L.A. Harbor Light celebrates Miracle Club members
by Carla Jackson –
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MIRACLE CLUB INDUCTEES celebrate recovery.
Shouts of joy and celebration echoed down the streets of downtown Los Angeles recently, as The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center held its 16th annual “Miracle Club” Celebration, honoring quality recovery.
Started in 1988, the Miracle Club is an alumni association for graduates of The Salvation Army Harbor Light, Safe Harbor and Harmony Hall who have successfully maintained their sobriety for at least two years. Guest speakers included Councilwoman Jan Perry of the ninth district, who told the listening crowd: “You have to fight this battle for yourself, but not by yourself. The Salvation Army, and we here in city government, support and salute you!”
The morning program also included an address by Juan Castanon, a graduate and staff member of the Harbor Light Center, who emotionally recalled his becoming a drug dealer and user, and how he now “thanks God every day for bringing his Harbor Light role models into his life.”
One of the more moving tributes came from special guest vocalist, Carmen Twillie. After Twillie sang her perhaps best known song, “Circle of Life,” from the Lion King soundtrack, she spoke about the difficulties she had to face growing up in a family of alcoholics. “Even though I wasn’t the one doing the drinking, I was sharing in the fall out. However, with the love of God, I am making a miracle out of my life.”
After a heart-soaring version of “Amazing Grace” was performed by the Harbor Light Choir, Conrad Watson, executive director of the Harbor Light Center, gave the message of hope for the day. Reciting from Romans 5, Watson said that “Faith triumphs in trouble” and that “…tribulation produces perseverance.” He continued with: “So hold fast, you too can come out of darkness and live in the light, just believe.”
By the time the awards presentation for the new inductees and the benediction was given, barely a dry eye remained in Congress Hall. And as guest and members alike went to partake of the refreshments, hugs were given and fervent discussions could be heard saying: ‘Just call on God and take it a day at a time. That is all you have to do.’