Celebrate Recovery and Changed Lives

By Brad Gathright

As featured in mission:world Magazine

We have seen God do some amazing things over the last year. As a result, “thankful” is not just a title, but an expression of our hearts. We are thankful because we know that without God and our faithful supporters, none of this would have been possible. I want to recount just a few of the things for which we are truly thankful.

  •  We are thankful for a successful launch of the Celebrate Recovery program in the Primera Iglesia Bautista de Calpules (First Baptist Church of Capules). We have spent the last year walking through the intense discipleship program and leadership training with their leaders and church members. This has prepared them as Celebrate Recovery leaders, and now they are providing hope and help through recovery groups to their community. What a joy it is to see them taking the lead and reaching out to their friends and neighbors.
  • We are joyfully watching the continued growth among our Garifuna brothers and sisters at the Iglesia Bautista de Jerusalén (Jerusalem Baptist Church). They were the first group to successfully launch Celebrate Recovery with us. It is amazing to see the difference that God has made in their church. They are involved in several community outreaches, and are even planting a daughter church.
  • The Celebrate Recovery group that we planted in Panama continues to grow and expand. Pastor Juan calls frequently with exciting testimonies of changed lives and church growth. We also are providing training to a Bible-based residential treatment center called Ministerio Vida (Ministry Life) which is using Celebrate Recovery materials to help the men. After many years of prayer, the Lord has provided a pastor who wants to take the ministry into the local prison!
  • While we may mention churches, it is really in the individual lives of the people where we have seen God move in the greatest ways. We celebrate each transformed life as it impacts their family, friends, and communities. It is a joy to be involved in discipling others for the glory of God and seeing people be set free from struggles and addictions.
  • One of the biggest surprises of the last year was when God led us to be involved with a school that reaches people who would otherwise not be able to finish their education. Penny is now the school administrator for Educafe. While this change required a move, it has also given us an opportunity to meet new people and pastors. We hope to start Celebrate Recovery in this area as well.
  • On a personal note, we are very thankful that our oldest son and his family have moved back to Texas after living in Maryland for five years. This will certainly make it easier to see his family and our three grandchildren. We were also able to participate in our middle son’s wedding in April. What a joyous time! Making plans long distance is never easy, but with God’s grace it all worked out wonderfully.
  • The team from Baptist Medical Missions International that held clinics in Honduras recently.We are blessed to have a faithful group of supporters who support us both financially and prayerfully, and who bless us in so many ways, whether we are on the field or on furlough. Their prayers and encouragement make the difference for us as we continue to work here in Honduras. We truly feel loved by our supporters.

BMMI team to Honduras

  • We are truly thankful for our pastor, Rick Lemons. Despite his busy schedule, he takes time to call and talk with us every week. He encourages us and helps keep our work in front of the people at Fellowship, Forney, TX.
  • I am grateful to have a supportive wife and family. We believe that God not only calls one person, He calls the whole family. I firmly believe that women can impact women on a deeper level, and children can reach other children. I rejoice that my family has reached out into the uncomfortable to touch other lives.

This year we have been privileged to serve the Lord from one end of Honduras to the other via Celebrate Recovery, marriage conferences, the annual ladies conference (Mujeres Fieles), and through many visiting and preaching opportunities. My heart is thankful for the privilege of being a part of God touching lives for His glory in Honduras.