Healing Reign Ministry

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Duncan woman provides a home for women fighting addiction

goupstate.com news website

Ten years ago, Diane Smith found herself facing one of a parent’s worst nightmares.

Her son, Travis Fowler, was battling drug addiction, and Smith was terrified he’d lose the fight. Smith said she’d even come to terms with the strong possibility her son would die.

But in that dark moment, Smith said she felt the presence of God, and knew she couldn’t give up on her child.

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Ten years ago, Diane Smith found herself facing one of a parent’s worst nightmares.

Her son, Travis Fowler, was battling drug addiction, and Smith was terrified he’d lose the fight. Smith said she’d even come to terms with the strong possibility her son would die.

But in that dark moment, Smith said she felt the presence of God, and knew she couldn’t give up on her child.

“I had started praying for (Travis) and asking God to help me because I felt like I was going to have to bury him in my lifetime,” Smith said. “I tried to talk to him and he wasn’t ready right at that time. I continued to pray because I felt the holy spirit began to speak to my spirit and lead me how to help him.”

Smith started Healing Reign Ministry, a program for alcoholics and drug addicts who are looking for help escaping addiction. She said God not only showed her how to help Fowler, who has been clean for several years now, but also how to help others in his situation.

When the program began, Smith and her friend Carolyn Sellars arranged rehab stays for men and women, and often dropped them off at the treatment facilities. She said eventually they began arranging bus rides to take people to rehab centers.

Smith and Sellars wanted to open a resale shop that would fund the ministry, so in 2012 they began looking for a place and discovered a house in Duncan that was in foreclosure.

The bank was asking $40,000, and Smith and Sellars purchased it for a little less than the asking price. But the two decided against using it for a shop.

“We were going to make this cute house into a resell shop,” Smith said. “But God began to tell me that it wasn’t to be a resell shop.”

She said at first she thought it could be a home for men seeking treatment, but she said she knew from helping her son that more resources were available to help men than women.

“It was like God used my weakness to start what he needed,” Smith said. “He needed a place that would take women immediately off the street if they were serious about getting help. Overnight, God changed my heart, and I realized this was supposed to be a women’s facility.”

Since the transition house opened in December 2013, Healing Reign has helped almost 60 women, Smith said.

Smith and Sellars eventually opened their resale shop, The Mustard Seed, on Main Street in Duncan to help fund the ministry.

Leah Cash of Greenville has been at Healing Reign for about three weeks. Cash said she’s battled heroin addiction for the past 10 years and has been in and out of treatment facilities.

“I’ve been doing this rehab thing for years, and this is the first place I’ve actually stayed and it’s worked so far,” Cash said. “She (Smith) just cares a lot about people. I chose to come here and it’s wonderful.”

Cash is staying at the transition house while waiting for a bed in a rehab facility. In the past, Cash said she’s gone into rehab straight from the street. This is the first time she’ll go into a facility clean, she said.

“You have to start it with your mind right or it won’t work,” Cash said.

Cash said she’s taking life one second at a time and working to rebuild her family support system. She said she has two kids she hasn’t seen in a year, and only recently saw her mother for the first time in a year.

She’s hopeful she’ll be able to regain her family’s trust when she shows them she can stay clean.

“You just have to leave the past behind you — the people, places,” Cash said. “You just have to get away from it and stay away from it. If I can do it, anybody can.”

Healing Reign also gave Stephanie Blackwell her life back.

Blackwell, of Lyman, was on the verge of being homeless when she got Smith’s contact information from a friend in April 2015. Blackwell said she had been struggling with opioid addiction for 16 or 17 years.

When she contacted Smith, Blackwell had already been through seven treatment centers and hadn’t been able to stay clean.

“I was broken and I was sad,” Blackwell said. “I just didn’t think (getting clean) was possible. I thought I would be another statistic.”

After 28 days at a treatment facility, Blackwell returned to the transition house, where she stayed for a little over a year. Six months ago, she moved out of the house and into an apartment in Lyman. Blackwell has been clean for two years now, has her daughter back and has a job she loves.

“I’m happy and I have two years clean with no relapse,” Blackwell said. “After 10 years of not having my daughter in my life, I never thought I’d have her. Just being her mom is better than any high or drug you can imagine.”

Future Vision For Healing Reign Ministry

*a word from Diane

God is always bringing to my mind what I believe is His Vision for Healing Reign Ministry. My heart wants what God wants for Healing Reign. I am following Him by faith and faith alone. I believe that if God revealed the entire picture of His will for this ministry, that I would be totally overwhelmed. These are my thoughts of what God is showing me for the future of this ministry at this time…

  • Men’s half-way house

  • Women’s half-way house

Please join us in prayer that God’s will be done in this ministry.

How Healing Reign Became a Ministry for Helping Alcoholics and Addicts

This ministry began through Friendship Baptist Church which both Carolyn and Diane attend. We chose to name our ministry “Healing Rain” originally because of Michael W. Smith’s beautiful and moving lyrics to this inspirational song. God later led us to change the name to “Healing Reign”. We believe God’s healing reign will lead alcoholics and addicts down the road to recovery and to freedom!

In 2007, God called me (Diane) to help addicts after He delivered my son, Travis, from his drug addiction. Since then, God has placed men and women in my path that have needed to change their lives due to a drug or alcohol addiction. For eight years I worked with young people through the school system and for six years I worked at Middle Tyger Community Center where I was involved with several different programs. I believe that God gave me these opportunities to help prepare me for Healing Reign Ministry. God has given me a compassion, a drive, and a longing to help the next addict and lead him/her on the road to recovery.

Here at Healing Reign, we will guide you with all of our being, all of our heart and all of our soul. We love you with the love of Christ; we care for you; we pray for you. We do this because of what Christ has done for us. We will do everything in our power to lead you to a better way of life by helping you take that first step of faith. It is in our hearts for you to be free from drug and alcohol addiction. Recovery from addiction is a matter of life and death; we choose life for you.

There are always problems to be solved, and we may not have all the answers right away. Though finding the answers can be difficult, we will face the problem together and work through it until we reach a solution. We will guide you in the right direction to find the right path so you may see what God has planned for you under His healing reign.

Founders of Healing Reign Ministry

Diane Smith
Chairman

In the middle of 2007, Travis, my son, weighed 135–140 lbs. down from his usual 185. He had battled a drug and alcohol addiction for ten years and he was at the lowest point that I had ever seen him. I was sure that I was going to have to bury my son in my lifetime. I knew that Travis had asked Christ into his heart at the age of nine years and I felt that I was going to have to be satisfied with seeing him on the other side of this life. When I went to talk to Travis about getting help, I realized that he was not quite ready. I began an extremely passionate prayer of intercession for my son that day.

I continued to pray for him and can say that I have never prayed so passionately before or since. My son’s deliverance from drugs and alcohol consumed me. I knew that I could not fix this, and I also knew that the only one who could fix it was God. I prayed literally everywhere. I prayed when I woke up in the morning and I prayed when I went to bed at night. At work I would get on my knees in the bathroom when I took a break. I prayed going down the road in my car and I prayed when I was grocery shopping. I prayed sitting in the pew at my church, and I prayed at the altar. I had begun to take a picture of Travis to the altar each Sunday. I would lay it on the altar and I would pray. I always prayed basically the same prayer…“Dear Heavenly Father, Let nothing come between You and Your will for my son…Your will be done in Travis’ life no matter what, no matter what You have to do.” I couldn’t remember the last time Travis was happy. One day while I was at the altar with his photo laying photo-side down, I prayed that God would take the desire for the drugs and alcohol away from Travis so that he could live happy in this life. Immediately, the Holy Spirit of God spoke within my spirit and said, “Oh, you want a miracle”. I paused, because I knew that these words that I had just heard did not come from me, but from the Holy Spirit of the Living God of the Universe. I thought, “Dare I ask Him for a miracle?” And then I said, “Yes, I want a miracle, Lord”. God orchestrated the events that happened from then on, and I looked to Him for all of my answers.

Today, Travis is happy and says that he has no desire for the drugs and alcohol.When the journey began in 2007 for Travis, God almost immediately called me into this ministry to help the next addict. God has given me a compassion, an understanding, a drive, a longing and a desire to help them find that road to recovery and to a better, more fulfilling way of living through Jesus Christ. “How will I find them?” I asked my Lord. “Minister to those I put in your path.” He replied. Since then, God has literally put people in my path that are in need of a “life change” because of their addictions.

Ephesians 3:16–19 “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all of the Lords holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)

God loves you so much! He wants you to have a life free from the pain of alcohol and drugs. I pray that you will allow us to help you to make that first step of faith.

Love In Christ Jesus,
Diane Smith

Carolyn Sellars
Vice Chairman

After much prayer, God led me to help begin a ministry for men and women with alcohol or drug addiction.I never knew what it was like to have a loving ‚caring and encouraging father. My father was an alcoholic. My home life was pretty crazy at times. My mother struggled to raise six children. My mother never left my father. There were many times we were afraid to go home. I have in my adult life also struggled with family members with drug and alcohol problems. Drug and alcohol not only destroys the person with the addiction. It affects the whole family.

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

There is hope for you!! You and your loved ones can find this joy and peace! Healing Reign Ministry is a resource to help you take that first step.

Your Friend in Christ,
Carolyn Sellars