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Minding the Gap

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Each person has a personal, unique journey with Christ. No matter what our paths looks like, it’s comforting to know God has a purpose for everyone. This belief motivates the founders and supporters of Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative, who understand and live it out.

Emerge provides assistance during an often overlooked gap for both those transitioning out of the foster care system and those on the path of recovery from addiction or substance abuse. These individuals strive to gain confidence in the world and workforce.

“Everyone’s life is a beautiful creation ready to unfold—some just need a momentary hand up to get them back on the path,” said Elaine Bonner, Emerge’s Director of Philanthropy.

Currently renovating the former Greene County Career Center, Emerge will provide recovery programs and housing, as well as opportunities for internships and apprenticeships. Local business owners, Chris Adams, Kip Morris and Doug Van Dyke, are helping lead the charge for this extensive multi-million dollar project.

“Emerge is a place that’s going to be unlike any other,” said Adams. “We’re doing this to help people and bring people hope. We want to make sure people can leave here, regain their family and do all the things they are supposed to in life.”

All three founders noted that it’s because of their faith that they know the program will help countless individuals. “When I think of how my faith has impacted the creation and continuance of Emerge, the parable of the talents comes to mind, in which Jesus encourages His disciples to use their God-given gifts in the service to God, and to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom of God,” said Morris. “I consider it a privilege as a disciple of Christ to steward my abilities and wealth in a way that can best glorify God.”

Co-founder Van Dyke agreed. “This project is way bigger than me. There are a lot of unknowns. When we’re uncomfortable, I need to rely on God. This keeps me close to God because it’s uncomfortable and scary.”

Greg Delaney works at Woodhaven Treatment Center in Dayton and has also been instrumental in guiding Emerge’s progress. He said, “[This is] one of a very few ministry programs to intentionally, and I believe eventually comprehensively, provide all facets of what is needed for an individual to effectively maintain early recovery but also sustain recovery in the long term.”

“Emerge participants will be able to build, restore and thrive with potential for individual growth and opportunity to build a solid foundation for their future,” said Doris Edelmann, the Executive Director for the Emerge Emancipation Program.

As one who already experienced the positive impact Emerge brings to the community, Jacob Shelley said that through his participation in the program, he gained a better understanding of the importance of relationships.

“Relationships with God first, yourself second and others third,” said Shelley. “That with God, all things are possible and He strengthens and sustains you even in the most trying times. As long as you are motivated and have the will, you can achieve any goal.”

To learn more about the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative or get involved, visit emergerecoverytrade.com

This article appeared in the October 2022 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here

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