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‘Hope is Here’ event offers churches a chance to coordinate in fight against drugs

Hope over Heroin is now known as Hope Network and the organization is inviting churches to come be a part of their movement to help fight the drug epidemic in the community.

Hope Network is a coalition of churches, pastors and lay leaders from Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Lincoln, Mercer and Washington counties. It has a “Christ-centered passion for delivering Central Kentucky from” drug addiction problems, according to materials from the organization.

Hope Network has invited 70 surrounding churches, as well as local government officials from Danville and Boyle County, to be a part of an event Oct. 23 at Southland Christian Church. The purpose of the event is to launch an anti-drug effort called “Hope is Here” and to discuss the impact of drug addiction within the communities represented, according to the organization.

Participating churches include Calvary Baptist Church, Indian Hills Christian Church, Southland Christian Church, Center Point Church, Danville Church of God, Southside Christian Church and New Birth Temple Ministries. The churches believe God is calling them to come together to combat addiction, said Gary Chidester, a member of Hope Network from Calvary Baptist Church.

“This has been a community to me that has always been filled with hope,” Chidester said. “Here is an opportunity in Hope Network for us to come together as churches, as a community, in the name of Christ, to help people deal with the addiction that is running rabid through our community.”

Chidester said the churches involved in Hope Network believe that God has specifically told them there are three things he wants them to focus on: prevention, intervention and restoration.

Chidester said the Hope Network is looking at purchasing a building at the intersection of Wilderness Road and East Main Street.

A goal of the Hope Network is to prevent kids from getting involved in drugs.

“There are kids using by the time they are in fourth and fifth grade,” Chidester said.

A survey of students showed 65 percent said they just want someone who is a positive influence in their life, he said.

Chidester said the goal for the building is to have a place that is safe and free of drugs and is a place where kids can come and be with people who care about them, who want to mentor them and be a part of their lives.

“There’s got to be a place for kids to go after school,” he said.

Chidester said they want as many churches involved as possible and would like to see everyone come out to the event on Oct. 23.

“I pray that as churches come together in the community that we can work on this,” he said.

IF YOU GO

A launch event for “Hope is Here” will be held at Southland Christian Church, 1001 Ben Ali Dr., on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.