August 2000, in the Dominican Republic, Pastor Jose and his wife Lola saw a need and responded to it. They discussed how they could help people in their country who were struggling with addictions. And so the Transformation Centre Jesús Tiene Compasión de Ellos was begun.
Today the couple provides support to young adults and adults submerged in drug addiction including: heroin, cocaine, crack, marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy, gambling problems and conduct problems. Their program, JTCE, focuses on the rehabilitation of these individuals: helping them to conquer their addiction and to return to being valuable members of society.
Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Matthew 14:14 (NLT)
With the leadership of Pastor Jose and the help of psychologist Isabel Martinez our project is able to provide:
- support through counselling
- Bible study
- life skills for reintegration into society
Currently the facility is able to support as many as 50 clients at one time. The 15-month program is divided into five 3-month steps or stages.
Upon entering the program, the first month is divided into 15 days of detox and 15 days to adapt to the program surroundings. The last 2 months of program are used to build roots in the community and to re-enter society.
When clients first come to the Centre, they are often destitute and cannot contribute to paying room and board. Without outside assistance the Centre will have to close.
In order to provide support for the year, we need to raise funds to pay for monthly expenses, specifically:
- the rent of the facility
- electricity and internet services
- basic supplies to run the facility and program
Pastor Jose is a man of vision. In the future he and his wife would like to:
- open a bakery that will provide another level of training and income for the centre
- start a training centre so that men and women can learn useful skills that will be used when they return to their life in mainstream society
- build a bigger centre which will be able to serve both men and women
The JTCE program is based on the word of GOD. Although we use medical, psychological, psychiatric and therapeutic treatment, what has really worked is the fact that the word of GOD is primarily used. Most of those that have stayed clean are still congregating and keeping a close relationship with the pastor or with some other person of faith.
Luis started as a client in the JTCE program. He continues to serve with Pastor Jose and Lola as secretary and translator. Elvera interviewed Luis in March of 2015.
In 2008 Pastor Jose’s Ministry Centre was in Puerto Plata. Luis was addicted to heroine. He heard about JTCE in Santiago. Apparently Pastor Jose used to drive around looking for people to invite to the Rehab Centre. One year later Luis says he hit bottom and decided to call the centre in Puerto Plata, but when he telephoned there was no answer. So Luis decided to walk from Santiago to Puerto Plata. That’s a distance of 76 km. It took him 2 days.
Luis says that from that day on, his whole life changed. He had an abscess on his right arm, which completely healed. He regained his strength both physically and spiritually. He says: “Using God’s Word is much better than just a rehab centre and methadone treatment.” A better way to get rid of drug addiction is to “let God do the work for you.”