Building a Difference sent another team up to New Life USA Recovery Center in Cabool, MO to continue production on its newest documentary for the series. What’s so remarkable about this particular center is the incredible work ethic they implement as a fundamental necessity of one’s personal recovery in rebuilding physical, mental and spiritual strength.
Mick Richards, Uncle Dave and Erik Hollander spent four days on the 102-acre property with the current 20 rehabilitants and volunteers of New Life USA. Among the many building projects going on during each 10-hour workday, this weekend a new bridge was being built to keep the center’s entrance from being washed away by an over-flooded river caused by rain.
In addition to the recent completion of a new mechanics and wood shop, the hard working New Life crew had just finished the framework and drywall of a new honeybee house. A good friend of the center donated the beehives and building materials, and the honey that’s sold will help with some of New Life’s operating costs. Twenty beehives will be delivered spring of 2010.
Upstairs in the woodshop, some of the guys were crafting beautiful wooden Ten Commandments that will also be sold to help raise funding for the ministry. Each one takes about 2 days to complete by hand, and they can be custom engraved in English, Hebrew, Russian, Armenian, or any other language they’re ordered in.
New Life USA’s pride and joy is their Russian Banya, or sauna, that they constructed at the edge of their river. The Banya is crucial for an addict’s physical cleansing and healing in this program. Whereas a typical American fitness gym keeps its sauna at about 170°F, New Life cranks theirs up to about 230°F (110°C). This forces all the poisons and toxins from years of substance abuse out of their system through the pores. But that’s not all. No Russian Bayna experience is complete with out the health benefits of a specific shock to the system…a shock caused by submerging in almost freezing cold water!
After about 15 minutes of pure “Russian Bayna heat”, New Lifers run out of the sauna and jump into the river for a result they say is an extraordinary, natural high. Mick, Uncle Dave and Erik were a little hesitant to agree to jump into the winter river water at nightfall. But apparently it must have done something wonderful because they did four times in a row!
By the end of the trip, many heartfelt and personal interviews were conducted that gave people a chance to share their life experiences on camera for the New Life documentary. And at the Sunday night church service, Mick, Uncle Dave and Erik got the honor of taking the podium to speak to the New Life family and a visiting church. They shared stories, testimonies, and gave powerful messages of encouragement to a full house. After the service a 20-minute preview of the upcoming documentary was debuted, and it was a hit!
Although New Life USA is in Missouri, the New Life ministry was founded by Sergey Matevosian in St. Petersburg, Russia. Building a Difference will be continuing production is St. Petersburg for the first half of March 2010. We’ve been invited by Sergey to tell the complete story of how he felt called by God to start a ministry that has saved thousands and thousands of precious lives who were dieing from drug and alcohol addiction in underground Russia.