heal.
29:39 It's so cool.
29:41 We'll be right back. Stay with us.