“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them,” Psalm 10:17 (New Living Translation).
Feb. 5 was International House of Pancake’s National Pancake Day. The Cookeville IHOP location donated proceeds from the day to Teen Challenge in the Upper Cumberland.
“IHOP, for years was supporting the Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic (CPC) and the GM of this IHOP, her daughter and step-daughter, I helped both of them get into the Teen Challenge Program. They were strung out on drugs. Both have graduated from Teen Challenge. So last year, the director from CPC, told the GM, ‘listen that is where your heart is, why not let Teen Challenge do this?’ So last year (2012) we came in and they let us do what we are doing here and they probably had one of the most profitable National Pancake Days they ever had, from the numbers of people who came in and believe in this program,” Pastor Tim McLauchlin, executive director of Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, said.
Tennessee is the second most drugged state in the U.S. We are probably the Meth capital of the world in this area of middle Tenn. I am disturbed by this, to see people turn to drugs because something seems to be missing from their lives and the government won’t help programs like Teen Challenge, because they try to give teens and even some adults Jesus to fill that gaping hole they formerly filled with drugs.
“Clinicians, doctors have studied and they understand that it takes 120-days for the endorphins in your body to quit craving drugs. So you’re paying $30,000 for a 90-day program, all that’s doing is getting you sober but not kicking the drug addiction. They have not even figured it out,” McLauchlin commented.
People who leave these programs end up back on the drugs and back in jail quicker than you can blink. No wonder we are in such a deficit. In light of this fact, I believe our government does a disservice to teens just needing help that can only come from the light offered by Jesus Christ.
“Teen Challenge is a 12-month to 14-month program. We lay the foundation of Jesus Christ. We help you understand why you got on drugs to begin with, how to give all those things over to the Lord, and then how to start living according to his word,” McLauchlin said. “I can get anybody into any Challenge, any where around the country for less than $2,000 for a year, when it costs secular programs $30,000. The government won’t give us money because we are a Christ-based program.”
“Teen Challenge has an 87 percent success rate. Secular programs have less than 5 percent,” McLauchlin said.
I do not believe we can cut God out of the government, because we were founded under God, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Where is the justice and liberty if the people of this country can’t get this God given help?
“I will say this, I will speak very highly of the courts systems in Putnam, Overton, White, DeKalb, they believe in Teen Challenge. We get a lot of people into Teen Challenge. The good news is that the courts support us for people who are willing and serious about going, but the downside is that person looks at us and says ‘I don’t have any money, I don’t have the resources to get in Teen Challenge,” which most of them don’t. There’s no funds for us that they can get,” McLauchlin said.
If people really want change, they don’t have to look too far. Teen Challenge is one of the best opportunities for change. They do not treat people who come in as another statistic. They treat them as lost children of God who have finally come home and just need help to kick the addiction of things that filled God’s place in their lives.
“IHOP National Pancake Day does a lot of things for us: one it helps us raise funds for our campus up in Livingston. Two, I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve had the opportunity to pray with today and help lead them to the Lord,” McLauchlin said.
I opened this editorial with Psalm 10:17. These people are hopeless and our government has turned a deaf ear to their cry and tries to get them sober through programs that cost our government even more money- aka you. I propose this: our government needs to get off their lazy behinds and start putting money into something that works, Teen Challenge. Along with getting our national deficit under control, we would also be cleaning up the streets of drugs and habitual criminals.