The 12-step program turns hearts to lean on a higher power in times of crisis—but the Recovery House of Worship comes alongside to share just who that Power is.
Growing up in New York City, addiction was deeply engrained in Luisa’s life. Drinking and drugs provided a way to cope with a broken family, a string of abusive relationships and her anger at God.
“I was a twisted girl in church getting high.” Luisa remembers, “I was addicted and desperate. I was about to be initiated into a cult — when I met Ray.”
Missions Door missionary Ray Ramos knew how hard it was to beat addiction. He was in recovery himself and brought Luisa to her first 12-step meeting where she would get clean and experience Jesus’ love for the first time.
New Life in Christ
Today, Luisa Spadafino has been in recovery for over twelve years. She serves with Missions Door to reach others who suffer with addiction. Luisa, Ray, Edwin Colon and their fellow missionaries evangelize in 12-step meetings and travel to conferences in places like London and Israel, testifying to the transforming work of Christ to audiences of every nation.
“The 12 steps tell you to rely on a higher power to overcome your addictions, but they never say who that saving power is.” Luisa says, “They are talking about God and talking about sin, but they can’t answer other questions. Addicts wonder: Where does this disease come from? Why do I struggle with this?”
A Safe Place for Unanswered Questions
That’s how the Recovery House of Worship began. The missionaries came together and established churches on both coasts that would be a place for questions, as well as a place of genuine love and acceptance for addicts and their families.
Since 2001, hundreds have found new life in Christ through the Recovery House of Worship — people like James, who was deeply involved in witchcraft when he met the missionaries.
James, his girlfriend and his family were long-time friends with Luisa before she served as a missionary. Their friendship continued as Luisa started working with the Recovery House, and she took the kids to Vacation Bible School and other church activities.
James’s sister-in-law came to Christ first, then his girlfriend and brother. Eventually, James came to church to help with a youth hip-hop event. There he encountered the power of Christ, leaving that night a changed man and putting the occult behind him.
Later James and his girlfriend married, and now they are pastors of Recovery House of Worship Staten Island.
Reaching the World through the Addict
The Bible says God uses the foolish and weak things of the world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27). At the Recovery House of Worship, one person’s story of brokenness is someone else’s assurance. Luisa says, “we are reaching the world through the addict, for them to be hope to someone else.”