The Lazarus Outreach Centre is located on the southwest corner of Parent and Wyandotte in Windsor, Ontario. The mandate of this particular ministry is to bring life, through Jesus Christ, to a very hurting and darkened area of the city. On Tuesdays, team members gather to pray for two hours before being assigned to go out into the city streets, meeting people from prisons, newcomers to our nation, the depressed and the hurting, prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics as well as those who just need refreshing. Words of encouragement, hope, freedom and release are spoken through the team members as the Holy Spirit leads.
These newly met people are then invited to come to ‘Discovering New Life in Jesus’ classes at 1 p.m. on the following day (Wednesday) and also Sunday services at 7 p.m. Presently, the leaders of the ‘Discovering New Life in Jesus’ classes are four in number, each taking turns to teach, preach, minister in prayer and host the hospitality section.
Parking Lot Party
The Family Stepping Stones ProgramHealing for Individuals and Families impacted by addiction and destructive behaviours
Since its doors opened to the community ten years ago, the Lazarus Outreach Centre has been a place filled with the love of God. The ministry is led by Pastors Gilles and Judy Breton, who have a vision to see Windsor transformed and filled with the light of Jesus.
In 2011, sensing a great need in the city of Windsor for an addictions counselling program, Pastor Leslie Caza began Family Stepping Stones. Licensed as both a pastor and a counsellor, Pastor Leslie desires with her whole heart to see people break free from the pain of addiction. Whether people are struggling personally, or are directly connected with someone suffering from addiction, the pain affects the whole family. The program works by having Jesus as the focus, in order to build and maintain healthy communication in families. Pastor Leslie explains her vision as “setting people free from a trap of hopelessness so that they can have inner peace and healthy relationships in every area of their life.”
This vision includes a variety of people because addiction is not limited to one demographic. Often, regardless of a person’s background, it can only take one event, like an accident, to spark an addiction. Then, the pain in a person’s heart can fuel the addiction. So, in order to recover, healing is needed in the midst of the pain. Pastor Leslie provides a safe context in which people can begin the healing process. She explains, “I want to be able to look at others with the same compassion and the same understanding that God has given me.” For many, the program has been restorative because it offers an environment for communication and healing.
The Family Stepping Stones Program takes place at the Lazarus Outreach Centre every Thursday evening, and every Saturday. It gives those suffering from addiction an opportunity for hope and healing. If you would like to volunteer with the program, or give financially, contact ACM or Lazarus Outreach Centre.
|Lazarus Outreach Centre|
|Tuesday||Street Evangelism||Contact for details|
|Wednesday||Discovering New Life in Jesus Classes||1:00pm|
|Family Stepping Stones|
|Thursday||Personal Counseling||By appointment|
|Thursday Night||Learning to Walk (Group Sessions)||7:00pm|
Pastors Gilles & Judy Breton
899 Wyandotte St. E
Testimonies from Lazarus
Story of a person changed by Jesus from our fellowship in 2014″
“I came from an alcoholic family and that was what I saw modeled and all I knew. In our household, alcoholism and violence was the family secret. I started drinking and having blackouts before the age of 12 and would drink and not go back home for days at a time. I don’t really know why I didn’t go back home, I just didn’t want to be there. Looking back, I think I was just trying to escape what was going on at home. I lived to get high and figure out how I could get my next fix. It consumed my waking thoughts.
I got into some really bad stuff, was breaking and entering homes and robbing people. At 16 I was charged with break and enter and did 12 months in the county jail but that didn’t faze me. I still returned to the same cycle, I still drank, did dope, robbed people and places. I basically wasn’t a very nice person to be around.
I didn’t like school and only went when I felt like it. I passed, but I don’t know how I did. I think it’s because the teacher just passed me out of the grade, hoping that the next teacher would have better success with me. When I was 17, I was invited to a home in a rough area of town in Nova Scotia. I went with my friend and when the homeowner opened the door, he stabbed me on the left side of my upper chest. I managed to walk two blocks before passing out. I woke up in the hospital. I believe that even then, God was watching over me. I had a collapsed lung.
My life was a mess! Even thought I worked, had a wife and a child, I wouldn’t pay the bills or supply for the needs of my family. I spent my money on alcohol and crack. I would steal from friends or family, it didn’t matter, as long as I could get money to buy more drugs. I didn’t care. I couldn’t stop!
I remember the first time I seriously wanted to quit when my son was one year old. I tried many times to stop but always went back. My oldest sister was the only person I knew who didn’t drink and she encouraged me to go to detox. I didn’t really even know what detox was about. Detox was something I did to make my family happy, get people less angry with me, clean up and get fed but I would return to the exact same lifestyle when I got out.
Life for me throughout those years is what I would describe as this: I felt powerless and hopeless. One time I went with a lady who took me to church but it didn’t change me.
Until one day God sent Gilles down my street, he noticed me and began talking to me. He said, “Hi how are you? We are Christians and praying for the people who live on this street.” Gilles asked permission to come on my porch. He introduced me to Jesus and told me how I could make peace with God. At first I thought, “Oh no! One of those Jesus people, when is this guy going to get lost?” But Gilles persisted in sharing the love of God and the Good News of the gospel. The more I listened, the more I was drawn, I had always wanted to know God so I thought, “why not give God a try?” I surrendered and put my trust in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour that day.
I can’t even tell you what happened but the desire and cravings left me after over 30 years addicted to crack and alcohol. I was sick for a couple of days but I was free. I had the crack house in the area, every day those addicted came over to my house and the dealers were still coming over but I didn’t touch any drugs. For over a month I am thinking, “How do I stop this?” I realized I needed to move. I moved into a regular apartment. It was the first time in my life that I had a decent apartment. The Lord told me to “act right”. I have been free for over a year and a half and I feel good. I feel scared but I know that I need to listen to the Lord and stay close to Jesus then I will be okay.
Final comment: I am thankful that you guys are here. I believe that coming here saved my life.
“Off the Shelf” by Deborah
In 2007 I was injured at my job. I have been living in pain since then. I couldn’t work anymore or do the kind of work I did before. I needed an office type job. This started a chain reaction of drawing me back to God after being so hurt and angry.
In 2010 my husband and I started attending a new church as we felt God leading us there. I wanted to do what God wanted me to do and felt called to be in some sort of ministry unto the Lord. Some doors opened, one of which was being involved in a Women’s night out. Then the doors closed. I began to feel like nothing more than a pew warmer at church, useless and put on a shelf.
Then I heard a pastor share on how some things happened to him and he felt the same way. He shared on how God showed him that his time would come but right now God wanted to fill him. It was okay to be a pew warmer.
That really spoke to me as I had been crying out to God to lead me and show me what He wanted me to do. I really wanted to share and minister to hurting and lonely women. God spoke to me to let me know that it was okay to be pew warmer right now as He was filling me up an healing me. Although my healing is not complete I know He will do it!
I am now volunteering as a secretary and also sharing with women! I am feeling useful, needed, productive and loved! I feel God has taken me off the shelf and He is doing a greater work in my life.
Not my will Lord but yours.
Thanks for allowing me to share this little nugget of God’s faithfulness and goodness.
Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”