Advent's primary clientele are drug and alcohol addicted teenagers, one of the most challenging groups to provide meaningful assistance. Santa Clara County estimates there are over 10,000 teenagers in need of drug and alcohol treatment. Most come from family backgrounds that don't provide meaningful support. Advent provides effective residential and outpatient treatment programs to this difficult to serve population.
I first heard of Advent back in 1985 while job hunting, it was called Arbutus at the time. My car broke down on the way to the interview and thanks to some very nice people from a Jesuit facility I made it to the summit. There I met more awesome people and was able to hang out and try to be supportive as one of the counselors had also been in a wreck with several children in the car the same day. I was so impressed by their teamwork and caring staff . I ended up working for them but I chose another facility more centrally located in San Jose. Soon after my arrival we were told the program would be closing, I again was allowed to watch Gods hand as he produced a miracle.. In midst of the end a new beginning came forth. There was a meeting and next thing we were told is we would be going out on our own and the program would continue.. Again God lead us and as I was always kind of a skeptic before I witnessed over and over changes of heart and what I would called true miracles while at Advent. My heart changed there as I learned to trust and care as well. I then left to get married and start my own family. My heart never left Advent and because of what I had seen I went on to adopt 3 children myself. As they grew it became apparent they had some issues and when it came time to realize I couldnt do it on my own Advent was again there. My son was using and had had a psychotic break due to the drugs.. I couldnt find a place that adoption assistance would pay for and everything was so expensive.. As IM searching and I did want something close to home I kept coming back to Advent. At first I thought it was me not God wanting it, but as the social worker investigated, Advent was the closest facility that they would pay for. Again a total God thing. So my son went and graduated from the program. It was awesome watching changes in him along with catching up with old friends and watching new staff.. Sure the new people coming in are so enthusiastic butt have a clue the issues they may be dealing with But as they stick out their committemnt they grow and mature so much God uses the kids to change the staff as much as He uses the staff to touch the kids. I was privledged to watch both occur as my son stuggled through the program. .. I knew Advent had changed my life and I know it saved my sons l.. Of course life isnt perfect but he saw Gods hand and how much people love him and are there for him. During a relapse, he called his old counselor and even though he was no longer at Advent the counselor agreed to meet with him. Its family and the people care and I reccommend it to anyone I meet that is struggling with their childs addiction and/ or if the court is trying to force them to go out of state for treatment. Im sad more probation officiers dont know about Advent as I honestly beleive God is at the center of their program and the staffs lives and THAT is what makes them different and what changes these kids lives.. My son now lives with another Christian couple and sure he is still a teenager but he has learned respect and that he isnt alone.. It really does take a village to raise a child and no one should try to go it alone. Fellowship with others in Christ has made all the difference for me as a parent and I have Advent to thank for teaching me and my son that important lesson.
While working in resource development at Advent from 2000 to 2006, I knew that wasn't going to be enough and I wanted to get involved with the kids. So over the years my husband, Norm, and I have invited the teens to our home at Lake of the Pines in Auburn, California, where they've enjoyed swimming, boating and waterskiing ... as well as lots of good food. This year the boys came in January and had a blast going to the snow, which was a first for many.
Family and friends cannot comprehend how we can leave and turn our house over to the counselors and kids, but we know that everything we have belongs to the Lord and we want to use our home for His glory. The guys and gals are so appreciative of everything we do for them, and we delight in sharing our many blessings with these kids who so desperately need to be loved and accepted.
Since 2006, when we moved from San Jose to Auburn, I have remained on the golf committee and I continue to write the Advent quarterly newsletter. So, even though I'm not actually at Advent, being involved in this way keeps me in touch with what's going on in this vital ministry to hurting teens. And from the beginning I have encouraged my twin, Mary, to also become involved. In 2001 she and I became sponsors of Advent's Mary and Martha Golf Classic; hence, it was named after us.
Marty (Martha) Barclay
I have been involved in Advent's "Friendship family" program for the last three years and am continually humbled by the work that they do and the love that they show for the the teens that come through their residential rehab program. Kids who have grown up with two strikes against them already find a safe haven in the Advent homes where they are taught skills and given tools to help them once they get back out into the real world. But more importantly they are surrounded by counselors, therapists, and volunteers who speak into their hearts and show them love that many have never experienced in their home situations. I will be involved with Advent for a long time to come!
This is a great organization that helps kids in need. I have been involved with this organization since 1994, and have never been disappointed. I go to one of the homes regularly and hang out with the guys who are staying there.
I love Advent!!!
I have served on the Advent Board for more than 20 years. The reasons I have found Advent so compelling are many, but a few of the most important include:
exceptionally dedicated and proficient staff who have given their lives to their work;
hundreds of abused and vulnerable kids have had their lives turned around and have become productive, contributative adults because of Advent; and
the leadership, headed by Mark Miller, has consistently combined a rigorous adherence to high standards of performance with a compassion that is communicated by everything that Advent does.
If there were more organizations like Advent, this world would be a much better place.