By Erika Burgher
On Thursday, Team Monadnock, took a trip to His Mansion, A Christ centered Addiction recovery center in Deering, NH. The students had a tour of the premises, ate lunch with the residents and staff and heard a testimony from one of the residents. We were struck by the sense of community that is intentionally built throughout all levels of the program, which in many ways reminded students of the community at JRHS. All residents are given a sense of belonging and purpose through activities such as eating meals family style, processing wood to heat their buildings, and through making maple syrup in the spring (another JRHS similarity!). Students engaged through the day, asking many deep and thoughtful questions as they learned more about the mission of His Mansion.
We spent the afternoon continuing our work on the three major projects we came to complete. One group is re-tiling the ceiling of the game room, which required removal of the old tiles, cutting new wood tiles, and some minor electrical work as new lights were also installed. Another team has ripped out and is replacing a water damaged ceiling in one of the original houses on camp that functions as a dorm. A third team removed old kitchen equipment from the former snack shack and has been cleaning and painting it to be repurposed as a small group guest kitchenette. Other jobs have included property clean up and removal of carpeting in the dining hall.
Students are finding joy in building community and in seeing the results of their hard work. They have agreed in our small group times that it is fulfilling to know that the work they do at Camp Monadnock this week is helping to facilitate the sharing of the Gospel with those who will come and enjoy this space in the future.
A few students shared their reflections on the experience at His Mansion:
Anonymous student: “It was amazing to see people working towards healing and recovery and choosing to be there and working in a Christian environment. The campus is beautiful and I definitely see God’s hand there in what they are saying and doing. The people's testimonies were amazing.”
Caiden: “It was cool hearing other peoples stories. It’s not cool seeing what they’ve been through but it was neat to hear their stories about how they came to Christ because of the things they go through that are very devastating.”
Christian: “My experience at His Mansion was quite phenomenal. I learned a lot about changing my worldview on how I see not only people who have been addicted but people who just need more caring in their life. Seeing those people recovering really changes my perspective on how the world can change and it’s not just like everyone’s the same when it comes to recovering. Everyone takes a different amount of time to heal from their brokenness. Listening to a few of their experiences, like Nick, Spencer and Josh, it really helped me learn that people do struggle a lot more than what’s intended for them, but God always has a way to bring them back to the joy and hope of the world.”