Our Regeneration Program requires a thirteen-month commitment. This begins with a ten-week Induction Period. During this time, the man will begin to develop his relationship with the Lord and gain an understanding of the Freedom Fighters program. Following the Induction Class, the Orientation Class where the man writes a personal contract stating specific achievable goals he intends to attain during the remainder of the program. After Orientation, the ten-week Regeneration begins where Biblical counseling, classroom teaching, and small groups are methods used to address the spiritual, mental, and physical issues involved with addiction. The next ten weeks involve the process of Inner Healing where the man learns that forgiveness is the key to spiritual maturity and that the cross is the focal point for all forgiveness. Next, the man enters a ten-week period of Discipleship Training where he learns to take his focus off his addiction and who he used to be and learns to walk in the truth of who God says he is.
We work with specific age group 18-30 year old men. One of the most important things we can teach them is hard work. They work every day around the campus. One of our greatest goals is to teach them a hard work ethic. Our hopes are that if they work hard physically they will in-turn begin to work hard spiritually. Spiritual growth is the ultimate goal.
The Induction Period is a period of time where a man is introduced to the program and simultaneously can continue his healing process. At this time, the men learn to acclimate to the daily discipline that will be required of them. In addition, because of the mental state a man is in when he enters the program, he will need this induction time to clear his mind from the negative psychological impact that drugs brought to his life and learn to find new life in Christ.
During this time, a man learns how to journal and hear from the Lord. Journaling one of the most important tools learned at Freedom Fighters, and this is where a man learns to have direct communication with God.
When arriving at Freedom Fighters, men are given an “older brother” to spend the first six days teaching them how to journal and hear from the Lord. This is also a time where he will participate in a classroom environment to learn specific lessons such as Salvation, Journaling, Hearing God, DMI (Daily Moral Inventory), , Rules, Day , Fantasy/Reality, and the Sociogram. The “big brother” serves as a mentor to not only teach the rules and Freedom Fighters specifics, but to also give him the specific one-on-one attention necessary to make it through one of the most trying and critical times of the program. To sum up, the Induction Period is a mans’ new start to building a healthy foundation to a whole new lifestyle.
During the Orientation Phase of the program, the teachings are directed towards two main areas: trust and ownership. The first priority is to begin to develop the trust in God, other men, and themselves that is needed to begin to break down the walls that keep them bound in the addiction, which destroyed their life. Second, and of utmost importance, a man begins to take ownership of his life and the choices he has made. Through the Regeneration Contract, a man learns how to look at his addiction and the devastation it has had on his life and on the lives of others. As a result, he begins to take responsibility for his actions and develops an attitude of integrity.
Specifically, the program has them look at the effects of areas in their life where God, themselves, and others are concerned. They are asked to look at the effects their addictions have had legally, financially, and relationally through making an amends list for the wrongs done to others. This results in their realization of the key relationships and opportunities lost in their lives. Without help, most addicts remain in a state of fantasy, which allows them to continue in the cycle of addiction. Orientation implements the beginning steps to help a man break free of that cycle.
One last key event that takes place in the Orientation Period is where a man puts up their “Houses.” This is where a man presents, to classmates and staff, his life’s time line of key events that have shaped him into his present persona. Here is where he will hopefully see the events in his life that have brought woundedness, and the consequences of his actions. At the end, class leaders will help him receive input and provide insight into the man’s life regarding issues of denial and taking responsibility for their past. Additionally, they will walk him through areas of unforgiveness and guide him in prayer for himself and others. This period is just one more step to the process of getting to the heart of a man and reshaping him into the image of God.
In this class, men will learn both the physical and psychological aspects of chemical dependency and learn to take a deeper responsibility for their recovery. This level of the program explores stages of growing dependency on chemicals and what commitments are necessary on the road to recovery. It includes scientific information on chemical dependency as well as insights into the damage done to our thinking processes. It is important to see how the mind has been contaminated in order to understand the controlling effects of addiction. The lessons are also designed to expose the denial and defense mechanisms that are so prevalent in the person’s life.
The men also begin to be given positions of responsibility on the job site, in the dorms, and with the care of their “younger brothers” as they enter the program. Small groups also begin to become a part of their recovery.
Inner Healing is a 10-week period of time allotted where the men in the program can be directly focused on the healing needed for their own personal woundedness. Specifically, Inner Healing begins with a man looking at his defense mechanisms at an even deeper level. This is necessary to help bring down some of his walls and unify the class through openness and vulnerability. Thus, bringing true healing and acceptance.
The lessons in the class such as rejection, the grieving process, judgments, sexual addiction, and probably most important, forgiveness, are designed to stimulate past wounds and hurts. As a result, men are brought to a place of decision and realization. Most addicts come from a life of dysfunction where many times they were victimized as children. The problem is that very same hurt that caused anger and unforgiveness has turned them from being a victim into a victimizer. The men learn to recognize this and are guided into a healing process. Taking ownership and responsibility is a main focal point of this area of the recovery process. This is one of the reasons we are a regeneration program instead of a rehabilitation program; we have learned that to simply bring a man back to his former state is ineffective; instead we need to bring about a mental regeneration. This is achieved, in part, through deep emotional and spiritual healing. It is an amazing journey.
Discipleship lasts 10 weeks, and is the last class in the 10-month regeneration program. Here the men are held to the highest standard. They are the leaders in the program, and they are expected to live as such. The disciples are given leadership opportunities that should encourage a sense of worth. Some of those positions assigned are as such: dorm monitors, job site leaders, and probably most importantly, when a new brother comes into the program, they are responsible for teaching them how to journal and hear from the Lord.
The lessons that are taught in the classroom are meant to challenge faulty belief systems about God and their own personal relationship with Him. The men also return to small groups, where they help lead and teach the younger brothers how to write and process the forgiveness letters. Again, we are teaching important principles such as giving back and helping others. After Discipleship, the men have completed the program, and they go on to graduate.
The Sociogram is a very important and necessary tool used at Freedom Fighters. The Sociogram is a weekly assembly where the men get together and hold each other accountable and confront the behaviors that they see in one another. Again, with denial and projection being a trademark of the addictive personality, it takes serious confrontation to help the men see the truth in their lives. We have found that the men are able to see and help each other in ways that we, as a staff, would not be able to. Many of the different dynamics of the Sociogram are indescribable, but nevertheless very important.