China (MNN) — Often it’s those who struggle the most with their sin who have a greater chance of understanding God’s mercy.
Christian Aid Mission supports a drug rehabilitation center in China that is a picture of God using our sin to draw us to Himself.
Amie Cotton of Christian Aid says, “China has a long history of drug use and abuse. Back in the 40s and 50s, there was a lot of opium poppy farming in China.”
She says that there are 7-12 million drug abusers in China– 80% of them being men, and 70% under 35. The most popular drugs are heroin, meth, and ecstasy.
The ministry they assist is called New Birth Garden, located in the Yunnan Province. It is a Christian rehabilitation center that is recognized by both the government and the community as a positive, effective solution to the drug abuse in China.
“It’s amazing to see what kind of life-changing impact this center is making on drug abusers for years and years,” Cotton says.
Along with addressing addictive behavior, drug users are taught helpful skills that will aid them when they reenter society. This includes farming, acupuncture, and massage.
Students at New Birth Garden participate in Bible study, prayer, and praise and worship gatherings.
“The biggest thing is that their life is changed. We know that true healing and freedom can only come from Christ, and so it’s exciting to see lives changed, I mean, lives restored and families restored,” Cotton says.
For some, whole families accept Christ because of the miraculous change they’ve seen in their loved one.
“Even people on the outside can see the changed lives and the continuous change. It’s not just a change for a while and then they go back to it, which is often the case with drug abuse.”
Cotton says this is a practical way of being the hands and feet of Jesus.
The change is obvious even on governmental levels. It’s because of this that the government allows them to do other outreaches in the community.
Cotton says, “Because of its successful track record, they see individuals restored and re-engaging in society successfully. They see that it works, and so they’re supporting that. They want that for their communities. It’s exciting that this is recognized by the Chinese government.”
One of the biggest needs of the center is financial support. Currently 21 men are enrolled in the program, and there are 14 full-time workers. But New Birth Garden has to send people away because they cannot afford any more participants. The operation runs for about $10,000 a year.
You can support the center by clicking here. Use gift/CAM code 926GDTC.
If you’re not called to support financially, Cotton shares something you can do right now:
“Most of all we need your prayers, that God would be with these men, that He would give them courage, He would give them strength to go through this program to overcome this temptation and this vice in their life, and that God’s glory would just shine through and make a difference in their lives.”