Earnie Lewis   -  

In the summer of 2007 three couples visited a day’s introduction and training for a new ministry Deer Flat was considering.  This ministry is Celebrate Recovery.  The couples were confirmed that this new ministry was the right direction for our church.  As the work began to learn all that the ministry needed to succeed the couples found they were ill-equipped to launch it.  This reality led to the discovery that there was an unknown leader for Celebrate Recovery among our congregation.  Once we were aware of one another, we joined forces and began the formal training which would take 6 months to complete.  Celebrate Recovery offers an annual Summit which gives three intense days of training in every aspect of the ministry.  This was something the 7 new leaders felt important before we launched.  Asking the congregation for help (a one-time offering) provided over $3,000 for attendance and materials needing to be purchased. Along with this help, a couple volunteered to take care of our weekly dinners.

It was the Fall of 2008, Celebrate Recovery was introduced to the congregation as a ministry to assist anyone needing help dealing with Hurts, Hang-ups or Habits.  It began on Wednesday nights with a schedule:  6:00 pm, dinner hour; 7:00 pm, Large Group; 8:00 pm, Share group/small group; 9:00 pm, Dessert and social time. When our youth program started their own Wednesday night ministry, we moved Celebrate Recovery to Thursday nights so as not to compete.  As the ministry continued into its second year it began to take root in the community.  The numbers attending quickly grew from 12-14 to around 25. By Christmas time of 2008 we needed to move into the youth room in order to accommodate this growth which only continued.  A sudden reality for the leadership, 4 men and 3 women, was our need to seek additional help.  This ministry requires a weekly dinner with a dessert time following its sessions, a children’s ministry for families who came (Celebration Place) and a teen ministry (The Landing) which needed different lessons from the children.

Through the years of the ministry’s existence, we have seen hundreds of people come and go.  For those who want to go deeply into their recovery from any struggle/bondage/addiction, we offer them a Step Study.  For those who have completed one of these, they become sponsors/accountability partners for those starting their own journey.  We also provide training for those completing a step study to give their own testimony of recovery in the large group time.  However, this help from within the group is critical for the ministry to continue.  The other components, leaders for Celebration Place, The Landing, dinners with a dessert, worship assistance, and prayer warriors, can be done by those who wish to support the ministry without attending the entire night.

Presently, our ministry is seeking leadership for The Landing.  This is for students from 6th-12th grade.  There is a well-developed curriculum for the weekly meetings which take place along side of the adult program.  Everyone eats together at the dinner hour and then the Landing is from 7-9 pm with the students joining adults for the dessert at 9:00 pm. Secondly, our ministry is seeking help with dinners.  Over the years we have had a variety of help with this area.  If there is someone who would coordinate the meals that would be WONDERFUL!  However, fixing the meals can be done in a variety of ways:  Life Groups taking a meal a month or quarter, a family or two working together for a meal a month or quarter.  We have the smaller kitchen which works well for preparing the meals if one wants to use the church facilities.  We also have funds to help purchase necessary items for the meal if one wants to help but can’t afford the purchase of supplies.

If there is any interest or questions regarding this help, one can reach out to Ron Manker, 208-867-2655; Carol Garmire, 208-989-9292; or Earnie Lewis, 208-989-0576.

To wrap up, I can tell you that my own life has been completely turned around due to this ministry.  I have a story of childhood abuse which was kept a secret until Celebrate Recovery. It was this ministry where God showed me I could trust Him and people He put in my path.  There was no judgment or condemnation.  Instead, I only found support, accountability, and courage to let my past be used by God to help others find the freedom He so graciously has given to me.  My story is only one of hundreds that have found this freedom.

In the 15 years of our ministry, we have witnessed over a dozen Celebrate Recovery’s start and end in our valley due to lack of leadership and support.  We have been very fortunate at Deer Flat to have the church’s backing with an operating budget for on-going supplies and the host of volunteers.  Your prayerful consideration for helping us continue is deeply appreciated.

Earnie Lewis



We are still in need of someone who could provide a ride to the 9 am service on Sunday to a couple who live in Caldwell. If you could help with this, please call the church at 208-459-3845 or email info@deerflat.org

Also we have had a number of people asked who they can practically help with needs in Israel. One option is to give MAGEN DAVID ADOM (Israel’s version of Red Cross). You can learn more and/or give HERE