It had been several weeks since I had seen my dad. It was circa 1983 and he had been sick for some time. It had become apparent that he wasn’t going to be coming home anytime soon so we made a three hour road trip to Omaha where he was at the VA Hospital. It was my mom, all 4 brothers and my grandparents.
I don’t remember much about the visit other than he had to come down to see us because hospital rules did not allow children in the patient’s room. I remember that he looked really different than the last time I had seen him. I was too young to articulate it but losing 40 pounds can really change the look of someone.
What I specifically remember is after they wheeled him back upstairs we waited there with my grandma for what seemed like hours. It seemed like it because it was. Years later I would learn that the reason she was gone so long was that my dad had gone into cardiac arrest and had actually died before being resuscitated. All the while we were blissfully unaware and stir crazy in the waiting room. When my Mom and Grandfather came downstairs they never said a word.
I don’t mean this to be a commentary on government controlled health care but what started as a simple appendicitis had grown to my dad being hooked on prescription meds and dying. This all happened in the squalid conditions of a VA hospital. It was after this moment that my mom decided to take matters into her own hands.
Alongside of our pastor Patsy Busey, she went back to Omaha with our dear family friends Duane and Diana Covey. They were told he was too sick to leave and that they wouldn’t allow him to go. Knowing that staying was just as much of a death sentence Duane informed them that he would kick down “every damn door in the hospital” (as it was later quoted to me) to find him. He was a marine corp. vet and they believed him.
My dad was soon on the way to a faith based nonprofit hospital in Oklahoma that took in people whether or not they could pay. We fell into the “could not pay” category. Within moments of being seen he was diagnosed. He was addicted to prescription painkillers, a fact that was overlooked for months in the government operated hospital. The VA had locked him up in a psych ward and medicated him out of his mind.
With the Christ centered nature of the treatment he received in Oklahoma he was out and on his own in just a couple months. He’s been clean for 30 some years.
This Fathers Day I’m reminded that addiction tried to steal my father. It wasn’t a government hospital that pulled him through it was Jesus and those that were listening to His call to serve the poor.
This wasn’t consciously one of the reasons we decided to support Mike Coupe and Place of Hope. Rather it’s just one of those Godincidence type things. It’s just like God to place this ministry right in front of us at the exact moment we were praying about who we should send our financial resources to.
There are moms and dads in Place of Hope at this very moment who will be restored to their families. Conduit plays a role in this through our financial commitment to Place of Hope. We are an active and vital part of the ministry of restoration. We are rescuing hostages from the hands of the enemy. We are setting free the captives.
I had some testimonials forwarded to me from our brothers and sisters who are in treatment at Place of Hope that joined us last week at Conduit. I’m putting a few of them below. Notice the phrase “saved my life.” Take it from someone whose own father almost lost his life to this disease. That is not hyperbole.
It’s fitting that we’re at the 5th commandment to honor our father and mother on Fathers Day weekend. If you haven’t noticed in our previous studies, these commandments are super meaningful to our lives and this one is no difference. With most of us not living at home anymore it might not seem like this commandment is a throw away. Believe me when I say it’s not. Hopefully you can join us tomorrow night.
Below are the testimonies from our brothers and sisters who are being rescued from the evil that is addiction through the ministry that is happening at Place of Hope.
“I would like to thank the Conduit group for supporting the Place of Hope. The Place of Hope has saved me from sure death by showing me a new and wonderful way of life. I have given my will and life completely to God and He has given me peace and strength like I have never had before. I believe my life has purpose now and I know what my purpose is. I want to share this gift with as many other people as I can. God has taken away my desire to drink and use drugs and given me a desire to know more of His will for me.”
– Matthew T.
The contributions that you make as such a small group are simply amazing. Through your donations to the Place of Hope you have saved my life from the drugs and alcohol that consumed me. You have given me so much hope and faith. May God always bless you with all of His blessings.”
– Todd H.
“I wanted to thank you for coming to ya’lls place. It helped me a lot. It’s good to see people help other people they didn’t know.”
– Lonnie C.
“My experience at Conduit on Monday night was amazing! I felt very blessed to have met many of the young men and women that help so unselfishly and generously to the Place of Hope. It was very inspiring. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. It’s believers like you who believe for people like me until I can believe for myself. God bless you all!”
– Rhonda H.
“I was touched and impressed to listen to what the Conduit Ministry has done so selflessly for all of us at the Place of Hope and other ministries.”
– Jeffrey D.
“I was so confused when I walked into these doors at the Place of Hope! Through day after day of hearing the Word, now I have a purpose in life. The Place of Hope saved my life!! Brother Mike Coupe is kind, going out of his way to help somebody. I wished I be more like Brother Mike Coupe. I cannot say enough about the Place of Hope!!”
– Chris B.
“I would like to thank Darren and the Conduit Group for all you have done for me. You have saved my life. You are an inspiration to us all.”
– John L.
“I have been at the Place of Hope for six weeks and I enjoyed our visit to the Conduit meeting. The Place of Hope has saved my life. I now walk with the Lord and we appreciate your contributions and support. We are the lepers of the 21st century and the Conduit judges no one. I give ya’ll my deepest thanks. Ya’ll are part of the Place of Hope.”
– Michael R.