Ava has new support for people in recovery

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - The New Year is a time for new beginnings, but that can be difficult if you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

In Douglas County, a church is stepping up to help people in recovery.
Life Church in Ava just launched a support group for people who are struggling with issues like addiction. We went to the first meeting of the year on Tuesday night and spoke with a couple recovering addicts.

“A lot of times people can get led astray just from being alone,” said Donny Lamb, “Not having anybody around to talk to.”

Lamb grew up in Ava. He says he was addicted to amphetamines.

“It’s a very strong, addictive drug,” he said, “It’ll easily consume your life.

Now, he says he’s one month sober.

“I’d been saying that I had a problem,” he said, “and I knew I need help for my family. I have four beautiful kids. I’ve been married for 11 years. And I just I just took that giant leap.”

He says it was a difficult but important step. It was his first time attending the Life Church’s ‘Celebrate Recovery’ group.

Pastor James Hathcock says he saw the need in the community, so he’s been working with other members of the church for the last year to bring this recovery program to Ava.

“We face all types of addiction issues, and things such as this but, even within the churches, there’s a number of issues,” Hathcock said, “Even within the pews, if we’re not careful, we tend to sweep those things under the rug. And this is a good support system for folks that are dealing with any type of issue.”

It’s a small group, but they’re just getting started. This Christian recovery program is open to everyone who’s struggling with an addiction or any other life-altering issue.

“Douglas County needs this,” said Wayne Shelton, “I’ve been in and out of prison all my life, 20 some years, been a meth addict for 22 years.”

He says, now that he’s sober, he’s focused on giving back. He says he’s the minister for the Ozark County Jail, and an active member of the church’s recovery group.

“We get to watch people’s lives change, families put back together, kids back with parents; and that’s awesome,” said Shelton.

Lamb says talking with people who are struggling with similar issues helps him stay on the right track.

“If you want help, and need help, you got to take that first step,” he said.

Ava’s Celebrate Recovery group meets on Tuesday nights at Life Church, 606 NW 3rd St. in Ava. The meeting starts at 6.