Tidbits on Teen Challenge, Humane Society and Cuba

Sunday, December 11, 2016

In the Nov. 29, 2016 newsletter from Cape’s Mid-America Teen Challenge, director Jim Bolin outlined the following under the heading “Our Time to Build”:

“The past six years we have seen our student population nearly double in size. Our current student population is 180, and there is no sign in it slowing down. In Philippians 3:13-14, the apostle Paul made this statement,‘By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward to Jesus, I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.’

The vision and the heartbeat of this ministry is to reach every addict that comes to us for help. Yes, we are enlarging and expanding. There is so much more God has for us to do.

In 2015, we started a five-year expansion/enlarging project in order to reach every addict, every family that is crying out for help. This past year, because of our community’s generosity, we completed the much-needed expansion projects:

We were able to complete a new staff dorm that will house 16 single staff/staff interns. As I write this letter, staff are beginning to move into this brand new dorm. The cost of this dorm was approximately $250,000. Thanks to donors like you we were able to build this dorm DEBT FREE.

The drug addiction problem in America is described as an epidemic.

Twenty-two and a half million Americans abused drugs last month. Five people died in the last 60 seconds from drug and alcohol abuse. The emotional pain for family and friends is staggering — yet the problem continues.

THE SOLUTION: The solution is to look to God to heal and transform every person from the inside out. And in this healing process, we work with each student to equip them to address the personal and personality issues related to drug use and dependency.

Teen Challenge understands that only God can heal a life broken by drugs and alcohol abuse with a documented 70-86 percent success rate, validated by the U.S. Government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse — addicts can find hope for a lasting recovery.”

In a recent newsletter from the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri they listed the following statistics.

The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri:

1. Takes in almost 4,000 animals a year

2. Spends an average of $100 in food, medicines and vet care per animal

3. Provides almost $25,000 in vet care annually

4. Found forever homes for 90 percent of dogs through third quarter 2016

5. Found forever homes for 45 percent of cats through third quarter 2016

6. Offers assistance with spaying and neutering

7. Serves as a stray hold facility for Animal Control

8. Offers foster care homes for pets belonging to women currently served by the Safe House

9. Is licensed by the USDA

About 10 years ago my wife Wendy and I visited Cuba on a newspaper educational tour. We spent about four days there and met with educational, sports, medical, agriculture media representatives, etc.

I picked up the pamphlet written by Fidel Castro called “History Will Absolve Me.” He wrote it while in prison, and it clearly spelled out his communist beliefs. He was released from prison (a mistake) and eventually landed back on the island with a small band of followers and took over the island from Batista’s dictatorial rule.

I mentioned this to lead into singer Gloria Estefan’s following comments on Castro’s death:

“Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming. And although the grip of Castro’s regime will not loosen overnight, the demise of a leader that oversaw the annihilation of those with an opposing view, the indiscriminate jailing of innocents, the separation of families, the censure of his people’s freedom to speak, state-sanctioned terrorism and the economic destruction of a once thriving and successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world. May freedom continue to ring in the United States, my beautiful adopted country, and may the hope for freedom be inspired and renewed in the heart of every Cuban in my homeland and throughout the world.”

Gloria Estefan’s family fled Cuba after Fidel Castro rose to power over 50 years ago. The singer, who was a toddler when she arrived in the U.S., has frequently spoken out against the Castro regime’s human rights abuses and policies.

Estefan spoke frankly to HuffPost Live in September concerning the recent thaw in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. The star said that while there had been political changes, most of them have occurred in the U.S. and not on the Caribbean Island.

“They continue to abuse human rights,” she said. “I’m still looking forward to the day where there’s actual political change in Cuba. I think after 57 years, it has to be incremental. They can’t handle a sudden onslaught of democracy. That may not be what is best for them, because they’ve lived in like a time warp for so long.”

Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

9. People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them. Help them anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

From: “The Edge”

by Kent Keith, 1968

Gary Rust is chairman of the board of Rust Communications, which owns the Southeast Missourian, as well as a member of the editorial board.

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