All of us know what a tremendous problem we have in Umatilla and Morrow counties with methamphetamine.
Every day we read news related to this problem. Sadly, we see the results in the destruction that occurs in families.
Social services have a difficult time responding due to a shortage of foster homes for broken families, and due to a lack of funding for rehabilitation services.
Many say it's a problem for law enforcement to deal with, or perhaps it can be addressed through rehabilitation, while others simply go on ignoring it all together.
I wonder how we as churches in these counties are helping to address this important matter? Isn't it the Gospel message that holds the answer to these peoples' quest for meaning? I'm not just talking about the users, but also the producers.
Some of you reading this article most likely have a drug house next door that either produces or consumes. What keeps you away from these people? Wasn't the Gospel of Jesus Christ the answer for you when you were searching for the meaning to this life?
I admit, at our church right now we don't have an answer or a plan on how to address it, but I often wonder what we as "The Church" can do to really help these folks overcome this horrible lifestyle.
Our society surely doesn't hold the answer, it won't be found in the rehab clinics because they don't get at the heart of the problem. All that our governmental agencies do is react to the problems created by methamphetamine. It doesn't fix the problem.
People trapped by methamphetamine need to see the love of Jesus Christ in action by those of us who claim that we are Christians. We need to pray that the Lord will bring them to our church doorsteps. We also need to pray that God will take us to them, and that he will give us the boldness to show them what a life looks like when Jesus Christ is in it.
I recognize we do need to be careful because there are some who would seek to harm anyone who would interrupt this lucrative trade and we certainly can't ignore common sense. But, with that in mind, what can you do in your church to help address this matter?
It isn't just up to the ministers to preach about it from the pulpits in their sermons, and praying alone isn't going to get it done either. James says faith without works is dead. It has to be a movement of God's people who know and understand the Gospel message.
Here are some suggestions that may help you decide if you can help.
Sign up today and get licensed as a foster home. Both Umatilla and Morrow counties have an extreme shortage of foster homes. You won't regret it one bit. My wife and I are licensed and have adopted three children through foster care. In fact each of our three children had a father or mother addicted to drugs.
Organize a prayer group. Make a genuine offer to help these people by bringing them a meal, inviting them to your church, helping them get a job by providing them transportation.
The ideas are boundless if you think about it. These ideas aren't the solution in and of themselves, but they are a practical way to demonstrate the love of Jesus and it may lead someone to the one solution that can fix them eternally.
Look for how God could use you to help someone caught up in this lifestyle. It's only a prayer away.