‘Celebrate Recovery’ Continues What Rehabilitation Creates

Phoenix Citadel Corps, AZ

Jocelynn Norton and Tim Watson are involved in Leadership of Celebrate Recovery, held on Friday Evenings at the Phoenix Citadel Corps. And, they are engaged!

Every Friday night, at selected Salvation Army Corps across the nation, a ministry called “Celebrate Recovery” provides weekly opportunities for men and women addicted to drugs and alcohol to come together for praise, worship and support.

“Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based program,” explains Tim Watson, a graduate of the Phoenix Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and a participant/leader of the Celebrate Recovery held at the Phoenix Citadel Corps.”

“Where you have AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous), which are both also Bible-based, Celebrate Recovery goes a step further through intensive praise and worship before breaking up into groups that support one another,” he adds.

Celebrate Recovery is not indigenous to The Salvation Army—many denominational churches use the model in all 50 states.

“But Celebrate Recovery is right up the Army’s alley—especially those graduating from ARC programs and who want desperately to stay clean and sober,” says Jocelynn Norton, another Phoenix ARC graduate and participant/leader in the ministry conducted at the Citadel.

Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1990 by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church, and is aimed at all “hurts, habits, and hang-up,” including drug and alcohol addictions, sex addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and people who have been sexually abused.The founders felt that Alcoholics Anonymous was too vague in referring to God as a “higher power,” and wanted a more specifically Christ-based program.

Celebrate Recovery utilizes eight Recovery Principles that are based on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).

Tim and Jocelynn agree that the Celebrate Recovery chapter held at the Citadel has grown tremendously over the last couple of years—testifying to the truth that people struggling with life are realizing that only Christ can fill the missing piece of God’s grace, mercy, and love.

“Two years ago, we were averaging between 10-30 every Friday night,” Jocelynn says, “and just last week we had 200!”

There are no membership dues—just a desire to stay clean and to grow in Christ, while helping each other along.

“Praise and worship is as important as the group work we do afterward,” Tim points out. “After all, its all about Him!”


Major Frank Duracher
Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Shine A Litte Light

Washington D.C.’s Harbor Light Shines Help, Healing, Hope

For great is Your love toward me!
You have delivered me from the depths;  from the realm of the dead.  (Psalm 86:13)


The situations and places the residents of Harbor Light come from are many. Most of them are victims of unthinkable crimes, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, physical and/or emotional abuse and abandonment. Many have witnesssed terrible violence. For those who are marginalized and forgotten, substance abuse is an all too common way of numbing the lasting effects of untreated trauma. In 1997, The Salvation Army intervened to help those with these problems by opening The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Washington, D.C.

For 19 years, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light program has shone as a beacon of hope for those who once believed there was none. Adrift on the tempest sea of pain, guilt, isolation and despair, the seemingly lost have found their way home.


The Washington, D.C., Harbor Light is a co-educational, residential, substance-abuse treatment program. Working in close partnership with D.C.’s Department of Behavioral Health as well as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program is able to treat and prepare recovering individuals for their transition from sickness and homelessness into health and independent living.

The beginning stage of this journey within the Harbor Light program can range from 28 days to two years, and consist of the following intentional methods: treatment and therapy groups, individual counseling and care, on-site AA and NA meetings, cognitive behavioral therapy, educational and vocational classes, job preparation and placement by a team of 44 employees and a 20-member professional clinical team. The professional staff of fully licensed, registered and credentialed caregivers work tirelessly to better the lives of the Harbor Light family by working alongside:

  • The Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration of the District of Columbia, Department of Behavioral Health (APRA)
  • The Community Service and Offender Services Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA)
  • The Administration and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Unity Healthcare
  • University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology Center for Addictions, Personality and Emotion Research (doctoral program assessments)
  • Smile Dentistry

The roughly 100,000 square-foot, campus-style facility houses 136 residents, of which 34 percent are women and 66 percent are men.

Part of what makes this program successful and effective is the critical emphasis on the spiritual health of the men and women seeking a life change. Immediately following medical and behavioral evaluation and treatment, the individual is offered spiritual counseling and care by the officers who live on site. They carry out consistent compassion while communicating the love of Jesus Christ. The residents of Harbor Light begin to understand how valued they are and see real hope for their future in the only the Living God who created and loves them.

Many opportunities exist in the fellowship and community of Christ, such as Bible study, prayer meetings, worship services and gospel music singing.


Chanley is battling a life-crippling addiction of 45 year and he is winning.

It began when he was 15 years old and ultimately cost him everything—his job, his home and his family. Desperate to turn his life around, Chanley found his way to Harbor Light. His journey has been difficult, but his victory is real. After 19 months of being clean and sober, he is a different man. He has hope.

Chanley helped create a symbol of growth and healing; the very first Victory Garden at Harbor Light is a beautiful testimony that every life can be made new and has a bright tomorrow. He has enjoyed Bible study, singing, and has even gained his commercial driver’s license. His relationship with his wife and three daughters is healing too, and he has great hope in being reunited with his family soon to share in the joys of second chances.

Because of the courage and strength of men and women just like Chanley, there is a light that shines bright in the harbor and it’s in Washington, D.C., for all to see.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36).


By Major Jacqulyn Reckline
Associate Commander, National Capital Area Command





Conversation With A Homeless Woman

Marie (name withheld) has been homeless off and on for the past five years.

Marie has been married twice and is the mother of two. Her life choices have resulted in disaster after disaster.

By her own admission, she’s left “a trail of destruction” in her wake. She has been alone for a while. Fortunately for Marie, her commitment to Christ has enabled her to overcome her addictions as well as the desire to run every time a problem arises.

She continues to undergo therapy, and her situation continues to improve as her faith grows.

Major Frank Duracher spoke to Marie about the experience of being homeless today.

War Cry: Can you describe your experience being homeless, up to the present?

Marie: I never intended to be homeless. With my first marriage, I wanted a family where we all lived in a house with a white picket fence.

Along came husband number two, and I thought things would be different, and that I could still have that dream. But that didn’t work out either.

Let me say that it wasn’t all my husband’s fault. I’m as much to blame as anyone—probably more so.

So when that dream didn’t materialize, I left. I will take the emptiness I feel at having left behind my girls, but I couldn’t help myself. I was spiraling into more drugs—more dangerous drugs—and I could fool myself into believing the real reason why I left them was to save them from me, but I won’t make any more excuses.

War Cry: Where did you go?

Marie: I wandered cross-country, trying to put down roots somewhere. If I found a job, I put everything into it; hoping to make something of myself. But something always happened that forced me to quit or get fired. I got sick, or I showed up at work sky-high, or I didn’t show up at all.

It seemed my past always caught up with me.

War Cry: You seem on the right track now. What’s the difference?

Marie: One word: Jesus. The only reason I was homeless at all was because of my addictions. I slowly came to realize that, but change on my own would be impossible. I was out west a while back and someone told me about how The Salvation Army helps women and men like me.

I’ve been clean and sober now for three years. But better than that: my soul is clean and sober too!

War Cry: Tell me about your life on the street.

Marie: Most people don’t know but among homeless people, there is a culture. An unspoken language, if you will.

Marking the curb of a house where a kindly person lives, for example.

Another signal is if you find, say, a sandwich on the top right hand corner of a newsstand or a trash receptacle, that meant the food was safe to eat. Each corner meant something different—the least one meaning, “Eat at your own risk!” (Laughs.)

War Cry: Were you in any danger?

Marie: Most of the time, it felt like it. There was this one stretch of time I saved up for a tent and sleeping bag. Every night at 5:00 p.m., you had to be at the shelter, and they had like a lottery where if they called your number, you got a bed that night. If your number wasn’t called, tough luck.

That’s why I had my tent and sleeping bag as a backup. I’d go to a nearby reserve, just outside of town and pitch my tent—usually in the same spot as the night before.

I was always cold. Often I’d wake up and there’d be snow on the ground.

Anyway, one morning I got up and walked down the mountain to town where I had a part-time job. As I was going down the path, I noticed off to the right was a mountain lion. He was looking right at me. I froze in terror; then slowly made my way far from him. He didn’t follow me, thank God.

War Cry: What about in town—what dangers did you face there?

Marie: Most other homeless people would cut your throat to rob you, so you never show any money out in the open. Also, most had their turf they would work for handouts, so you’d better not go there.

Also, being a woman, I was always afraid of being raped. That never happened, because I guess I learned to protect myself. Also, I’ve lost so much weight I don’t think anyone wanted to give me a second look. (Laughs.) I heard some horror stories out there, though.

And another thing, I always felt that normal people looked down on us who are homeless. Maybe I was imagining that, but it sure seemed so. In one town they actually had a law that you couldn’t sit still on one park bench or something for fear that would encourage loitering.

“It’s easy to say but it’s so hard to do. You need to forgive yourself of you past. God Has. You should too.”

War Cry: How are you doing today? What are your plans?

Marie: With my sobriety, and with the Lord’s help, I’m thinking a lot clearer now. Keeping the job I now have is not nearly the nightmare keeping a job used to be for me. I feel like I’ve proven myself, and in fact I just got a minor promotion. But it’s little steps like that that make you able to build on what you’ve got right here, right now.

I finally feel like I’ve gotten off of the merry-go-round.

War Cry: Any advice for anyone still on that merry-go-round who wants to get off in the worst way?

Marie: It’s easy to say but it’s so hard to do. You need to forgive yourself of your past. God has. You should too. You have to, really, or it just gets worse. It’ll never get better, otherwise. It’ll just be the same old…

Also, you need to reach out. There are people who do care. If the ones you are reaching out to don’t want to help, then reach out somewhere else.

Just don’t give up.


News Release

Salvation Army continues to support displaced people as security situation in Congo remains unpredictable

London, 7 April 2016/IHQ/ – A CEASEFIRE has been declared in the Republic of Congo’s capital Brazzaville, following gun battles which killed at least 17 people and injured many more. Thousands of residents who had been sheltering in the safety of The Salvation Army’s centres in the city have started returning to their homes. However, attacks have now flared up in the Pool Département which adjoins the capital. The Salvation Army is responding by opening additional refugee camps to receive displaced people from the affected villages.

Leader of The Salvation Army’s Congo (Brazzaville) Territory, Commissioner Onal Castor, explains: ‘Many have lost their lives, and people are scared. A thousand refugee families remain at our Moungali corps (church) hall, too frightened to leave. Villagers from Pool are now coming to Brazzaville for security, but we are not sure if the temporary ceasefire in the city will hold. We are making plans to accommodate more people safely.’

Commissioner Castor is grateful for the prayer offered by Salvationists and friends worldwide and asks that intercession for the military situation in Congo continues. Meanwhile, The Salvation Army’s world leader General André Cox repeated his call to pray for the central African nation at this unsettling time. ‘Violence is not the answer,’ he said. ‘Commissioner Silvia and I pray that peace would prevail, and encourage Salvationists worldwide to be faithful in praying for the Republic of Congo and its people. We pray too for strength and wisdom for the dedicated Salvation Army officers and staff of the Congo Brazzaville Territory who are selflessly supporting displaced people despite their own difficulties.’


Report by IHQ Communications