We have a saying at SOZO that goes, “The most important client is the next one”. This works for us in many ways. First, it reminds all of the staff and clients to be especially kind and caring to the “new man”. Secondly, it says to the new man, “you’ve got 15 minutes of fame and then it’s your turn to help the next new man”.
Most addiction treatment centers are very slow in December because clients want to “celebrate” the holidays at home. But, at SOZO, we are brimming over with grateful clients who are enjoying the kind of Christmas holiday that they have never seen before. Christmas songfests at various churches in hot springs village, Christmas pageants, Christian music concerts, holiday dinners provided by members of the Village Church of Christ, and so much more. And, all the while, attending spiritually based classes and individual sessions that unlock the mysteries of addiction and free the residents to live sober.
For many of our residents this will be their first sober Christmas in years, if not decades. A big part of our program is spent on healing family wounds caused by addiction. So, it’s especially gratifying to see families coming together in God’s embrace at this holiest time of the year.
So, instead of “celebrating” Christmas in their former ways, these SOZO residents are learning to support and care for one another in ways that are truly God-inspired. Being together with a band of brothers in a God-centered environment just may be the most important Christmas of their lives.
So, as we take time to reflect on the miracle of the birth of Christ, we also thank God for the miracle of recovery and the opportunity to be born again into the men God intended us to be.
Bob O’Dowd, Executive Director