Living Waters Fellowship Church
The heart and soul of Eternal Awakenings
The heart and soul of Eternal Awakenings
About Eternal Awakenings: how it all began, how the program works, and what life is like at EA.
...Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit...
Hi Jim! I came across these today for the first time in a long time, so I thought I'd share. During my time at EA (October - December '08), Yvette had us make posters from magazine clippings about our lives while using vs. where we wanted to be. This was mine. In the 'using' poster I used words like 'escape', 'going to die', 'stories of struggle', etc. In my 'recovery/after poster, some of the words I used were 'NEW', 'down but not out', 'restore.return.relive' and 'rebuilt.reinvented'. I was there with Tim and Penny, Evan, Robert, Kathleen, Nicola, etc., so it's been a while. After 6 full years I've never gone back, even when some didn't believe I could do it (and rightfully so at the time). So I wanted to say thank you for all you, Karla and Yvette did for me while there.
A little side note... I came to EA from North Carolina, knowing no one from TX but loving it while I was there. Fast forward 6 years... I'm married to an awesome Godly man, have 2 wonderful daughters (my oldest was 2 when I was at EA), and I live in Bastrop, TX! Everyday, I drive by the doctor's office and Starbucks coffee shop that I (frequently) visited while with you guys. The Lord most definitely works in mysterious ways! Haha! Anyway, thank you again for all you did for me and continue to do for others! I pray God blesses you ten-fold for the investment you've put into others' lives!
In February 1982, 2 years into his own recovery, Jim Welch assisted in the writing of a grant which proposed to study various parameters related to alcoholics who presented for help at a rural hospital. This project, funded by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, documented the need for an alcohol / drug counseling program in a rural hospital.
Subsequent to the study, Jim started a small counseling program at the hospital which led to the development of a 30 day outpatient program called San Gabriel Treatment Center. The outpatient program grew into a 30 day residential program located in Georgetown Hospital and called The Fred M. Carter Center for Recovery. The 30 day residential program eventually influenced the development of a public / private initiative combining resources of the Williamson county Judicial System with the resources of the Georgetown Hospital to create a 90 day treatment facility for individuals in the criminal justice system.
For the next 20 years, despite his desire for a Christian based program, Jim continued development of secular hospital based rehabilitation programs as well as secular free standing outpatient and inpatient programs.
In July of 2001 a small but momentous event occurred. Jim came home from work after a long and difficult day. Karla said to him, "We are fishing on the wrong side of the boat." Jim heard the words and the words seemed to have the resounding power of God himself. For 20 years he had wanted a program rooted in Jesus and Scripture while immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Finally, and at last the time had arrived.
Jim resigned his position as a program administrator for a secular inpatient and outpatient drug rehab program effective January 15, 2002 and has never looked back. Karla left her position as a teacher of alcohol / drug counselors and together they started their own Christian Rehab Program.
This program is faith-based in every sense of the word. Completely dependent on fees generated by each client and located 50 miles from their home, the fledgling program presented a real challenge for the Welch's.
Every week became an act of faith for Jim and Karla. They never knew how the next bill would be paid and much of the time there was little or no money left over to compensate them. They shared responsibilities in 2 week intervals. For 2 weeks of each month one of them was on duty at the center, while the one off duty took care of the kids, the house, managed the business side of the ministry, and conducted a no-money outreach effort for the ministry.
Despite the difficulties, Jim and Karla knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this Christian approach to Drug rehab was right for them. With God’s help, nothing deterred them from what they believed was a divine solution for individuals suffering from the ravages of alcohol and drug addiction.
A huge relief came to Jim and Karla in March of 2004 when the ministry moved to their hometown of Gonzales, Texas. The Hugh Lewis House, a recently restored historical Mansion built in 1883, became home to Eternal Awakenings where the program continues to reside and flourish.