From Personal Recovery to a Ministry for Recovery

by Daniel Rivero, Steamtown Church

My name is Daniel Rivero. Most of my life was spent running the streets and doing drugs. At the age of 36 I was in a lot of pain and at the end of my rope. After a phone call with my Uncle Kevin, I prayed a basic form of a sinner’s prayer, asking God – through tears and in puddles of shame – to forgive me, pleading with Him to take over my life.

I quickly used up my remaining drugs, and checked myself into a rehab facility. They eventually kicked me out for erratic behavior, and my probation officer took me to jail for some minor offenses. However, I walked into jail fully surrendered, realizing God was in control. At a Bible study in jail someone suggested I link up with a church immediately after my release.

That’s what led me to Steamtown Church. This was a new experience for me, a banquet-hall full of energy, diversity, and the Holy Spirit! It was worship unlike any other. Truth unlike any other, and a love that came from God’s Word, through the person of Jesus Christ, and so many of the people at Steamtown.

At Steamtown I heard the gospel. It was also there that someone special introduced herself to me. It turns out we had met in 2012 at a rehab facility, and God now put us at the same church at the same time. Though God made me wait for what seems like forever, we were eventually married.

My wife, Caitlyn, works in addiction medicine with a heart for sick and suffering addicts. On a hike, she suggested we open a residential recovery home for women where they could live with their children. There’s a definite gap in services from local recovery communities for this particular demographic. Sensing the Spirit guiding us, and with Steamtown supporting us, we launched Mission Street Recovery.

Through Mission Street Recovery we have spent the past two years in the fundraising stage for what we will call GraceHouse Scranton, where women will be able to live with their children and have a fully supportive recovery program. It will also be linked to Steamtown, since we want to encourage our church folks to volunteer, serve, and disciple through our ministries.

Mission Street Recovery is the name of our organization. We will have multiple recovery ministries under that umbrella. Currently, we meet every Sunday morning before our service at Steamtown for recovery meetings. Through these meetings we saw our first soul saved! Ronnie decided to give his life to Christ just a few weeks ago, and since then he has been feverishly pursuing God’s Word in discipleship. Right now we are working through the book of James together and Ronnie plans to be baptized soon.

We have big dreams and confident expectations of all the good things God still has in store for us. Thank you for your prayers and support to help us keep moving forward!