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Once “Hell on Wheels,” She’s No Longer Addicted, and is Now Serving Jesus


Drug and alcohol free for 20 months, and no longer homeless, is something to celebrate. That’s the situation with Claudette, a former Joy Junction guest, who I met up with a few days ago, in Downtown Albuquerque.

Her road to sobriety wasn’t at all easy, though. Describing herself a couple of years ago, Claudette told me, “I was at Joy Junction and I was hell on wheels. I was not a nice person. And I got my home in Belen, and I relapsed very badly.”

However, Claudette knew she had friends to help her at that low point in her life. She said, “I went back to Joy Junction (and) got my life together. I got this (current) program (I’m on) and I haven’t turned back since.”

I asked Claudette what her stay at Joy Junction meant to her now. She quickly answered, “That was my home. That was my family … my comfort … my safety. I needed that. And I almost ruined (it).”

She said, “I completely LOVE everything that Joy Junction stands for. They took me in, they fed me, they clothed me (and) I showered … I think right now is a blessing that I have had the opportunity to say this. I have been wanting to see (staff) … and tell them I am so sorry for my behavior, and I have had the opportunity to do that. That’s part of our twelve step recovery and I was able to do that today. If anyone needs help, I am telling you that Joy Junction is the place to go.”

I asked Claudette what having a relationship with Jesus Christ had meant during this difficult time in her life. She said she would have been unable to make it without Him.

She added, “I honestly had to turn it over to God. When I woke up in my own vomit in Belen, I got on my knees and said, ‘God, it’s got to be Your way. It’s not going to be because I want a friend. It’s not going to be because I want my family back, or my granddaughter to like me more. I am doing this because I am your vessel.’”

Encouraging things have taken place in Claudette’s life since then, she said. “God reveals Himself everyday to me. It happens and it is real, and you will never hear out of these lips that God is not real. My life with Him – it’s never gonna stop. (He) is my husband now.”

I wondered what words Claudette would have for someone gripped in addictive behavior, or its aftermath, who is struggling with going to a local detox or Joy Junction and thinking that they’re unable to summon up the courage required.

Claudette said she would tell them, “You can do it. Because you’re God’s vessel. God was homeless; God didn’t own a pair of shoes. We are God’s vessel … Get down on your knees and tell Him you are doing this for Him. Not even for yourself … God’s way works. Go to (detox). Those people are there to help you.”

Claudette didn’t hesitate in saying that without the ministry of Joy Junction and the Albuquerque-based agencies the Lord placed in her life to help her that she would not have survived.

She emphasized, “I would be dead on the streets. Joy Junction … took me back … and I thought I ruined all that.”

My Thoughts

I was thrilled to hear Claudette’s story and the way that the Lord has worked in her life. I remember the struggles Claudette faced while she was staying at Joy Junction, and am so proud of her sobriety-achieved and maintained, of course, with the Lord’s help.

Restoring lives one at a time with God’s Help is what Joy Junction is all about. Sometimes that restoration may take one round through our life recovery program; other times it may require two or three times as long and collaboration with agencies providing medical help in addition to the faith-based approach on which we focus at Joy Junction.

I so appreciate the Lord’s faithfulness and your prayers and financial generosity, which make possible this ongoing ministry of compassion. It is turning out to be a long, very busy, hot and economically difficult time both for Joy Junction and the clients whom we serve.

I hope that you will prayerfully consider how much the Lord would have you give to allow us to keep helping the ever increasing number of people like Claudette who have similar or even worse situations. As these precious souls depend on us, we depend on the Lord faithfulness and your generosity.

Jeremy Reynalds, Assist News Service

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