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Virtual Recovery Meetings

On Friday the staff members and men of the Recovery program held a virtual meeting with Guiding Light Spiritual Directors Dell Todd and Esther Yff-Prins, board members Harvey Koning, John Dice, and Dawn Buursma, along with a host of outside volunteers and supporters. This was a chance for outsiders to see how Guiding Light Recovery has been adapting to these uncertain times, and how we are continuing to make client-centered programming a priority.

We are proud to report that over the past seven months, no staff member or client at Guiding Light has tested positive for COVID-19. This is largely due to the diligence and thoroughness of our continually evolving health and safety protocols. One of the side-effects of these updated protocols, however, is that men in the Recovery and Back to Work programs have not been able to get outside of 255 Division Avenue as frequently as they would have been able to before.

At the meeting on Friday, the men discussed a recent trip to Bear Lake, where they had a chance to get away from downtown Grand Rapids for a few days. They were given the opportunity to rent out a cabin and, for all intents and purposes, transplant and take the Recovery program with them. They stuck to a strict routine and schedule just as they would downtown, getting up at 6am, attending daily 12-step meetings online, engaging in group exercises, and praying together at night. The experience ended up being beneficial for many of the men’s physical, mental, and spiritual health. Afterwards, many of them felt a strengthened sense of comradery with one another.

On this virtual Recovery meeting, clients Sam, Allen, Powell, and Tom had a chance to talk about how their lives have changed throughout their time at Guiding Light. Their discussion centered around the seven focus points of the Recovery program curriculum; Willingness, Honesty, Responsibility, Self-Compassion, Self-Awareness, Vulnerability, and Spiritual Formation. The men discussed how they have seen these focus points working in their lives. Tom spoke about how the trip to Bear Lake had been a welcome interruption to his routine. Allen talked about how his time had given him a chance to take stock of the powerful spiritual transformation he has undergone since he came through the doors at Guiding Light. Sam described how helpful this brief reprieve from downtown was for the group’s collective psyche and for his own mental health.

All in all, a common thread that came out of Friday’s event was how grateful the men of Guiding Light Recovery are for everyone and everything that makes this possible. The men know that their journey in sobriety here would not be possible without all of our generous donors and supporters. For that, from all of us, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


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