CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 9, 2008

Program hopes to help teens overcome addiction


By Tiffany Green

STAFF WRITER

Crystal and Heath Parker hope to help teens with addictions through their program Life Hurts, God Heals.

The idea for the group came about from the Celebrate Recovery 12-Step Program. This support group is a Christian based recovery group geared toward recovering addicts with any addiction. The program is at The Refuge, formerly known as East Point Church of God on Highway 278 East. They meet every Saturday night from 6-8:30 p.m.

“There was nothing like this for ages 12-18,” said Heath. “We wanted something for the children of those in Celebrate Recovery or any teen who needs us.”

Heath is a former addict himself.

“I was in and out of jail when I was younger,” he said. “I don’t want these kids to go through what I went through and if they are then we want to help them. Because of their relationship with God and through our group, my goal is to keep anybody from traveling the road I did. If I can help one kid it will be worth it.” ”

The Parker’s faith was tested in May of this year when their three-year-old son Lane suffered injuries from a four-wheeler accident.

“We were told he might not make it through the night,” Crystal said.

After just a few days in intensive care, Lane was moved to a room and released just days later.

“He is a miracle,” Crystal said.

Crystal said when she went to the doctors she told them God was going to heal her little boy.

“I know they thought I was crazy,” Crystal said. “But God had a reason for this and through the miracle of my son, many young people have been reached

Heath knew the devil was testing his faith.

“Sometimes the more you do, the more the devil throws at you, but you have to keep on,” Heath said.

The Parker’s want teens in the area to know someone is there for them and people do care.

“I have seen what God can do,” Crystal said. “I want these kids to know that there are certain things you don’t have to go through, and if they hang on God will work everything out for the good.”

The Parker’s said they see God working through the group when they see changes in the kids.

“When you have been working with a kid and you see their parents come to church with them, you know you’re helping,” Heath said.

“It’s amazing what God can do,” Crystal said. “We want to help build these kids faith and show them that God is going to do what he says he is going to do.”

Heath added a lot of times people struggle and do not know why things happen as they do, but he says people must have faith.

“We don’t know why God does what he does, but he does and we have to have faith,” he said. “God has done so much for my family and worked through us and we have a responsibility to work in him.”

The group will have a youth rally at the church on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008 beginning at 5 p.m.



‰ Tiffany Green can be reached by e-mail at Tgreen@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 221.