Bethel Colony South Transformation Ministry is at 4114 Old Gentilly Road in New Orleans, Louisianna, USA. map
The colony recently obtained 501 (c) (3) status as a non-profit organization.
It is a community of addicts and homeless men who live and work together to improve their situations and gain experience living in the Way described in the New Testament. Our weekday schedule begins with wakeup at 5:45 am and 'pray up' for breakfast at 6:15 followed by some singing and a bible class or similar service. By 9 or 9:30 we are off to work. We have a grass-cutting crew, construction crews, janitorial teams, and other crews that go out, as well as kitchen staff and house keeping staff that handle the facility.
There is some very good camaraderie and brotherly kindness (most of the time) and the guys are usually sincerely trying to be good citizens. It's been a great experience for me so far.
Right to Return
Everyone is aware that not everything that calls itself "Christianity" is the real thing. I joined Bethel Colony South in Late October of 2007 as part of my quest to get back into the will of God. Living with 50 other brothers in close quarters helps one to focus on the one commandment. Jesus came a long way to deliver it and went through a whole lot of trouble to demonstrate it. Obeying it works.
I was first 'called' to ministry in 1979, but since then, it has been a long bumpy path, mostly because of my own misconceptions, presumptions, and worst of all, isolation. By 1989, I had given up on celibacy and married a nice, religious 28-year-old schoolteacher thinking I was marrying a godly woman. We had two lovely children and I became an electrical contractor. Just look at us! By 1999, both my parents had passed away and I had developed a nasty Internet addiction disorder. I lost interest in the "real world" so she dumped me and the rest of the story is online, somewhere.
My previous Wikiversity project, User:CQ/THD was an experience based in my friendship with Crystal, whom I was 'living in sin' with on her beautiful land up in Illinois. We had great ideas and big plans, but we laid around and drank too much, watched too much TV and had no discipline to stay on task. I 'escaped' from her in Champaign, and rode down to New Orleans after praying earnestly for direction.
I spent a good month walking among the homeless around the French Quarter and Uptown. I started out with a well-furnished backpack and a few dollars but was soon reduced to my 'ground state' and back in the care of my God.
What is truth?
Many prospective christians (note the lower case) set out to establish their own righteousness through good deeds, religiously/politically-correct speech and an ostensible notion of connectedness with the organized church. My struggle with the mainstream 'religion' of Christianity is with the phony hyped-up claims and lukewarm attitudes that are actually just watered down rhetoric and ploys to capitalize on the shortcomings of weak and unstable souls. II Peter 2:1-22 My redemption and entrance into the Kingdom is being predicated on my surrender to God as Father and His Son, Jesus. Realizing the Kingship of Jesus is the first step in the process. Accepting as fact that God, the Father raised His beloved son from actual human death is difficult to a 'man of science' which I once purported to be, but I'm getting there.
walk with me ...
The Transformation Network
When an addict reaches the end of his rope and turns toward the Living God, the process of salvation, restoration and redemption begins. I'm currently (8-8-8) in New Jersey with Pastor Mel and Brother Eddie reciprocating visits to Bethel to NOLA by our support network up here. This network includes many affluent people from what we sometimes refer to as 'the other side' but under the kingship of Christ, all ground is level at the foot of the Cross of Calvary. Here are a few groups and leaders we're connecting with:
- Cornerstone Christian Church - These folks came down to New Orleans in a mass of 85 brothers and sisters armed with phenomenal construction skills and a work ethic far beyond reproach. In only 8 days, Servant's Heart built our two-story building from the slab to the roof without so much as one moment of the crippling confusion that we are familiar with. They didn't argue, boast, bicker, cuss, abuse or falter in executing the enormous set of tasks required. When they left, all we had to do is some sheet rock finishing, trim-out and siding. All of the framing, hanging, wiring, plumbing, rough-in was done! We now have a new recreation room and handicap-accessible restroom downstairs and a nice classroom upstairs. This is what the christian community refers to as a blessing.
- Transformation Life Center in New York is a similar program. A guy from there came to visit us in New Orleans.
- Celebrate Recovery A twelve-step recovery program that stresses that there is no other Higher Power except for Jesus, as opposed to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous which encourage members to choose their own concept of a Higher Power. Members of BCSTM go there once a week on Fridays.
A New Chapter
After 11 months at Bethel of a total of 18 months in New Orleans, I am now back home in West Kentucky. I've been ordered to stay put and wait. Something catastrophic is coming perhaps in July this year (09). I don't know when but the place is near Paducah, Ky. Something like a nuclear disaster involving a plume of Radioactive funk coming from below. Maybe its the Chernobyl blob in some sort of China Syndrome? It's a dream I had years ago that simply wont quit. Where I saw it from in the dream is a real place with a physical locus in the non-dream world and I can extrapolate an approximate line. Well enough of that. We all know that this is the end/beginning. The jig is up! electrical contractor in virginia