In June 2009 we began operating a Rehabilitation Program but with a temporary location. Then in December 2009, we purchased a house and land for a rehabilitation farm. This Program is entry point of our overall rehabilitation effort and it is the first step for a client entering into rehabilitation (Rehabilitation System & Goals page).
The farm provides a family/group type setting for holistic rehabilitation, far from temptations (i.e., people, places and things), as well as providing vocational rehabilitation. Crops and animals are raised in order to be as self sufficient as possible, and to support other rehabilitation efforts. The goal is for the client to reside at the farm for 6 months to a year, depending on their progress through the program.
Currently the farm can house four (4) women and six (6) men, however, after remodeling it can house up to 20 men. Over the past year the center has had as many as six (6) clients. At this point people only know about the center through word-of-mouth. Advertising for David’s House will begin after a heating system has been installed in the house and the second floor finished.
Helping People Face the Giants in Their Lives
In Memoriam of Don Kirk
The center is named in memoriam of Pastor Don Kirk, in honor of his work for the Lord with the addicted and homeless in Sacramento California.
Note: The use of Don Kirk’s name has been approved by his living family and his name will not be used in any of the Ukrainian documents as naming a facility after a deceased person has cultural complications, however we hope to put up a plaque at the farm noting Don Kirk’s contribution to rehabilitation work and his impact on those starting this center in Ukraine.
PROGRAM SERVICES AND GOALS:
Clients at this facility go through a number of physical and emotional ups and downs as they remove themselves from their addictive environments. This program emphasizes a number of goals for the clients, which include:
1. Basic detoxification of the body. It generally takes at least 90 days for all of the drugs/alcohol to leave the body. During this period the client will be monitored closely for any serious health hazards that may occur during detoxification, so that the proper medical treatment can be obtained if needed.
2. Emotional detoxification. As a person’s body releases all the toxins and they have to face reality without their drug/alcohol of choice, their emotions fluctuate dramatically. One of the main goals during these levels will be to help the client gain control of their emotions and to ride out any extreme emotional swings.
3. Work is critical to a man’s physical, spiritual and emotional nature, so clients will be required to work at the center in exchange for food and shelter. A strong focus will be made on a good work ethic (i.e., getting up on time, working responsibly and not just wasting time, meeting work goals or deadlines, dealing respectfully with coworkers and supervisors, etc…).
4. Addressing ‘denial’ will be a big goal as many addicts don’t truly believe they have a problem. The client will be helped to realize the full consequences of their addiction in every arena of their life in order to break down the denial barrier. In accepting they do have a problem/addiction, they can receive true assistance with it.
5. A strong spiritual focus will occur during these levels and it is our desire that every person comes into a saving personal relationship with Christ, however, at no time will a client, or anyone else, be pressured to make a decision of salvation, or other faith based decision, as a decision made under pressure is not truly made by the client, and thus can’t be the client personally choosing a relationship with Christ. Biblical information will be provided at every opportunity, not just in words but in actions, but it is God’s responsibility to apply spiritual pressure for these decisions. The initial focus of this part of the program is to share with the client who God is and how He loves us.
6. Cognitive behavioral issues will start to be addressed at these levels and the clients will be walked through the process of handling their difficulties and life situations in a productive and new way. Daily situations at the center will be used as teaching tools and practical exercises in using the new skills we will teach them.
7. As our approach to rehabilitation is holistic, the client will be encouraged to address every aspect of their life from healthy living and eating, to managing finances and making plans for clearing up debt, obtaining glasses if needed, dental or health issues, repairing relationships with family and friends, and setting healthy boundaries, dealing with the histories of trauma or crisis, etc…
There are a number of ways the clients are educated in addressing their addictive issues. The below educational programs are combined with other aspects of their holistic rehabilitation (i.e., addressing medical problems like high blood pressure, getting glasses, financial issues, etc…).
1. Daily Bible Reading with documentation of a summary of what was read and how it can be personally applied to them. Their weekly worksheets are checked to ensure they are reading and learning how to personally apply Scripture. The schedule is set up so they read through the Bible in a year.
2. Morning Group Bible Reading of Proverbs or Psalms occurs before breakfast each day. Mark, Laura or a senior client leads this reading and discussion time. They also read some of the rules of the facility each day.
3. Weekly Book Work – Initially clients work through the 12 Steps, then Experiencing God, then 40 Days of Purpose, and other programs although they may repeat courses if there is a lack of understanding or need for repetition. The clients are required to work through their assignments on their own, with a senior client assisting them. Their work and progress are checked to ensure they are doing the work and have a basic understanding.
4. Weekly Bible Study –
The Pastor from Light of Life visits the center weekly and provides a 1 ½ – 2 hours Bible study which addresses many of the cultural and traditional issues that are not Biblical, helping the clients to understand what the Bible really says and requires of believers. Eventually we hope to have other Pastors teaching basic Biblical principles as well.
On Thursday evenings there is a 12 Step group that is led by a graduated client, Edik. Edik was with us about 1.5 years and graduated in December 2017. He is active in our church and works in Vinnytsia.
5. Church Attendance – Clients are required to attend Sunday church, either at Light of Life Vinnitsa, or its mission outreach in our village.
6. Small Groups – After clients have been at the farm for awhile and are progressing well, opportunities are provided for them to attend small groups offered by Light of Life Church or other Heart of Ukraine Ministries & Vinnitsa – Heart of Ukraine partners (i.e., Women’s Bible Study, International Partnership English classes, other churches, etc.).
7. Life Application through Life Situations – Moment by moment we take the opportunity to point out Biblical aspects in daily life situations. We may address them one on one with a client, or in a group, or during/after a meal. These life application issues cover a wide variety of topics: forgiveness, patience, opposite sex relationships, parenting, seeking God’s permission, honoring authorities, etc…
8. Personal Counseling – On a routine basis and as needed, personal meetings are conducted with the clients to address different victories and behavior issues.
9. Good Neighbor Projects – As clients progress, they are required to participate in Good Neighbor Projects (GNP) which can range from getting water for elderly neighbors from the local well, to participating in a clean-up day in the village, to helping an elderly woman prepare her windows for the winter, to helping bag-load-deliver grains for village residents. External village programs like volunteering at the Special Olympics are available to more senior clients as well. It is important that clients learn how to give without expecting anything in return.
10. Personal Reading Time – a number of local people have donated a variety of books/pamphlets that the clients may read as long as their required work does not suffer. These books range from true facts about Abortion, prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and numerous Christian topics, etc…
11. Other volunteers come and provide classes to the clients, for example: how HIV/AIDS is spread, about Tuberculosis (TB), what is high blood pressure and how should it be handled personally, basic hygiene, how to brush your teeth, etc…
After the house was purchased in December 2009, remodeling began in January 2010 and continues today; it seems to be a national sport here, but our remodeling is also affected by donations. We moved into the facility June 22, 2010, with the clients. During the summer of 2010 we worked the garden attached to the home and in late 2010 we added a cow and pigs. Early in 2011 we added a goat, then in the summer chickens. (Currently David’s House has cows, pigs, rabbits, ducks, geese, turkey-ducks and chickens, all which provide work for the clients and dairy and meat).
In 2011, to (2) additional gardens were added (rented) totaling 2.5 hectares (6.1 acres). In 2016, we purchased the house and land next door that also had additional land about 1km away. Through the years different business men and/or villagers have let us use land free or for rent; at the largest we had 6+ hectares (15-16 acres) but currently, in 2018, we have just under 3 hectares (about 7 acres).
The gardens provide numerous crops for human and animal consumption (i.e., corn, beets, carrots, onions, okra, cabbage, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, squash, pumpkins, apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, herbs, grass/hay, alfalfa, etc…). The crops will also be used to feed the homeless and needy in Vinnitsa during the Winter (see Vinnitsa City Homeless Shelter page).
More can be found on the progression of our plans in several historical Heart Beat Newsletters and on the Heart of Ukraine Ministries Facebook page (lots of pictures).
Remodeling efforts have been and will be the most financial impacting effort yet for Heart of Ukraine Ministries and we are relying fully on the Lord to bring in the funds for the project He has set before us. Please prayerfully consider how the Lord might use you to help build this center, that changes not only lives, but families, and communities. Numerous local churches, groups, and individuals have already provided additional workers for special day and weekend projects. We’ve also had a number of international people come visit and work, as well as our first mission team from the United States in July 2011.