My name is Shelly, I am a leader with ARM (Addiction Recovery Ministry) in Abbotsford BC. We are a faith-based 12 step group using the 12 steps with Scripture and biblical teaching to align with those steps.
This ministry is very special to me personally, as I am a recovered addict. I got involved after attending a mandatory meeting with the recovery house I lived at, but soon found it to be not only an extremely needed tool to stay clean and sober but a place where love and acceptance overflowed. I was mentored to become a leader in this ministry and we continue to always look to disciple and mentor others.
The ministry has had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking for ways to meet and continue to pour out into the lives of recovering addicts. God has led this for us. Our meetings are gender-specific to keep it a safe environment. Typically, we would meet as a full group, sing a few worship songs altogether, a leader would take us through a lesson related to a specified step of the 12 steps, followed by “pop up” testimonies and snacks. We would then break off into gender-specific small groups of 8, covering all types of addictions including gambling, sex addictions, and substance abuse. We even see some people struggling with codependency come for support. With COVID-19 and the associated restrictions, our meetings look a little different, and we have thrived in this situation.
The men and women meet in two separate areas of the church to keep within the numbers allowed to meet. Even with the snacks not allowed to be offered, the mask-wearing, and social distancing protocols, we are still seeing a great turn out! Our group of women is choosing to not break into smaller groups at our gatherings now, and our leader takes us through some worship songs and a lesson talk. We are seeing women sharing, opening up, and seem to be getting a lot out of not only the teachings but the atmosphere of love. God has blessed us through this pandemic. I look forward to the future of ARM and continuing to help our brothers and sisters to reach out to the Lord to come out of the darkness of addiction.