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Shepherding Minds: A Deep Dive into Pastoring and Mental Health Care

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2024 7:00 am

Shepherding Minds: A Deep Dive into Pastoring and Mental Health Care

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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June 15, 2024 7:00 am

Dr. Dan Scott joins me for a special conversation about the Church and caring for the mentally ill - and their families. 

PastorDanScott.com 

Dan Scott was born in Southern West Virginia in 1953. As the son of foreign missionaries, from his mid-teens, he lived in various places throughout South and Central America. After his marriage to Trish, he lived in Montreal, Quebec until 1983. In 1984, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where, except for a ten-year period in Phoenix, Arizona, they have lived since. He and Trish have two daughters and six grandchildren.

Dan has a Masters in Humanities from California State, a Masters in Psychology from Ottawa University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Lipscomb University. He is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed The Emerging American Church and has pastored two Evangelical megachurches. He is an ordained Anglican priest and now works part time as a spiritual director for a mental health facility in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

 

 

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This is Peter Rosenberg and I'm so glad that you're listening to this podcast. If you're finding it meaningful, I want to ask you for two things. Would you mind sharing it with someone?

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I'm still a full-time caregiver. But I'm putting it out there as best as I can. And I can use your help in sharing it with others. The other thing is, would you consider helping support what we do? If you like what you're hearing, if you're finding it insightful, if you're finding it encouraging, please help us do it more. We can't do it alone. We ask that you help us.

Staydewithhope.com. I am joined today by my longtime friend, Pastor, Dr. Very Reverend Dan Scott. He's got a lengthy history in pastoral care, but also in mental health care. And today I wanted to bring Dan onto the program and talk about mental health, families dealing with mental health issues, the church's response or the opportunity.

How about that? For the church's response. And things that the Word of God speaks to in regards to this. Dan has numerous degrees, numerous books that he's written, an amazing bio. He was a master's in psychology from Ottawa, doctorate in ministry from Lipscomb University, and a master's in humanities from California State. He has authored the most recent book was Faith in the Age of AI.

I had him on last year when we talked about that new book, which is a fascinating book. So Dan, welcome again to the program. How are you feeling? Feeling well. Oh, good.

Good. This is an issue that is near and dear to your heart because as you have retired from pulpit ministry, you have certainly not retired and you are serving in a much different capacity. And yet it's one that's close to your heart in dealing with individuals and their families with mental illness. Talk a little bit about that transition from the pulpit to that and what God is doing in your life.

And then let's talk about how this is affecting families. Well, my transition was about just feeling like in our church, especially that I was pastoring, we needed to prepare a younger generation to lead. And I had felt all along in pastoring that too many pastors continue to pastor simply because they are capable.

But they use up the time that folks right behind them need to be able to establish themselves as leaders and prepare themselves fully. So I had made that commitment to myself. But another part of it was I did want to focus more intently on individuals and small groups, particularly of church leaders who were struggling with just fall out of the times in which we live. Addictions, mental illnesses, all kinds of crises of faith and so forth.

And so for the last five years, I've been doing that and it's been very fulfilling for me. One of the things I've always liked about your work, Dan, is that you are looking out at the horizon and seeing what's coming towards us as the church and how the culture is in many respects dictating a lot of things. And you've been very proactive in pushing against those issues. One of them, of course, being mental illness. Mental illness has historically been very, very uncomfortable for church folk to talk about.

Yeah, I mean, we talk about all all Christians of all denominations believe in the fall. And we believe that something has occurred that creates a condition in which human beings are able to envision a much higher level of perfection than what they're able to achieve. And that's true in every area of life. It's true in our physical life as aging and illnesses reveal. It's true of our spiritual life as the Apostle Paul says, the things I want to do, I'm not doing the things I'm doing.

I wish I had the capacity not to do. And it's true in our mental life that none of us are completely whole in our mental and emotional life. We make do and some of us learn to compensate and to function well throughout life.

But that doesn't mean that we are without mental glitches. And some of us have debilitating kinds of issues that have to be addressed. And those are going to get worse as we go forward, because the kinds of technologies that are now emerging and more on the horizon reveal that the way that we've been looking at reality has not been completely accurate.

And we don't know how to adjust and we're not going to have enough time to adjust and it's likely to create an awful lot of addictions and just kind of breakdowns in a large section of the population. Unpack that a little bit. How are we looking at reality? And evidently you see a significant amount of dissociative disorders coming from the pike of this.

Yes, because here's the deal. We have, for almost 500 years in the West, we have believed a doctrine of materialism, which means that everything can be reduced to matter. And Christians, of course, can't believe that fully, but many of us have really believed it in our everyday life. So we believe in a spiritual reality somewhere that we rarely actually access. And then what's happening is in society at large, that viewpoint is collapsing and what's filling the void are, for some people, kind of new age things, for other people it's drug experience, for other people it's sexual life. And for a growing number, it's technologies and absorbing oneself in virtual realities and simulated realities. And people just aren't equipped to cope with that disconnect.

So I guess the bottom line is to say we no longer have a shared sense of reality with our neighbors and sometimes even with our own children and grandchildren. So it creates kind of a self-doubt or intense angers that quickly become kind of mental breakdowns, emotional disconnects and what have you. Well, we seem to be having more and more of this paraded out on the camera in front of us every day where people are just raging uncontrollably, unreasonably over stupid stuff. I don't know if you saw the news when this lady got up and she basically said to a local city council that, you know, implied that there was going to be violence against them and murder and all that kind of stuff and thinks she could get away with it. Then she gets arrested for it and now she's sobbing in the courtroom, didn't mean it kind of thing.

But decorum is out the window and there's just unfettered and unfiltered rage. Let's look at an example that may not be triggering to very many people, probably no one, and there was a YouTube thing that got taken down, but it was a Chinese lady and she's in the ER waiting for someone to see her in the hospital. And it's obvious she's kind of a peasant person, you know, someone's kind of low on the economic totem pole and in this crowded room. And so this robot device comes around on wheels and says to her, because you have to read the translated subtext, and it says, I am going to take your vital signs, put your hand here and asking questions and so forth. And this woman gets out something that looks like a ball bat and begins to just bash that thing into pieces while everyone around her is cheering. And she's yelling out things that you don't have to know Chinese to know that are almost certainly obscenities.

And it had all millions of likes before the probably Chinese government took it down. And it's amusing, but it also reveals what people are feeling about all kinds of things that they're just on their last nerve. And whether they're right wing, left wing, rich, poor, there's just too many changes coming on us too quickly to be able to absorb them. And so mental health has become an issue. And for Christians, of course, it's an issue of faith itself. Like, we are Christians not only in the broad sense, but we're raised within certain Christian communities. So if we're raised in a denomination that has not equipped us in certain ways, and that would be true of all of us, none of us have been equipped fully for dealing with things that we didn't know were coming down the pike. Then many times we can begin to question how much of our faith is real, what can we have confidence in.

And when we get to that place, it can shake our entire sense of reality and comfort, and we can collapse if we're not careful. So we have to have people to talk to. And as you and I have talked about this issue, the church is a little bit late to the party when it comes to acknowledging, verifying, affirming that this is indeed a legitimate thing here. And it's something that needs to be discussed. It needs to be treated as any medical problem. Yeah, let's take something that wouldn't be a mental illness, but simply a kind of a philosophical question. Let's imagine a young man, let's say he's 17 years old and he's kind of a computer geek. And he comes in and talks to a pastor and says, I think we live in a simulation because I do gaming all the time, and as I look at the way the world's constructed and DNA stuff and all that, I've come to the conclusion that reality is a simulation and we're not really real.

That could become a mental illness, but it's not at that point necessarily. So a pastor has to neither ridicule nor dismiss that young man's position as something utterly beneath contempt. You have to engage it and say, well, yes, in a way, what we're rediscovering is simply that the world is created out of the word of God, which is somewhat analogous to a simulation. But God has given us the dignity of independent existence.

We really do exist. And not only that, material things actually exist by the grace of God. And all you've discovered young man or my friend is that reality is not the way that the secular world thought it was for the last few hundred years. But that's not new to us.

The apostle John already knew that. So there are ways that a pastor or church leader can engage these different questions in ways that keep people from going down that rabbit hole of mental illness. And in this case of the young man, if someone doesn't help him, he could end up believing that he himself doesn't really exist in any objective way and trigger schizophrenic or other kinds of mental health crises. Well, yeah, because the first thing we do is we want to just blow them off because they're just, you know, you guys are nuts. But if you pointed to, for example, the Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, well, you're going to see one of the greatest minds of the last century wrestle with the thought of reality.

Yes. And one of the things I think we overlook sometimes in the Great Commission is to make disciples, to teach people. And we have a responsibility to teach them, OK, what is this? Because this thing can get out of hand very quickly, as you mentioned. And families don't know what to do with it, so they dismiss it and then the individual just retreats deeper and deeper and deeper.

As you and I have talked about this issue, the church is a little bit late to the party when it comes to acknowledging, verifying, affirming that this is indeed a legitimate thing here. And it's something that needs to be discussed. It needs to be treated as any medical problem.

Yeah. Let's take something that wouldn't be a mental illness, but simply a kind of a philosophical question. Let's imagine a young man.

Let's say he's 17 years old and he's kind of a computer geek. And he comes in and talks to a pastor and says, I think we live in a simulation because I do gaming all the time. And as I look at the way the world's constructed and DNA stuff and all that, I've come to the conclusion that reality is a simulation and we're not really real.

That could become a mental illness, but it's not at that point necessarily. So a pastor has to neither ridicule nor dismiss that young man's position as something utterly beneath contempt. You have to engage it and say, well, yes, in a way, what we're rediscovering is simply that the world is created out of the word of God, which is somewhat analogous to a simulation. But God has given us the dignity of independent existence.

We really do exist. And not only that, material things actually exist by the grace of God. And all you've discovered, young man or my friend, is that reality is not the way that the secular world thought it was for the last few hundred years. But that's not new to us.

The apostle John already knew that. So there are ways that a pastor or church leader can engage these different questions in ways that keep people from going down that rabbit hole of mental illness. And in this case of the young man, if someone doesn't help him, he could end up believing that he himself doesn't really exist in any objective way and trigger a schizophrenic or other kinds of mental health crises. Well, yeah, because the first thing we do is we want to just blow them off because they're just, you know, you guys are nuts. But if you pointed to, for example, the Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, well, you're going to see one of the greatest minds of the last century wrestle with the thought of reality.

Yes. And one of the things I think we overlook sometimes in the Great Commission is to make disciples, to teach people. And we have a responsibility to teach them, OK, what is this?

Because this thing can get out of hand very quickly, as you mentioned, and families don't know what to do with it, so they dismiss it and then the individual just retreats deeper and deeper and deeper. I was listening to, if we take it out of the mental issue for a while, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh talk about his deafness. And maybe a lot of people don't know, but by the end of his life, he was deaf. And he had a cochlear implant that allowed him to hear, but when he didn't have that on, he was basically stone cold deaf. And he said, the difference I found with deafness, for example, then maybe blindness, or in my wife's case, both of her legs are gone. People can see a disability, and so they accept and deal with it. But when they can't see it like deafness, they end up yelling at the person out of anger. What's the matter with you? Can't you hear? Well, we do the same thing with people with mental disconnects, with mental disease or affliction, and we want to shake and throttle them.

Why can't you see this? And never bothering to go into their world with the same humility that Christ came into ours. Yeah. Well, we talk about mental illness in the past, especially as a kind of a category that's easily defined, but it's not. For example, if a person has a tumor, they don't have a mental illness, but they may present as though they have a mental illness. Or if they simply were raised in a different culture that looks at reality differently, they may talk about, you know, the spirit of the tree or something and talk in ways that for us in our culture would seem to be way off base.

But there are many kind of reasons why that people present as they do. Maybe one definition of mental illness would be a private reality. When we have a private reality, a part of reality that we cannot share with others, we are, in a sense, mentally ill, particularly if we can't bridge that. So we can have a different philosophy and worldview than other people and still bridge the gap by explaining to them why we come to the position we have and why it differs from theirs.

That's not mental illness. But when we continue to shrink into our own perimeters and there's no neurological reason behind it, no tumor, no neurochemical kind of abnormalities, then what we really need is the humility to realize that we've shrunk into a kind of a private way of looking at things and that we are too proudful to realize that. Switching gears a little bit, what do you see as the greatest, and I'm careful on this word because I don't want to say shortcomings, what is the greatest opportunity that the church has before itself that is being missed right now? I think the core of Jesus' message is this verse, coming to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. The whole Sermon on the Mount kind of is an unpacking of what he meant by that. And when we care about people suffering, we don't have to agree with them about anything. If we realize they are suffering, we've already built a bridge to them by just acknowledging, yes, you're suffering and I'm sorry, you're suffering. When we have this kind of pain, it's hard on all of us.

And that kind of recognition of universal pain is the beginning point of not only the gospel, but of mental health. Many times, when I have been in practice and in the last few years, I'll have someone come in and that is, let's suppose that they're a pretty conservative person and their family is a pretty liberal family. And they dread getting together with their family over Thanksgiving or Christmas because they're going to feel left out and people don't take their views into consideration and they're not given a space to express themselves and be heard respectfully.

And I'll see the pain and it's acute. And later in the day, I can meet someone else that comes from an entirely opposite point of view. They are a more progressive kind of person. Their family is very conservative and they feel dismissed and insulted and they can't connect.

The pain is the same in both cases. And a mental health practitioner has to be able to disengage from their own points of view enough to just say, this person is hurting and I have to help them get strategies of getting past the hurt and connecting with those they love. I've often said on this program that when Gracie got hurt, there on the way to Memphis on I-40 near the Paris-Camden exit, you probably know it very well. The paramedics that showed up never asked any questions of her about her beliefs in God or political persuasion or whatever. This is over 40 years ago, but they just kept saying, we're here, we're here, we're going to get you to safety, we're going to get you to safety. And I thought, how many of us have lost that passion of those paramedics to just rescue a bleeding soul?

Can we take that picture and turn it towards not only the individual with mental illness issues, but the family that is surrounding them to help them better understand that acceptance doesn't mean agreement, that you don't have to like it. I think it all comes from understanding how much Christ condescended to us. Let's look at Jesus meeting with the woman at the well. There is a way that you can read that text that sees her as trying to pick him up. Because one, he's speaking to her. He shouldn't have been at the well to begin with.

His disciples were amazed at that. The protocol was for Jesus to stand way away, let her get her water and then go on and then go to the well himself. Instead, he meets her at the well.

And so she starts kind of what we call grooming. She's saying, give me some water to drink. And she's like, well, I don't know.

You don't have a bucket. And there's this kind of bantering going on, which she understands in a different way than Christ intends. And they get to that point to where he asked about her husband. And she said she didn't have a husband. And he said, well, you said that right. You don't have a husband.

You've had these other men you've lived with and the man you're living with is not your husband. Well, that could all been looked at as to see if she was free or not. And so now she's frightened and she asks a theological question.

She's a Samaritan. So she has a whole different religious outlook than than Jesus, who is a Jew. And so she's asking how he feels about the differences between them. And Jesus says the time is already here that those differences are not important.

The father is seeking people that will worship him in spirit and in truth. And I think that's that's where we need to come from, especially in our families with difference and particularly mental, the differences that come from mental illness. We have to learn how to engage. And then we have to realize that engagement is going to cost us emotionally, because sometimes we are entering into their world in a way that's very uncomfortable.

I think that's the key, is that are we prepared for that level of cost? Are we prepared to be elbows deep in the ick of people's lives? This has marked your life as a pastor and you've been willing to go into very, very uncomfortable places. I want people to understand that I've watched you up close and I've watched you from a distance. And the reason you're able to go in these things is because you're recognizing you're not going in of your own strength, you're going in clothed in the righteousness of Christ, in his confidence, in the confidence you have in his gospel, not in the confidence of Dan's gospel, but of Christ's gospel, his good news. And that gives us the boldness to go into these places that are very uncomfortable. Go ahead.

Here's an example. A woman came, this was in the pastoral office, not in mental health practice. She came in one day and she was a very elegant and well-dressed woman.

She was an elderly person, probably as old as I am now. And she was absolutely distraught trying to hold her composure. She said, I've done something really, really wicked. It's probably the unforgivable sin. And I don't know what to do.

The distress was really high. So I said, well, tell me what happens. And she said, I had sex with the devil.

That was probably a first for you here. Well, yeah, it's not a confession you hear every day. So I said, well, you don't have to go into detail, but can you tell me kind of how it happened? So that's already an open ended question that's affirming her viewpoint. It's not saying, well, you must be nuts.

Get out of my office. Because, again, she's in pain. And she said, well, I was just watching TV and his voice came through the television and he was so seductive that I couldn't find a way to resist. So I did two things. I said, well, I'm going to talk to you about that. Would you mind if I say something to my secretary here? And she said, no. And so I wrote the woman's name down and said, see if there's family members and ask them if she's on any medication. So I came back to talk to the lady and I told her, I have some good news for you. God does forgive people for having sex with the devil. And she said, really?

I said, yes. I said, the fact is, the Lord knows how weak we are and how powerful the devil is. And we get fooled sometimes. And he comes to our rescue and he rebukes the devil because we don't have that power to do that.

The devil's smarter than us and more powerful than us. Well, she soothed down and she began to get some hope and asked if I would pray with her. And by this time, her daughter had come because she realized her mother had not taken her medication.

I entered into that woman's world as much as I could, keeping my own bearings. And again, acknowledging her pain was real and addressing her pain and giving her a spiritual answer that's true that would alleviate her pain. I see this and other stories that can horrify so many people, and yet how many people are suffering in shame and silence over this level of dysfunction because they don't know where to go.

They don't know what to say. And it is interesting that her first instinct was, I am estranged from God, which is always our first instinct was sin. If we don't have someone that points us back to Christ in a way that we can understand in this and says, no, this is the path that God has laid out of confessing your sins and all these kinds of things, just in a gentle way. The woman had a sickness. I wouldn't expect somebody without legs to try to get up and walk without prosthetics.

And yet we flinch up, we get real nervous and all these kinds of things. This is why I wanted to have you on today because there are so many families in torment over stuff like this, individuals and families who are in torment. And you've seen over your lengthy career, the torment that people can be in over these things and so many others.

Talk a little bit more about what families who are wrestling with this, what are some of the things that they can do to reach out that they need to do to protect themselves from, sadly, church folk who will use scripture as a cudgel, as opposed to a lamp to point back to Christ. Let me just pivot to there by referencing the movie A Beautiful Mind about John Nash. John Nash was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, and he was afflicted with schizophrenia and he had a massive breakdown during his career.

And I don't know how long, three or four years at least, he was not able to teach or engage in mathematics. By the way, he was a believing Christian, which the movie doesn't bring out, but the book does. But there's a wonderful scene that I've used over and over with people with mental illness. And it's that scene where John Nash is in a cafeteria talking to an undergrad that he is mentoring. And he says to the student, do you see this guy standing beside me with this green hat and weird face? And the startled young person says, no, Dr. Nash, I don't.

And Nash says to the person that he's referencing, said, go away, you're not real. It's a moving thing, but he had developed a way of questioning his own stability by humbling himself, by asking other people, are you perceiving what I'm perceiving right now? And when they would say no, he would say, OK, I'm mistaken about what I'm perceiving. I think that's one of the most humbling things in such a spiritual and mental tool that we can use. In terms of families, I think it's important to say it is not unkind to our family members or disloyal to recognize their mental illnesses. It's usually not helpful to bring it up to the loved ones unless the loved ones are at that point, like John Nash, to say, yes, I do struggle mental illness. And in such cases, that opens up the ability to say, I think you're in a season like this to where it's difficult for you to reason well.

Do you think that's true? If you can get there, then that is such a good support system. But many times a person with mental illness is unwilling to recognize that they're in a season where they're not reasoning properly. And that puts us in a lonely place to where we both love and respect our loved ones and we're wanting to be with them in that place. And at the same time, we have to know our own limitations and be able to not doubt our own sanity.

That's the lonely place. And you're not going to get help usually from people who are not dealing with that same kind of relational challenge with loved ones of their own. And you've got to find community with people who know what that struggle is about. You know, when Gracie and I went down to Denver over the last couple of years, she said two really big surgeries, I took a different approach. And I named the operation Operation Aggressive Assurance. And I committed to speaking that assurance to her throughout the whole thing. I can't take away anything of what she carries. But what I can do is give what Scripture repeatedly gives to me, which is that assurance of God's presence. And as I went through that exercise with her, it wasn't really an exercise, but I look back at it now and I see the implications of it. I saw such a dramatic change in both of us because assurance seems to be the absolute core need that we have as human beings. We become so easily frightened, so easily dismayed, and Scripture is filled from start to finish with assurance. And I would suggest that the same thing applies across the board in mental illness issues, that we can assure them that we're there. We don't have to assure them of anything other than our presence at times. That's all that maybe they can understand.

I've got friends of mine right now dealing with loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia and so forth, and their minds are just not working. And they're trying to explain, no, mama, we're going to do this. No, daddy. I said, why don't you back off from that and just say, I'm with you. I'm right here. I'm right here. I'm right here.

Because that's what Christ says to us. I'm with you. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere. I'm right here.

Close us out with that. I think that recognizing that a person with mental illness is a person, and there are some people with mental illnesses who have huge capacity in some limited area. And just because they don't think rationally does not mean they do not have great worth first as someone made in the image and likeness of God. And some of the most wise, insightful things I've ever heard have been from people who struggle with mental illness. So to not dismiss someone with a mental illness as though they are incapable in every area of their life.

You've been around music enough to know that there are people who are off the charts brilliant in musical abilities and can bless the world. And yet their own ability to interact with others is so crippled that they just can't they can't do it. So we we thank God for their gifts. We appreciate their gifts. And also we recognize their dysfunction and disability.

So maintaining our respect for a person's personhood, made in God's image and likeness of great worth to us. And also recognizing at the same time that it costs us to stay engaged with them in that respectful way. And that we sometimes slip up is the way that we maintain our own equilibrium as we continue to have our relationship with loved ones who are suffering.

If a pastor or lay leader or anybody wants to get involved in any type of ministry like this within their church, where would you recommend for them to start? Well, one, you don't have to have psychological training to be a support and care for people who are mentally ill. You can't diagnose them and you can't treat them as such. But as a Christian, you can always acknowledge pain, share pain by saying, I know you're hurting and that makes me hurt and find that empathetic bond. And then also as you gain trust to be able to speak into the dysfunction at some level to say, well, I understand that that's the way you see things. I don't quite see them that way.

But if I did see them that way, I would be in pain as well. All Christians, all human beings can do that. But Christians are especially effective because we believe that in the fall, we all have become handicapped in our mental, physical and emotional well-being, our spiritual well-being. And that we simply cannot reach the levels of perfection that we would like to. And that knowledge allows us to bear one another's burdens, knowing that tomorrow I may need someone to bear my burden. So that shared love and care and concern in the spirit of Christ, love never fails, the scripture says, and it doesn't.

We're drawing close to the end here, Dan, so we've got to run. Pastordanscott.com, if you want to learn more about him, he's got a library of books that I would recommend very much. And he has his fingers on the pulse of a lot of things that are happening across, not just in the church, but in the geopolitical world. And he's watching these things. He's an observer. And I would highly recommend you find out more about him. Check out some of the things that he's written. See if it can speak into the places to your life.

I'm confident it will. Pastor Dan Scott. Dan, I want you to know how much I always enjoy having you come on. And you always take my call so that I can ask you back for more. Well, thank you so much. It's wonderful being with you on this call. And I wish you well in your continued ministry to people. It's so much so needed. I appreciate that very much.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the caregiver. Thanks so much for joining us.

We'll see you next time. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks. All these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville. I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, feet, boxes of them and so forth.

I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me and it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, Look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. She's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. standingwithhope.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-15 08:10:20 / 2024-06-15 08:25:05 / 15

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