Yunnan Gospel Drug Rehab Center: Love Drug Addicts as Your Children

The residents of Baoshan Gospel Drug Addiction Treatment Center pray hand in hand.
The residents of Baoshan Gospel Drug Addiction Treatment Center pray hand in hand. (photo:
By Yi YangNovember 29th, 2017

Yunnan Baoshan Gospel Drug Addiction Treatment Center was founded in Yunnan Tsing Hua Church in October 2007. At that time, four workers from different places and ethnicities joined the ministry, said Brother Yang. Only Elder Pai had a history of drug use.

In the early days, even the ministry founder Rev. Xu Chengyun didn't know what to do. They learned from other gospel drug rehab ministries in Anning and Yingjiang Counties. Half a year later, they began to serve two addicts with poor facilities. The ministry grew and built a study room, kitchen, and dormitories.

Some residents gave up the treatment and left. Brother Yang claimed that a good team was an integral component in the recovery of addicts, in addition to money. After a period of time, the center gained understanding and support from the local church.

"The best way to get rid of addiction is to help people out of it. " Said Yang. The relapse rate is high because recovering addicts are easily tempted when they are back in society. Therefore, graduates are encouraged to first attend Bible study classes for half a year and then consider whether they serve in the center or return to society.

He said that one difficult part of serving addicts is how to get along with them. It is not easy to be their models and leaders. "Your word may hurt someone to the extent that he fails in the treatment." The discreet workers love them without being indulgent.

However, workers and money were desperately needed to run the center, said Yang. The ministry runs on donations rather than a fixed amount of money from any organization.

Among the full-time staff, Wang stays with the residents 24 hours a day, focusing on their faith and rehabilitation and taking care of them. He dedicated himself to the ministry because of a training program for AIDS prevention in 2004. A line in a skit about drug users touched him, "What would you do if your children are drug addicts?" After that, he decided to join the ministry.

"In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Wang said, "Do ministry with a father's heart, even though you feel misunderstood. In addition, it's important for the staff to be of one mind." He stated that people should not discriminate against addicts but give them comfort and help. During the rehab process, learn to listen, keep quiet, and join the group.

"I asked a pastor how to do a gospel drug rehabilitation ministry. He answered that it was easy: just love them." He believed that the workers should love them as their children and use a soft tone of voice to reason with them.

The most difficult period for an addict is the first fifteen days without drugs, Wang shared. If they get through that period, they can finally be through with drugs. However, it is hard for them to get rid of the addiction and come out of the past because their families and society don't really know them." Don't judge them with the eyes of human beings, or treat them with prejudice." Said Wang.

In a previous interview with Elder Pai who currently serves another center in Ruili, a city bordering Myanmar, he said that a drug epidemic existed in the city.

Raised in a Christian family, Pai knew Jesus as a child but didn't convert to Christianity. He tried various medical treatments, both compulsory and self-administered rehab, and Buddhism to get rid of the addiction but they all failed. After that a pastor recommended the gospel drug treatment through which addicted people could be transformed by depending on Jesus. He accepted the gospel and saw hope through the method in 2003. That was when he started to follow Jesus seriously. He was resolved to help drug addicts like himself.

Engaging in gospel rehab for over a decade, he found that his spiritual life matured and his faith was strengthened by the changes of addicts. "I don't care about their number but their changes." Said Pai.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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