Every year, the Christian Life Program takes two retreats to the Mission's property in rural Warsaw, Missouri. The retreats provide a time of relaxation and learning, where the men on the program can interact with staff and with each other in a more informal setting. From softball games to team-building exercises to fishing on the lake, the men enjoy a break from the normal routine and a time closer to God's Creation.
The theme of this year's spring retreat was "Biblical Manhood." In chapel sessions and break-out groups, we discussed the roles and responsibilities that God has given to men, as described in the Bible. Our topics included discipleship, leadership, work, and marriage. In the lives of many men, these important topics were either mis-taught or not taught.
In a Christian recovery program, part of "recovery" involves dealing with the issues connected to addiction. Addiction has prevented many men from fulfilling their God-given roles and responsibilities. At the same time, only through a relationship with God and the grace He provides can anyone become the person God wants them to be. For the members of the Christian Life Program, I believe that God used the retreat to provide some meaningful encouragement, direction, and healing as the men grow in their relationship with Him.
(Submitted by David Phillips, Counselor for the Christian Life Program at City Union Mission.)