Surely He has done Great Things

Treflyn Lloyd-Roberts, Yeldall’s CEO, reflects on some encouraging words from Joel 2:

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.”

This verse means a lot to many current and former residents of Yeldall Manor; the promise that God will restore things that have been devoured by addiction to drugs and alcohol.  As I heard this passage preached on recently and I read the surrounding verses, I realised how relevant they are to Yeldall as an organisation as well as to the individual people here.

21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice.  Surely the Lord has done great things!

The Lord has done great things at Yeldall over the 38 years that we have been here, with many changed lives being a living testimony to God’s goodness.  We can look back at God’s provision for the work here in so many amazing ways through the years, and so we should not be afraid about the future.

22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

The verse about the “wilderness becoming green” jumped out to me.  As you may well know, there have been some difficult times in recent years, with the number of men on the programme being less than we would have liked.  However, we are now in our eighteenth consecutive month of the number of men at Yeldall being higher than what we had budgeted for.  The trees are bearing fruit.

23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful.  He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.  24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

He is faithful.  Last year we had to build an extra room in the Lodge to cater for all the men who wanted to take part in the second-stage programme, and now we are nearly at capacity in the Main House – the vat is overflowing indeed!

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust,the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you.

Over recent years, Yeldall has had to dip into its reserves to keep afloat.  In particular at present the Good Samaritan Bursary Fund is very low as we offer places to men who would otherwise be unable to come to Yeldall.  However, with our current higher numbers there is a sense of the storehouses being replenished to some extent.

26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.

If you have ever visited Yeldall at meal times, you will know that we are blessed with fantastic food on a daily basis!

27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.

It is so good to be fulfilling the mission that God has given us with the house full of men striving to work through their addiction issues.  It is great to be able to hold our heads up and acknowledge that God has brought us through some testing times to this point.