By:  LaTasha Baker

COVINGTON- Tuesday, 23-year-old Stephanie Johnson, had her youth group laughing so hard, they were falling on the floor during an activity at Celebrate Recovery.
Stephanie Johnson volunteers for the Celebrate Recovery program every Tuesday. She is a team leader for one of the base groups of the Celebration Recovery program for teenagers called The Landing. She counsels teenagers from sixth through 12th grade. “It’s very important to work with the youth during the early phase of their lives,”
Celebration Recovery provides a biblical balanced program and safe haven for those seeking to work through their issues brought on by life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups by showing them through the loving power of Jesus Christ a recovery process. People are struggling with problems that sermons and bible verses alone will not solve, but the church can help the hurting move beyond their wounds to experience freedom.
Stephanie said that she incorporates activities and games during the group sessions like the three-legged race. In the activity, the participants realize that they have to rely on each other for help to finish the race. The moral of the activity was to connect the youth to the point that it is all right to have help and that no one has to do it on his or her own. “We want to show them how to trust in God for help,” said Stephanie.
The Celebrate Recovery program provides services to help the needs of the entire family. There’s Celebration Place for children, The Landing for teenagers, and Celebrate Recovery for Adults. “Everybody is recovering from something,” said Stephanie. “The healing and wholeness of the entire family is our focus.”
The Celebrate Recovery program is open to the public and the services are free. Trained volunteers facilitate all of the lay counseling. Anyone can come whether struggling with an active addiction or is simply depressed about a life transition. “It doesn’t matter what the condition, everyone is welcomed,” said Stephanie.
The program provides lay counseling from a biblical perspective on various forms of life’s struggles. For example, addictions from alcohol, drug, sex, food, depression, gambling, child abuse, domestic abuse, pornography, transition adjustment and more. “We were involved in Celebrate Recovery in Covington for years and saw a tremendous change in our family,” said Sarah Moskau, team leader of Celebrate Recovery at the Hammond location.

Stephanie says that there are several groups to connect with in the program. There is the Newcomers Orientation group which shares information about the various services offered. This aides in a person’s decision in which group session applies to their condition. Some of the groups are the co-dependency group, the addictions groups, the life’s issues group, the depressions groups and more. “As a former smoking addict, I think that the support and encouragement that Celebrate Recovery provides is wonderful,” said Russ Rhodes, a friend of Stephanie Johnson.
There are two local campuses. Celebrate Recovery at The Mission Church in Hammond, Louisiana who provides services on Thursdays from 7 – 9 p.m. and Celebrate Recovery at First Baptist Church of Covington in Covington, Louisiana who provides services on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. The Celebrate Recovery team facilitate interactive large and small group sessions by age and gender to stimulate a comfortable environment and encourage healing. They also incorporate relevant and relational activities.
“The Celebrate Recovery program empowers individuals and families with the tools needed to overcome hindrances to a healthy and productive life,” said Sarah Moskau. The benefits of this program reveals the truth and the value of a person and helping them live onward.  Stephanie said that the process has its challenges, but we start by building friendships and we celebrate the small victories.

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I am a junior at Southeastern Louisisana University. My major is in Communications. I love to sing and enjoy spending time with my family.

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