On Sunday, August 13, the choir from Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge will be back to lead us in worship. This is always one of the most inspiring services of the year. The testimonies given by people who have entered recovery from chemical addiction through the ministry of Adult and Teen Challenge are so heartwarming it’s hard not to shed a tear. And to see these persons sing with such passion about the Lord who has rescued them—wow! You don’t want to miss it.

One thing I want to do this year is ask how the group got their name. I know that it was originally called Teen Challenge. But substance abuse isn’t limited to youth. I read recently that more people in America suffer from addiction than all the different kinds of cancers put together. So, I understand the “Adult and Teen” part. But why call it “Challenge”?

Substance abuse is such a difficult thing to overcome. Over 1000 Minnesotans die every year from overdoses, primarily fentanyl. If it wasn’t such a challenge to escape the hold of these drugs, we wouldn’t be losing so many people each year. In fact, addiction is such a challenge that it’s practically impossible to shake it on one’s own. It takes the help of a recovery community, and trained professionals, and especially God. The choir will bear witness to that on the 13th.

That reminds me of a truth we all face. Life is hard when we do it alone. But we don’t have to do it alone. The Lord is there for us, and the church community. We don’t have to face life’s challenges alone. Thank you, Jesus.

Have a great week. I’ll be in the Boundary Waters with the youth. Pray for us.

Pastor Mark