Local Church Exposes Secrets of Seven Men

1open-arms-men9a5_optOpen Arms Community Church is sharing a secret as it mails 15,000 postcards to area residents featuring seven local men dressed in white shirts and blue jeans.

The church isn’t pointing out their mistakes for all to see. Rather the men are bringing a common message: a genuine relationship with a loving God.

This effort is part of “These Men Have a Secret” campaign, gaining attention around the region. Thousands of people have visited the “secret” website and social media posts.

“This effort is to help people, and especially men, to see that God is real and is getting a hold of real people’s lives and changing them,” said Pastor Mike McAvoy. “There’s no profile a person has to fit. They may be a wealthy or poor, well known or not known, young or old, highly educated or a high school drop out. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you’ve done, God loves you, wants you, and is pursuing you to be a part of his family.”

McAvoy was one of those who shared his story in a campaign video. He was a troublemaker as a youth, he said.

“I wasn’t the worst person in the world, but I caused my share of trouble,’ McAvoy said. “Looking back I can see how God brought me through a lot of crap; a home-life filled with violence and anger, drug and alcohol abuse, then abandoned by my father, watching my mom flounder in life as a parent and finding a new husband, being raised by my adoptive father who was a great guy, but didn’t know anything about raising kids, me getting into the party scene, getting into fights, breaking into houses, stealing, being bullied by kids, bullying kids in and out of school, making out with the girls.”

Through everything, he said God was reaching out to him through people.

“I didn’t take it until later in life, as a result I had years of brokenness and pain that could have been avoided, but when I did give Jesus control of my life it changed everything,” he said. “It was a process over many years to see some of those changes become mature and consistent, but I stuck with it and now my life is so full and so free, I can’t imagine if I had tried to do life any other way.”
Open Arms Port Allegany site pastor Chris Stavish said he coped with experiences in the Marine with alcohol.

“All situations are different, and we all deal with things differently, but if I were to give any advice to another who may be struggling is that there is hope and you can get through this,” he said. “For me personally, I had to realize that it was a problem. Drinking an excessive amount was destroying me physically, relationally, and financially. But someone who cared enough about me said gently that I didn’t have to keep going this way, mapped out a game plan to get sober, and painted to me a picture of what it would look like if I stuck with it.”

This September he has been sober for five years.

“Instead of internalizing my issues, I shared them with others who I could confide in and hold me accountable, and that my friends is more freeing than any other drug or drink on the planet. I have a strong will, but if it wasn’t for the work of Jesus in my life through the pain, I probably would not be where I am today, and that is happy, hope filled and ready to take on the world to tell others that Jesus heals, helps, and fills us with hope.”

Open Arms is gearing up for their annual Fall Kickoff Weekend, which will start in Bradford with a new Saturday Night Service October 4th at 6PM, and on Sundays at 9:15 and 11:00 AM. In Port Allegany, service times are 9:45 and 11:30AM. Both churches will be covering a new series of discussions entitled “Supernatural: Exposing the Dark Side of Spirituality”
For more information, call 814-368-8846 (tel:814-368-8846) or see openarms.tv.

Posted by on Sep 23 2014. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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