By Mark Kaiser - Founder and director, Crescimento Limpo
Jose in the CL carpentry shop
Our work with recovery has led to the formation of many friendships and a diversity of experiences that is impossible (and would probably be inappropriate) to fully describe. Some stories unfold as you might expect based on first encounters, while others proceed wildly different than initial expectations! José's story is one of those fantastic surprises. We have accompanied José since the begining of our recovery ministry in Brazil. Durring most of the years in which we've known him as a friend, he had no interest in getting off drugs or pursunig a new life. He was a wildcard- charming and fun when sober, but unpredictable and at times violent when under the influence. But even in his darkest times, God was working on him. After ten years of life on the streets and in adiction, José seemingly "flipped a switch". He checked himself into rehab, completed treatment, and then came to live with us. We recognized a long road ahead for José in order to pursue goals of literacy, professional training, and healthy life skills. So we made him a proposition; to start a carpentry shop with us as a way to develop working skills and allow us to support his personal development and adult education. José agreed and we've lived two years of adventure with him since 2020. José learns by experience (not always recomendable) so we have accompanied two years of expiramental rebuilding. One of the tenants of recovery is to be cautious of people, places and habits connected to your self-destructive past. But José does not learn from theoritical concepts. So he continued with relationships from his street life, perceiving over time how those relationships effect him and subsequently putting that learning into practice for the good of his recovery. His professional development also involved transition from his lifelong practice of "winging it" towards the incremental practice of discipline and measure. We will make no business plan recommendations for entrepreneurial carpenters, but we have seen the miracle of a new life formed. I am so thankful for the time that I have been given with my friend, José. Please take the time to see his testimonial video! And thank you, to all of you, who have given financially to make this work possible! You have blessed us both.
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