Wishing You A Merry Christmas from Living Free!

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Hello dear friends,

During a season that is typically filled with hurry and pressure for so many people, we wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect on God’s incredible provision of His Son, Jesus.

Without Jesus, all the work and ministry of Living Free would be fruitless.

Without Jesus, all the small groups and curriculum would hold no power over bondage and shame.

Without Jesus, all the donations and hours and service would be pointless.

But thankfully, we have Immanuel — God WITH US — who equips, empowers, and sets captive FREE. This is why we rejoice this Christmas season!

We are thankful for you, our friends and partners, as well. Thank you for allowing Immanuel to fill you and work through you in the lives of others.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

— The Living Free Team

Families Everywhere Are At Risk. Help Us? – A Letter From The President of LF

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Dear Friends,

As we’re coming to the end of 2016 and we’re preparing to launch new initiatives in the coming year, I’d like to ask you to consider a year-end donation to Living Free.

If your family is like mine, at least one member has been harmed or has died from an addiction to prescription pain drugs or heroin. The hardcore drugs that used to be found mainly in urban areas have spread to rural areas with devastating impact.

Regardless of location, wealth, or social status, families everywhere are at risk. Recently, in a rural county town of 6000, a leader of a new Living Free ministry lost a child to a drug overdose. It becomes ever more clear as we pray for this leader that these problems are not just happening to “those other people.”

A recent news report in The Tennessean stated that one in six people abuse pain medicines and other opiates in the state. These rates are similar elsewhere per CDC statistics cited in the article.

Government officials in many states have invited the Christian community to engage with this crisis. The problem is that many don’t know where to begin or how to help. Most solutions default to expensive residential models that exclude 90% of the people who need help and offer little or no help to the family members of those struggling with life-controlling issues.

This gap in resources is the perfect opportunity for Living Free Community to help multitudes of people who need a nonresidential alternative. Already, thousands of volunteers are working in more than 200 Living Free allied ministries in 26 states and in scores of countries around the world. But thousands of U.S. counties are not yet served.

Because the need is so vast and this open door from governments could close suddenly, our team is praying, planning, and mobilizing to launch more ministries quickly. We desperately need the help of the Living Free family and friends to make this happen.

God has given our Living Free team the vision to see 2000 local Living Free ministries providing nonresidential ministry to 400,000 persons annually in the next 10 years.

This is a God-sized goal, but this and more is possible as we work together to empower Christians everywhere to bring gospel-centered solutions to persons struggling with life’s problems.

This is why I am appealing to the Living Free family for an end-of-year gift to help us take the next steps together to fulfill this calling. And should you choose to do so, a recurring monthly contribution can be set up.

Online donations can be made at LivingFree.org by clicking the “Support Living Free” button.

Thank you for being part of this great Living Free movement.

Dan Strickland, President of Living Free

A Letter From The President of Living Free

A Message from the President of Living Free

There are heroes in every community. Most are yet to be discovered. They want to do something significant in God’s service, but they don’t know how to begin. They need to be inspired, trained, equipped, and mentored. And when they are, those whose lives they touch are forever changed.

Most, but not all of these leaders, have faced difficult and painful struggles and trials with life’s problems, either personally or through helping a loved-one. And they have learned from experience what the Apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 1:4, He comforts us during all things that cause trouble and pain for us. So then, as a result, we ourselves can comfort other people who have any kind of trouble or pain. We can comfort them because God himself has comforted us. (EEV)

Kim Black, Living Free leader of Anderson County Recovery, is one of these leaders. Here’s her story:

I first became involved with Living Free in 2012. We here in Anderson County Kentucky had just started to feel the effects of the pain pill epidemic. Unfortunately, my husband and myself had been dealing with it for several years with our children. Three of our four children were addicted to pain pills. Two of our children could not really function, and the other was harder to spot because he was a functioning working addict.

At this time, it was a problem that was not talked about, and I found such little help. I became desperate because my kids’ addictions were tearing our marriage apart and in all that mess God seemed to be very far away. When I reached out and began to speak with others, I realized that there were many in our community with the same problem I had. Although it made me feel less alone, it didn’t do anything to equip me to handle my circumstances with any victory.

My pastor suggested that what we needed in Anderson County was Living Free Community. He referred me to Clayton Arp (LF Community National Director) and in January 2012 with his help, we began to follow the blueprint for building a Living Free Community. I spoke with pastors who told of their frustration in trying to help those they knew in their congregation who were suffering from the effects of a loved one’s addiction. Without a neutral safe place to be honest about their problems and get the help and support they needed, their needs remained hidden.

I followed the Living Free plan to build the ministry. I asked a friend to gather a prayer team to help prepare the way with petitions to God. I continued to meet with pastors to hear what their needs were and this built a relationship of trust with them that was important for the ministry to succeed.

Kim and her team have helped hundreds of people find hope and freedom. She is representative of over 200 other leaders in counties across America developing Living Free allied ministries.

It’s a fact that Living Free works! And it works because of your generosity.

A donation today will help make it possible to:

  • Establish Living Free ministry in 2,000 U.S. counties.
  • Provide online training and support for all levels of Living Free workers.
  • Network Living Free leaders worldwide.
  • Improve existing materials and develop new curriculums.
  • Provide content directly to smartphones, tablets, and e-book readers.
  • Empower like-minded ministries with Living Free materials.
  • Provide resources to those who cannot afford them otherwise.

There is much to be done.

Let’s not stop until every community has a ministry that shows people God’s path to hope, faith, and freedom from life-controlling problems through Christ.

Serving together with you,

Dan Strickland, President

P.S. Your generous gift this month will help us continue to move forward through the typically very lean summer months.  To make a secure gift, please go to www.livingfree.org and click on the red “Support Living Free” banner in the top right hand side.