The Mission in My Words: John Ware, Community Coordinator for NLP

John Ware is the community coordinator for the New Life Program (NLP) at Denver Rescue Mission. A former graduate of the program, he is passionate about supporting participants in recovery by organizing social events and keeping in touch with them after they graduate.

Will you describe your role as NLP Community Coordinator?

I plan social gatherings and community service opportunities for the men who are in the program. For example, I coordinate taking them to church, museums, concerts, and sporting activities such as fishing, bowling and golf.

Will you share your testimony of how you came to the Mission?

With my new life in Christ, I have been saved from seemingly impossible circumstances. I was living in Iowa and got involved with someone who was using crack cocaine. Within six months of using the drug, I lost my job of 25 years. I moved to Colorado for a new start, only to end up living on the streets. After a year and a half on the streets, I was sick and tired of that lifestyle and joined the NLP. Here, I restored my relationship with Christ and my family. I relapsed 11 months after graduating the program after I stopped going to church and Bible studies due to working two jobs. My mentor helped me get back to being drug free. I was blessed to eventually be employed by the Mission where, by focusing on Christ, I’ve stayed clean and sober. I am grateful that I get to see the men who gave up all hope (which I can relate to), share with them about eternal life with Christ and witness as they become self-sufficient citizens.

How do you support and encourage the participants in their journeys of recovery?

I accept participants where they are and let them know that I have been in their position. I remind them that they have the tools to get back on track and encourage them to read their Bibles and pray. As Proverbs 24:16 says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” Sometimes it’s about getting another chance to go through the program and get a new vision.

This post is part of October’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, you’ll learn about four misconceptions of relapse and how the Mission is helping people suffering with addiction.

The Truth About Relapse and the Importance of Community 1