A few years ago, The Times Examiner published the miraculous story of Winn Freeman, Founder and President of Wisdom in Living Life Ministry. The title of the article was “Man on a Mission.” For almost two decades, Freeman has been showing others the way to real freedom from addiction. Farron Hancox is one of many who sought and found real freedom from addiction with the help of Winn Freeman and Wisdom in Living Life Ministry. READ MORE>>>
Recently I was asked this question again, “Why do we need Wisdom in Living Life Ministry?” I paused briefly, not because the question was asked but, because of the underlying thought process that had obviously prompted the question: Why do we need a ministry that reaches out to those “imprisoned by addiction?” After all, we have hospitals, drug abuse programs; government funded detox and rehab facilities, and licensed counseling services. What, then, would a Christian ministry have to offer beyond what others already have established?
The crux of the issue is the word “Christian”. The one aspect that they are deficient in is the Christian viewpoint and a biblical approach to experiencing true freedom in Christ.
We spend our lives attending a church; we hold weddings in a church, we dedicate our babies in a church, we raise our families in a church, we form a ring of fellowship in a church, we have funerals in a church. But when a family member, or friend, becomes addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, we throw up our hands of helplessness and turn our family member or friend over to the secular community. Where is the logic in those thought processes? If God was powerful enough and great enough to create us, then he is powerful enough and great enough to deliver us from an addiction.
The Christian community needs an alternative that is Christ-centered in its approach to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. Wisdom in Living Life Ministry is that alternative because it is a Christ-centered ministry that focuses on changing the heart first and then changing a life forever. The greatest part of the ministry is that it teaches people imprisoned by addiction how to be free from their addiction and, most importantly, how to experience purpose in life and how to live.
This ministry was established for that very reason and is currently in a development phase, transitioning from our temporary training center to a fully functional, long-term residential facility where Christians in need of help with addiction can be ministered to on a 24/7/365 basis.
We continue to be debt free and already have two modular buildings on forty five acres in Travelers Rest, SC and with your help we hope to be in our Beyond Recovery Residential Training Center this year.
Everyone goes to church somewhere and we need you to pass this timely message on to your Pastor, Sunday school class and personal friends so they too, will see why we need Wisdom in Living Life Ministry.
OUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY is April 10-June 30, 2012. Please go to www.beyondrecoveryproject.com and partner with us in His work and together we’ll accomplish great things with Him!
It is my hope and prayer that you will reap the eternal rewards by helping us to eradicate this devastating epidemic that is killing our children and destroying our homes. We need your prayers, desire your support and welcome your assistance to help people to move “Beyond Recovery” and experience transformation that is only found in JESUS.
God is still working!
Winn Freeman, “The Anti-Drug Guy”
Founder and CEO
Draxlmaier Automotive of America company donated two former training buildings that are now on 45 acres in Travelers Rest, SC.
Artist Rendering of what buildings will look like by Kevin Henderson, Artist Guild Gallery of Greenville.
Floor plan for 20 bed Beyond Recovery Residential Training Center & multi-purpose room with kitchen by Robert C. Cashion, Architect, Inc.
Freedom from Addiction is Found in a Person, Not a Program
Winn Freeman and his volunteer staff at Wisdom in Living Life Ministries held their Christmas Banquet at Renfrew Baptist Church Family Life Center.
Each year the ministry brings back former students to tell their stories of how Jesus Christ, through Wisdom in Living Life Ministries saved them from death or life in prison as a drug or alcohol addicted individual who became a criminal to support the addiction.
Friends of the ministry invited guests to experience the life changing program that was part of the banquet. Mere words cannot adequately describe the powerful personal stories by individuals who have been drug free for three, four, five years or more. They are now productive citizens with families actively spreading the good news that “Freedom is not found in a program, it is found in a person and His name is Jesus.”
The after dinner program was built around the “Four Corners” of the ministry.
Help for Individuals: “At Wisdom in Living Life Ministry, we don’t just ‘show you how to get clean and sober,’ we teach you how to live!
This part of the presentation featured testimonials by individuals who had been taught how to live drug and alcohol free and were teaching others to do the same.
Hope for Families: “Drug addiction affects the whole family. Wisdom in Living Life Ministry offers hope in finally finding a solution.”
Several success stories were presented that began with a family member helping a desperate relative who had tried every
government and private secular program they could find and were still hopelessly addicted. The comments by Farron’s mother will touch your heart and bring tears of joy to your eyes.
Serving the Church: “Wisdom in Living Life Ministry serves as a resource for pastors assisting church members. We address the sin problem, and train from a Biblical perspective.”
The ministry is available to give presentations on their success in solving problems of addiction in churches when invited. The pastor of one such church spoke briefly at the banquet.
Support for Communities: “Wisdom in Living Life Ministry is driven to improve the quality of life for you, your family, your neighborhood and the business community.”
Employee addiction costs local businesses millions of dollars each year and leads to criminal activity to support the habit that fills our courts and jails. Law enforcement has documented the fact that a large majority of criminal activity is drug or alcohol related.
Written by Bob Dill, Publisher, Times Examiner, Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Paul and Angela Oller entered into the drug scene at the young ages of twelve and thirteen. Drugs and alcohol were common and smoking marijuana was a daily pleasure. They even met doing drugs. “I got involved in drugs through my own brothers and sisters that were doing it already. We got together on weekends and that was the thing to do was drink and get high. Living in a small town, I would go to parties with people and see them in church on Sunday. Marijuana was an everyday usage, like cigarettes. It was something you looked forward to try to get a hold of everyday,” says Paul. When Angela was pregnant with their second child, she and Paul decided to get married. A few years later Angela was prepared to do something tragic. Overwhelmed by her own addiction and haunted by the sins of her past, she was ready to take her own life. But God sent a pastor from the church the Oller family had recently attended. He told her about a man named Jesus who could forgive her of all her sin, and heal her deepest wounds. Therefore, she found hope and a week later stopped doing drugs and drinking and began to grow in her relationship with God.
Yet Paul continued in his addiction. Through the years of failing drug tests in the work force, Paul never experienced any severe consequences for his drug use. “Most companies will say go to drug rehab for as long as insurance pays for it. After insurance pays for it, you are released whether you’re clean or not clean, free from (the drug) or not.” Paul and Angela both agreed the AA meeting were depressing and did not help them at all. Angela says, “Literally, they tell you (to find your higher power and) it could be your refrigerator.” Nothing seemed to be helping yet Paul was seeking something, he desired a change in his life, but had to encounter truth first.
Paul experienced a harsh reality when he took his fourth drug test with his last employer. A few days later he was told he failed the drug test, and could not come back to work with them anymore. This really upset him and his wife Angela who was unaware of what was going on, and her husband’s continual drug addiction. DSS came to take their foster child, and Paul and Angela separated. He lost a career as a truck driver, which is something he has always wanted to do, and he was on the brink of losing his family. So, Paul found himself in a motel room thinking to himself, ‘the more I mess with this stuff the deeper I get in that dark hole. If I do this one more time I think God is going to wash His hands of me.’ Since then Paul has not touched marijuana.
“Over twenty years I have been smoking marijuana and thought everything was okay doing that. I still went into work every day. I was still able to function. Most people think…well, it’s just marijuana. But it took a lot of stuff away from me, over time.” Even the church could not seem to help the Oller family. Angela recalls one pastor suggesting Paul would never stop using drugs and that she should divorce him. Therefore, Paul and Angela were searching for a place to go to get help and find truth. Most places Paul called wanted large sums of money up front. Then they heard about Wisdom In Living Life Ministry through John Winn Freeman, Winn Freeman’s son. “This is the only place that has helped me. Jesus Christ has shown me how to overcome addiction. The people I have dealt with here really care about me and teach classes and verses, from the Bible, they sincerely want to see me get away from drugs unlike state affiliated facilities.” Paul stated, “True freedom came when coming to Wisdom In Living Life Ministry, because I came to that point in my life I need to get away from it but I had to have a harsh reality.” Paul and Angela desire to encourage other couples, whose spouses are using drugs, by saying “Don’t give up! Continue praying for them! Be patient, and get out of God’s way!”
By Winn Freeman:
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Have you ever woke up with that knot of fear right in the pit of your stomach followed with what if questions? At that moment if I’m not careful my mind quickly races with images of fear and impending doom. It’s at that time that I must choose to muster up everything that I can and remind myself of the great miracles in my past and what God has said in His word. Been there done that?
“I recently woke up one morning dragging physically and mentally. My sugar was high and my mood was low, but not for long because Galatians 6:9 came to mind. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I’m telling you that the only thing that gives purpose and finality to my life is my faith in God and His word. He can pick me up in a moment when nothing else matters.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
Like you, we’re at a great time for God to show up and answer our prayers. We need a financial miracle! We’ve done everything that we know to do! But, God exists and operates on a different scale than we do. That means that what seems like an eternity to us is just a moment to God. When it seems like God is being slow to act, we’re called to wait patiently for God to act in His own time.
Taken from the Autobiography of George Muller:
With every fresh trial, faith either increases by trusting God and getting help, or it decreases by not trusting Him…If we trust in God, we do not trust in ourselves, our fellowmen, circumstances, or in anything else. If we do trust in one or more of these, we do not trust in God.
If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried. The more I am in a position to be tried in faith, the more I will have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance.
When a trial of faith comes, we are naturally inclined to distrust God and to trust in ourselves, in our friends, or in circumstances. We would rather work a deliverance of our own than simply look to God and wait for His help. But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help or if we work deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith we will have the same problem. We will again be inclined to try and deliver ourselves.
God will prove His willingness to help and deliver at the perfect time…All difficulties may be overcome by acting according to the Word of God.
I want to remind our team and our supporters to move beyond our feelings and rid ourselves of all negative inner voices that are contrary to what God has said in His word. Recognize that we serve a great God! Let our conversation be words that lift up our possibilities and potential in Jesus. Let us encourage each other to move forward in anticipation of great challenges and many victories that are before us today and tomorrow.
I continue to personally pray for each of you knowing that God is the only one who can give us the peace we need in difficult times. We’re not in this just for the temporal gain; we’re in this for what is to come after this life and we must press on to the end. I hope that you will be refreshed with new vigor and excitement as we continue to push forward in faith with what He has given us to do!
Thank you again and know that I appreciate each one of you. Your gifts and prayers enable us to continue to invest and plant seeds into the lives of individuals and families who are imprisoned by addiction.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Even when I don’t understand, it’s my faith that always gets me through!
Let’s keep looking up,
Money has never been extremely important to Winn Freeman. Had it been, the California native never would have considered serving as director of the Greenville Rescue Mission, where for several years his take-home paycheck was about $75 a week.
Freeman considers that gig well worth his time, however, because it was there that he found his true calling, helping others escape the life-destroying effects of alcohol and drug addiction.
That was his primary goal when he founded the Wisdom in Living Life ministry 12 years ago, with the firm belief that alcohol and drug addictions are not diseases that one must endure for life, but are symptoms of deeper spiritual problems that can be solved.
Freeman says he’s living proof. He saw his family life and two careers crumble as a young man before he hit “hit bottom” at age 32. That was too late to help his younger brother Aaron, who died of a heroin overdose, but more than 20 years of sobriety has convinced him that he can help others.
Freeman, 56, has been doing that since 2000 at a training center near Travelers Rest, where classes and support groups meet regularly to help individuals and families overcome alcohol and drug issues.
The ideal setting for that turnaround, Freeman believes, is a remote Christian-based facility in northern Greenville County. Greenville developer Jim Anthony donated 50 acres for that purpose; several others have provided architectural, engineering, and grading services.
The project received another huge boost recently when the Draxlmaier Automotive of America company donated two former training buildings, both about 2,400 square feet, that will be converted into offices, classrooms and residence quarters for the Beyond Recovery Residential Training Center. The buildings, which already have been placed on land north of Travelers Rest, will be joined by an enclosure, creating 5,000 square feet.
The gifts provide further encouragement to Freeman, who remains optimistic as he builds his mission project the hard way — without debt. It is a slower route, but it’s the one Freeman is convinced he should take.
To date, the project has raised $543,681 in cash and assets. Freeman’s dream is to raise approximately $460,000 more. About half of that amount would complete the building phase; the other half would provide about two years of basic operating expenses.
“God takes care of me as I go,” says Freeman, who makes a modest salary as the director of the nonprofit organization.
Freeman, who founded the Overcomers organization when he worked at Miracle Hill Ministries, had hoped for his prayers to be answered more quickly when he began the project in 2000.
“I thought we’d be in a residential setting in a year or two, but it didn’t work that way,” says Freeman. “But I’ve seen God’s hand in so many things over the last 11 years; I’ve seen so many lives change. I know this is what He wants me to do.
“I don’t look at it in terms of how many months it will take,” Freeman says of the project. “I look at it each day in terms of whether I’m where God wants me to be, and doing what God wants me to do.”
Society’s report card continues to remind Freeman that his program is needed. According to a Tripp Umbach Healthcare Consulting survey, 60 percent of Greenville County residents live with someone or know someone with a substance abuse problem.
“The problem is not going away,” says Freeman. “In recent years, we’re seeing a significant rise in (abuse of) prescription drugs. The problem is going to hurt Greenville families for a long time, and I’m not going anywhere. This is where I’ll fight the battle as long as God wants me to fight it.”
By Abe Hardesty • City People Writer • January 11, 2012
The Beyond Recovery campus is located on 45 acres in the beautiful foothills north of Travelers Rest. To date the ministry has raised some $544,000 in cash and material gifts. Approximately twice that amount is needed to become fully operational with living space for men going through the training program. The ministry is currently providing training and counseling in a facility north of Travelers Rest.
Watch as Jack and Kimberly speak candidly with Winn Freeman “The Drug Guy” as he explains how people do not have to struggle with drug and alcohol addiction their whole lives, as most people are taught. An exclusive interview explaining: DRAWING THE LINE IN THE SAND, and moving BEYOND RECOVERY. He concludes to further explain the concept of helping families to BRING THE BOTTOM UP, which is what is taught at Wisdom in Living Life Ministry.
- Partner with us and donate $65 a month
- Serve as a Friend-raiser and ask 5 people to do the same
- Help us reach our goal of 400 committed monthly donors
- Pray for Wisdom In Living Life Ministry
This is a tangible way for friends of Wisdom In Living Life Ministry to allow God to use YOU to serve in a powerful way for someone else’s life. Your financial commitment means we can continue to reach out to those who need to find freedom from addiction. You are a conduit to help people find the hope that only Jesus can offer.
Be a part of changing lives for eternity.
Checks can be sent to: WILL Ministry, PO Box 150, Travelers Rest, SC 29690 or donate on-line…
A Love Story
The miraculous true love story that follows is that of two young people whose lives were changed when Cliff dialed a wrong number. It is also the story of a loving mother who sought help from the source of all wisdom and power. Finally, it is the story of how a group of former alcoholics and drug addicts, who are now new creatures in Christ, have used the Holy Scriptures to tap into the source of all wisdom and power and allow the love of Jesus to transform the lives of the most hopeless alcoholics and drug addicts.
Working together, with obvious divine guidance, they all contribute to the current happiness and joy of Christina and Cliff.
It Started with ‘Pot’
Cliff was a typical youngster who wanted to fit in with his peers and have fun. His first encounter with drugs was innocent and accidental. When he was eleven years old, Cliff and a friend discovered his older brother smoking marijuana. They thought it would be fun to be part of the “pot” smoking crowd and blackmailed the brother into sharing his marijuana.
That day changed the course of his youth and his life. Eventually, drugs had taken full control of his life. As a high school student, he was an addict. As the years passed, he needed more frequent doses of stronger drugs.
Soon the glamour of the drug culture lifestyle faded and was replaced by stress, guilt, agitation and anger. His relationship with his parents and brother became strained. The only time he saw his brother was when they were buying drugs or stealing from each other.
Drugs led to crime
Cliff began stealing from his parents to support his habit. His mother was desperate, his father felt helpless. Eventually both parents required him to leave their homes. He had left school before graduating. He still had a job, but was not making enough money to support his habit and pay his rent, so he depended on his mother to pay his rent.
He was arrested and went to jail. The second time he went to jail, his mother had had enough. Cliff expected some inside help from his mother, since she works in the court system, but what he expected was not to be.
A Mother turns to God
While Cliff was in jail, his mother found Wisdom in Living Life Ministry, a Christ centered ministry that educates, equips and empowers God’s people to effectively reach those imprisoned by addiction. She contacted Farron Hancox, a former addict who has been drug free for several years, graduated from college, had his family restored, became an ordained Minister of the Gospel and is on the staff of Wisdom in Living Life Ministry.
Cliff’s mother began attending a class at the ministry that offers training, guidance, and practical advice to the significant others of addicts, including spouses, grandparents, parents, etc., whose behaviors tend to support their addiction and, thus prolong the process of recovery.
Tired of Drugs and Jail
Cliff had become tired of drugs, tired of jail and was willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve a better life and be reconciled with his family.
Farron Hancox went to court with Cliff and asked the judge to place him with Wisdom in Living Life Ministry. The judge agreed.
Since the Wisdom in Living Life Beyond Recovery residential facilities are not yet complete, it was necessary for Cliff to reside at Haven of Rest in Anderson County for 14 months. During this time he was immersed in Bible study, earned his high school GED and met all the requirements of the court.
After release from the Haven of Rest, he returned to his regular job, and continued his training and mentoring at Wisdom in Living Life near Travelers Rest.
Addict turns to God
Cliff continued studying his Bible and in July 2009, he gave his life to Christ. Suddenly, the pages of the Bible were not just words printed on paper. It was God speaking to him through the written word. He began building his relationship with Christ through His Word by reading it, listening to it, and speaking it.
One of Cliff’s favorite verses is I Peter 5:7, “Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (Casting all your care on Him: for He careth for you. KJV).
God has rebuilt Cliff’s broken relationships with his family and given him a new life and new desires. “God has given me a life full of happiness and I am overwhelmed with joy at watching Him move in my life. I am so excited to see where He will take me.”
The ‘Wrong Number’
One Sunday morning Cliff dialed a number on the phone. A female voice answered. He had dialed a wrong number. Cliff had no girl friend at the time and was curious. “What is your name?” he asked. “Christina” she replied. “What is your last name/” She refused to tell him. The conversation ended.
Cliff couldn’t forget that sweet voice on the phone. During the afternoon, he sent her s text message. “How has your day been?” “It has been wonderful,” she responded. “I gave my heart to Jesus and was saved at church this morning,” she responded.
“When can I meet you?” Cliff asked.
Christina was hesitant. “He could be a serial killer,” she thought.
Finally she agreed to meet him at Church along with her female friend and the friend’s family. Cliff was becoming a new man. He was not going to botch this opportunity. He was there on time. You could say it was “love at first sight.” They began to attend church together and Christina began attending Wisdom in Living Life classes with Cliff. They became virtually inseparable and decided to get married.
Cliff had told his bride to be all about his past problems. Since they were both very new Christians, they sought advice and counseling from Sean Hamilton, a staff member at Wisdom in Living Life Ministry. Sean like Cliff had been a drug addict in his youth, but has graduated from Holmes Bible College, married and has a child, and was soon to be ordained by Renfrew Baptist Church.
Sean was ordained just in time to conduct the October 2011 wedding. It was Christina’s dream come true. She had dreamed of a small outside wedding with only family and a few close friends.
The wedding took place in the back yard of the home of Cliff’s mother. Both sets of parents were present. The Rev. Sean Hamilton performed the ceremony. It would be his first. He was honored to perform the ceremony. He had observed the transformation of Cliff from a drug addict to a brother in Christ, a path he had followed seven years ago. It was a joyful occasion for all concerned.
Long before becoming a Christian, Christina had longed to be a missionary to serve others who are in need. She clearly has a God-given gift of service and giving that will continue to serve her well as she grows in Christ with Cliff. The newlyweds are currently being trained to serve churches and families with members addicted to drugs, both prescription and illegal, alcohol, pornography and others.
Sean Hamilton stays in touch. He has a special interest in the future success of this young couple. “Cliff is learning to live a completely different lifestyle without even the thought of drugs. He comes to me with a question from time to time,” Sean said. “My answer is always the same. I reach for my Bible and say ‘Let’s see what God has to say about that.’ That settles the matter. You can’t argue with God.”
“Together we have grown closer to the Lord through his Word. I still make mistakes,” Cliff said. “But since coming to the Lord, He brings my mistakes to light to keep me on the right path. He has given me the opportunity to look back at who I was. He has saved me from myself and He has shown me who I could become through Him.
“Christ has given me a life worth living and remembering.” Cliff said, adding: “I would like to offer this same message of hope to others. The life we choose for ourselves can never compare to a life given to us by Christ. We only need to surrender our life to Him and accept His unfailing love.”
During the past 12 years, Wisdom in Living Life Ministry has a proven record of leading addicts to the only permanent “cure.”
Winn Freeman founded the ministry in 2000. In 1988 he was a heroin addict and drunk, on the way to jail. Having been through all of the secular drug treatment programs available, he remained an addict until he found Christ in the back seat of a police car. Unable to find a church that could do anything but refer him to another secular treatment program, he became desperate, called out to God, turned to the Bible and found the answers with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Freeman found the key to a cure for addiction of all kinds in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
“Drugs are symptoms”
Freeman teaches that “drugs are symptoms.” Drug and alcohol addiction is something we do rather than catch. The disease is in our hearts, rather than in our bodies. God calls it sin. Christ shed his blood to cover our sin. Genuine freedom from addiction can only be found in Christ.”
Freeman has dedicated his life to duplicating his experience of finding freedom from addiction in others through teaching and mentoring. After 12 years, there are now three generations of trained former addicts who have become new creatures in Christ through his ministry and are duplicating what Freeman taught from the Word of God and getting the same results.
This Love Story is a ‘God Thing’
God worked through the ministry of Winn Freeman, Farron Hancox and Sean Hamilton, along with Cliff’s mother, a judge, Haven of Rest, a young woman named Christina and a “wrong number” dialed by a lonely new Christian to bring about this true story of love and restoration.
Written by Bob Dill, Publisher,Times Examiner
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Recently I was asked this question again, “Why do we need Wisdom in Living Life Ministry?” I paused briefly, not because the question was asked but, because of the underlying thought process that had obviously prompted the question: Why do we need a ministry that reaches out to those “imprisoned by addiction?” After all, we have hospitals, drug abuse programs; government funded detox and rehab facilities, and licensed counseling services. What, then, would a Christian ministry have to offer beyond what others already have established? READ MORE>>>
The statistics don’t lie. Linked below are some key statistics that affect all of us in one way or another. Wisdom In Living Life Ministry is filling a major need that our community so desperately is searching for; solid answers addressing the drug epidemic. We often think of missions as being something that happens in a distant land. The Upstate is our mission field. Preventing youth from ever falling into the snare of addiction is our calling. Helping those trapped by substance abuse is what we do. READ MORE>>>
Every structure needs to be built on a solid foundation to be a sound structure. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of our lives in builders terms. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of our lives in builders terms. In 1 Corinthians 3:11 Paul says “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” We follow that principle in that, to build a healthy and addiction free life, your life must be built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
At Wisdom In Living Life Ministry, we educate, equip and empower God’s people to effectively reach those imprisoned by addiction. In doing so, we address the issue for what it is; sin and not a disease. We do not follow the disease-model of most recovery programs. The disease is in our hearts rather than in our bodies. We believe that genuine freedom can only be found in Christ.
Many people are unaware of the seriousness of addiction and abuse of alcohol and drugs. This problem is widespread in large communities and small. So, what about Greenville, South Carolina? The facts in this article reveal that, in our own city, addiction is destroying lives and costing untold misery to individuals, their families, and all who know and care about the addict.