I think that the greatest tragedy in life is the moment a person loses all hope. It will be at that precise moment in time when all dreams fade to nothing, all plans become insignificant and a future simply a black hole. When hope is lost people inevitable become self-destructive and I think many suicides are the results of this. When Jesus spoke about our main task on earth, it was as simple as loving one another and illustrated equally simply through the offering of a glass of water. While the loss of hope is perhaps the greatest tragedy in life our ability to restore hope in others is one of the greatest gifts.
The loss of hope is harsh reality for all people who reach a point in their lives when they are faced with the destructive power of an addiction. Their inability to deal with their addiction will lead to an inner sense of shame, futility and hopelessness, and these feelings will inevitably find negative outward expressions. Sophos Nissiotis is one such person who has had first-hand experience with the destructiveness of an addition on himself, his friends and his family.
After a 30 year addition to drugs and alcohol, Sophos had an encounter with God and found his hope miraculously restored. He believes that God specifically reached out to him so that he in turn could reach out with a message of hope for individuals that are in hopeless and broken situations. His conversion saw him complete his studies at RBTC Bible College in 1984, and in the same year he started a drug rehabilitation program by invitation of the government at Magaliesoord. The holistic program was based on biblical principles and God's solution to man's problems. Take any person who has lost all hope and then introduce them to the unconditional love of God and you will have a miracle on your hands. Many success stories came from Magaliesoord as a direct result of hope restored and new relationships with God forged. Through the successful impact that the programme had on many people and through the help of Government officials, Pastor Sophos was invited to the village of Noupoort to set up a drug rehabilitation ministry.
In January 1992 the Noupoort Christian Care Centre opened its doors with the message of a “One Step Programme of Hope”. The core value of the programme is found through the pen of the apostle Paul - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Subsequently the NCCC has become a place of hope, healing and direction for people with broken lives. Pastor Sophos, together with the numerous dedicated volunteers have seen many lives restored and people set free.
Noupoort Christian Care Centre provides long term solutions for all types of addiction ranging from
Alcohol abuse, to prescription medication abuse, to marijuana (weed, dope), to mandrax (buttons), to coke (cocaine), to crack (freebasing, freebase), to heroin (smack), to wellconal (pinks), to inhalants, to sexual addiction. Residents who have successfully completed the programme constitute nearly 80% of all people who attended the Centre since its inception, and they remained drug free.
The programme itself is unique. Instead of following the norm by implementing a 12-step rehabilitation programme, it offers only one step: I can overcome all my addictions. All patients who are admitted for crack, cocaine, heroin, mandrax, weed, alcohol, inhalants, tik or sexual addictions partake in a rigorous program that deals with the addiction itself and also with the root issues causing those addictions. The programme does this with real-life situations and not simply in a sterile and hypothetical controlled environment.
The main goals of the programme can be summed up as:
- The development and acceptance of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Direction in establishing a relationship with God, themselves and fellow beings in the community.
- The development and maintenance of a drug/alcohol free lifestyle.
- Teaching and development of life skills, discipline and routine
- To encourage and develop individual talents
The programme is run in real-life situations and therefore involvement in the following areas can actively be pursued by the residents
- Spiritual worker, Counsellor, Bible Study
- Building, Woodwork, Plumbing, Plastering and Electrical work
- Motor Repairs, Spray Painting (Ciara)
- Agriculture - growing of vegetable gardens and olive trees, as well as general maintenance of the lands
- Animal therapy
- Commerce - retail, marketing of products produced and purchased (Ciara)
- Office Administration (Clerical, Typing, Bookkeeping, Computers, Stores) (Ciara)
- Needlework, Knitting, Cooking and general housekeeping.
- Arts & Crafts workshop
Hope is restored by giving people a second chance in life. The passion to restore hope in people has led the staff at NCCC to give third and fourth chances to people, which is in line with unconditional love saying, “Mercy is new every day!”
Each person on earth has the ability to extend that kind of mercy and by so doing restoring hope in the lives of those who've lost it. In the middle of the Karoo lies a town pulsating with compassion to the downtrodden, the lost, addicted and the hopeless. Thank God it doesn't stay there and that today hundreds of people can testify to the positive effects of that helping hand which directed them to the place of victory over all their addictions through THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.