Vision Action Team gains insight about recovery

Tour of Oakland Adult Rehabilitation Center provides glimpse of Army rehab success.

by Jennifer Cabrejas – 

Major Bill Heiselman gives a tour of the Oakland ARC.

“Why are you here today?” Major Katherine Reed asked the group seated before her. One answered, “I’m here because a family member needs help with their addiction.” Another offered, “Because we come across people with drug problems all the time at our corps.” Still another stated, “Because I’ve always seen this building and wondered what happens here.”

The Oakland Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) was the site for the most recent Del Oro “HeartBeat” (Divisional Vision Action Team) DVAT and TEAM Discipleship meeting. The group’s purpose and mission is to develop, train, and encourage lay leaders, and provide them with opportunities to impact their respective units.

Members and guests at this meeting were treated to a tour of the well-run facility and learned about its award-winning drug rehabilitation program. Majors William and Laura Heiselman, Oakland ARC officers, hosted the group. Majors John and Katherine Reed, ARC Command secretary for program and administrator development program coordinator, then led the pilot TEAM Discipleship Training Seminar on “How to Minister to those in Recovery.”

The seminar is geared toward training individuals with little or no knowledge about recovery issues. Topics covered included a history of Salvation Army social services, drug and alcohol facts and figures, addiction-related vocabulary terms, the 12-Step Program, co-dependency and how to effectively work with people in recovery from drug, alcohol, or other serious addictions.

Mark Hernandez, a dedicated HeartBeat member who went through the ARC himself, testified how Jesus dramatically changed his life though the program. “I was a 31-year addict,” Mark shared. “I was addicted to methamphetamines and alcohol. After coming to The Salvation Army, Jesus turned my life around. It makes all the difference to go through a Christian-based organization, and even today, I know men who fail at other programs but succeed here. I’m heading towards 12 years in recovery.”

Several in attendance remarked how they had always passed by the ARC center and never realized what went on inside. Their eyes and hearts were opened to the recovery ministry of The Salvation Army, and they were given a glimpse of how the program transforms lives through the power of Christ.


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