(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Jodei Adams Crump, a Leachville native, is almost halfway through a 120 day program at the Agape House in Paragould. She said she has a renewed hope for a successful, drug-free life and wants everyone to know about the Agape House. Two year old Christian transitional home is under the direction of Sunny Curtis, founder and director.
"The Agape House has a 53 percent success rate," Crump said.
Crump is a talented singer and writer and event went to Nashville in 2006 receiving a record contract.
"Even then the Lord was leading me to sing gospel music," she said. "I am now writing poetry, plan on writing a book about Agape House and singing again."
Crump said she has fought addiction for over 12 years and has hit bottom many times.
"My infant son died and soon after I was addicted to prescription medicine," she said.
She said she was in a car wreck in 1977 that almost took her life and did take the life of her friend, she was in a house fire, she has over dosed and even ended up in jail.
"I've had some wake up calls and I knew I had to have help," she said. "A friend of mine had heard about the Agape House and told me about it. I called one of the board members, Curtis Hitt, and told him I needed some help. I was put on a list and I started praying about it and I was selected to start the program. God delivered me from drugs on April 13. After three days in the program I rededicated my life to the Lord and I know it is my calling to help the Agape House."
The Agape House is presently housed in a two bedroom, one bath house. Eleven women share the house. There is no charge to the women who go through the program. Agape House has a 12 member board. Fund raising events are held and it depends on donations to keep it going.
The approach of Agape House is to offer a new life and new hope through a personal spiritual experienced with the Lord. It is a three phase program.
The first phase: while in Agape House the goals are to see women set free form life controlling addictions, learn biblical principles and values along with disciplined work habits to equip and sustain them as they become drug free, productive, law-abiding Christian members of the community.
Phase 2: Women will begin to apply the biblical principles and disciplined work habits acquired in Phase 1 in their daily lives.
Phase 3: the women are ready to begin to disciple newer members of the house, teaching them by example. At this point they may also seek employment, or vocational or educational training for job placement.
Objectives of the program include clients obtaining a GED, completing employment skills program covering job search skills, interview skills and basic work skills, parenting skills for clients with children.
Linda Pool, a board member, praised Mrs. Curtis for the work and passion she has for the women at Agape House.
"We are looking for a newer, larger house," Pool said. "We were blessed with the one we have and it has served a great purpose but we have outgrown it and we know God will provide. We now have four sets of bunk beds and couches in the two bedroom house. Everyone has chores and works together. We have generous people willing to give their time, talent and money. We have a doctor who volunteers to help with the health care, and Jodei has contacted a local dentist and eye doctor willing to help.
"Today we are in the area because Rodney Robertson in Leachville is donating new couches."
Pool said it is all about breaking the cycle.
"A lot of people do not know how to go about a different path," Poole said. "This is a Christian based program. We are looking for a larger house and would like to have a transition home for our women completing the program and needing a place to go while they work and get back on their feet."
Crump was in a recovery program in 2001 and said it had nothing to do with God.
"At Agape we learn God is the center and the only lasting solution to addiction," Crump said.
Crump said her husband is very supportive of her and she is looking forward to completing the program and going home drug free. She said she will continue to be a part of Agape House helping others, and helping to keep the program in the area.
"Agape House was a light at the end of a dark tunnel for me," Crump said.
Donations of physical items, financial donations, professional skills, or life skills training are welcomed.
Donations can be sent to P.O. box 1056, Paragould, AR 72451