“The Home of Grace is a holy place. Where a man can have his sins washed away.”
These lyrics describe a place I will always call home. Two days before my 19th birthday, I walked into the ‘Home of Grace’ chapel at the end of Jericho Road. That moment marked the end of another personal road—I had just been released from jail with a court order to complete the 90 day drug and alcohol program at the HOG. You might assume I was feeling pretty hopeless, but instead I remember a nearly overwhelming feeling of excitement. A program or a place alone can’t change you but it can certainly be used. In that program, that place, and that community of brothers I experienced the love of Christ. And that changed me!
Over the last 12 years I have been able to partner with more than 100 men and women in their search for hope—hope found in the sanctuary of HOG. Lives of strangers, friends, and family members have been restored because of Christ’s freedom taught in that place. This month, the connection with HOG has deepened in some unexpected ways.
Recently, I have been able to visit with several local judges and Drug Court representatives to tell the stories behind the impact of the HOG. The Assistant Director of the HOG, Josh Barton, also visited Opelousas to meet these community members and share the vision. Our goal is to see men and women caught in the judicial system for drug or alcohol offenses have the opportunity to attend the HOG instead of going straight to a jail cell.
This was the grace I was given. I would have stayed in jail if not for a judge allowing me to attend the HOG; that allowance changed my life forever. Praise God for working in powerful ways even through the structures and systems in our communities. Pray that we might see financial provision for these men and women from our parish. Pray to get them the help they need to become restored to their families and communities. Pray for the Home of Grace to be supported and that Opelousas can continue to be a part of that ministry.