POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Poplar Bluff drug recovery program is making a difference in the lives of its members.
Especially for one woman who is devoting her life to helping others.
"I never felt I would be anybody or anything, and now I feel like I make a difference in people's lives. At least, I hope I do."
Carmella Fenske has a new outlook on life.
Years ago she came to Fellowship of Acceptance broken.
"Carmella had a tough go of it, and you know – this is the thing, when they let God in their life he gives them patience," said Lois Shearrer who started the program 10 years ago, and watched Carmella recover.
"She just persevered. She kept going, and she kept going, and she's on our leadership team now," Shearrer said.
The program runs inside Fellowship General Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff on Thursday nights.
They offer shuttles to the church within city limits, a hot meal, and support through recovery.
"If you don't have someplace that welcomes you and treats you like you deserve recovery you're going to end up back out there," Fenske said.
Shearrer says – meetings like this are needed more and more.
"Heroin is the worst one right now, and it's just so sad. We could have 20 more meetings and not have too many," Shearrer said.
Around 75 people attend their meetings.
"When you're talking with someone and their life is so broken, and you want to see them put it back together. Well, I can't imagine doing it without God," Shearrer said.
Something she was able to see in action with Carmella – even through tragedy.
"My daughter committed suicide – she was 25-years-old, and when I made it through that without even having a thought of going out and getting high – I made it through. She told me she was proud of me. The last conversation – she was proud of me," Fenske said.
Now Fenske is a peer counselor dealing with addiction.
"Just knowing that I help one person to find their way, and to realize they are worth it will make my life worth everything," Fenske said.
"Come and give us a chance to love you. It doesn't matter what you've done. It doesn't matter. Let us love you, and let us help you heal the brokenness in your life," Shearrer said.
Police Chief Danny Whitely says faith based programs like this are vital to combating drug addiction in their community.
If you would like to learn more about Fellowship of Acceptance or join in a meeting visit Fellowship General Baptist Church's website or call 573-785-6981.