February 21, 2020
Johnny was addicted to drugs and struggled to have hope for his life—but then he encountered F Street Neighborhood Church, a church plant in Nebraska that you help to support through Resonate. Now Johnny helps lead others to Jesus.
Four years ago Johnny stepped into a treatment and rehabilitation facility in Lincoln, Neb., to receive treatment for his meth addiction. It was his fourth time—and not his last.
Johnny was struggling after the birth of his son. The relationship he had with his son’s mother was complicated, and he was grappling with his new role as a father and what it meant. He struggled to stay clean and have hope.
A Crucial Encounter
But during that time at rehab, Johnny met Jennifer, who was graduating from treatment. Through Jennifer, Johnny met pastor Jeff Heerspink of F Street. Jennifer had been worshiping with the church plant and had invited Pastor Jeff to attend the graduation ceremony.
Though Johnny had accepted Jesus into his heart earlier in life, he had not really had a relationship with Christ. “I guess I just kind of knew God was there,” he said.
But Johnny wanted to learn more about Christ, and you helped make that possible. Because of your support, Resonate can provide much-needed funds for F Street so that the church plant can continue ministering with people like Johnny in their neighborhood.
Jeff started picking up Johnny to bring him to worship. Even when Johnny started to use drugs again, he still came to worship on Sunday mornings.
“Johnny is pretty unique because he’s one of the few who continued to come to church while he was relapsing,” said Jeff. “He was around us and had this community with him, and we walked with him until he returned to [rehab] again.”
Making a Change
“I did it right this time,” said Johnny, referring to his most recent time in rehab. “I started praying in the mornings and reading my Bible every day.”
Johnny graduated in June 2019, and Jeff was elated to attend the ceremony. But God is full of surprises, and Jeff was amazed to see the influence Johnny was having on others around him.
“While at Johnny’s graduation, I met several people who were interested in attending church,” said Jeff. “They had seen the community Johnny had at F Street and how it served him.”
A Mighty Warrior
Johnny now makes it a habit to shine a light for Jesus. He goes back to the rehab center to form friendships with new people, and he has attended three graduations.
“I want to show people it can be done—to go from brokenness to being healed,” said Johnny.
Johnny is what Jeff calls a “mighty warrior” in their neighborhood. “I think the greatest ministers for this neighborhood are still coming out of this neighborhood,” said Jeff.
Opportunities to minister come every day. Jeff and Johnny were on their way to lead a Bible study, but then Johnny learned that someone they knew was at a hotel and in the midst of a serious relapse with his alcoholism.
“He said to me, ‘We have to go and get this guy.’ But I reminded him that this person tends to not even answer the door,” said Jeff. “And Johnny said, ‘I don’t care. We have to go; we have to do this. This is our friend.’”
Two hours after arriving at the hotel, they were able to get the man to the hospital. “Johnny might have literally saved that man’s life,” said Jeff.
A Caring Community
As Johnny continues to grow in his faith and minister to others, he recognizes how Jeff and his church community have influenced him.
“Jeff has seen the good and the worst in me, and he still cares,” said Johnny. “The people at the church really do care.”
Thanks to your support for Resonate church plants, people like Johnny find new life in Christ—and they’re sharing Christ’s love with others! Give thanks for Johnny, Jeff, and the community of F Street. Please continue to pray for them as they minister with people in their neighborhood.