When you hear the word ‘Rehab’ what do you think? Bad people? Addicts? Attitude? Prison like places? Sometimes I think about a shirt that my good friend Paul has that says ‘Nintendo Rehabilitation Clinic’. But seriously I had no idea what to think when I was told I was going to a rehab centre. I’d never been to anything like that before and frankly I was a little bit scared. I was also scheduled to spend some time on the public deck of the ship in the morning, but that morning the organiser found me and said that there weren’t many visitors so I’d be going to a rehab centre in the morning too. Two in one day!
The first one that I went to was for people who were sentanced by a court to be there as an alternative to a jail sentace, so there were many iron bars and security cameras and guards, though it was a lot more homelike that I would immagine a prison. We had no plan, only some materials and the Holy Spirit, and we were only two in number. A staff member gave us a tour of the facility and then decided to take us to the detox wing to give our presentation. These were the people who had just arrived and were off the drugs for the first time. I was now more scared than I was earlier, but I put on a brave face and put my trust in God as we passed through an iron gate into the ward. Could you imagine my surprise and releif when I met such a friendly, courteous, attentive bunch of gentlemen! They were very interested in our ship presentation, my testimony and our gospel presentation. They asked lots of questions about the ship and asked us to say a special prayer for them. It was wonderful to talk to these guys who had really hit rock bottom and encourage them.
The second rehab centre I went to in the afternoon was completely different. It was really just like a big house, though it had a very big fence around it with some barbed wire, inside everyone was free to move about and interact. They all lived together and did chores to keep the place clean and tidy, and that it was! I’d be ashamed to invite the clients there to see my cabin or my office! Our group was much larger this time and we had two Dutch speakers with us (Dutch is the official language of Curacao). Each of us showed our flags and told our names, where we came from and what we do for work. This time I gave a ship presentation from memory using a helpful song I learned from an Aussie girl in my first week in Trinidad. Others gave their testimony in Dutch or in English translated into the local language – which is a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, English and French. We also had the opportunity to chat one on one with the clients after our presentation and I enjoyed chatting with one guy about the ship and my faith in Jesus.
At the end of the day I was really surprised at how God can use me in situations I have no experience or talent in. Thanks God for working through me, and working in me.