More than 60 years ago, a New York stockbroker named Bill Wilson visited a physician named Bill Wilson visited a physician named Robert Smith in a hospital in Akron, Ohio. “Dr. Bob” was a patient in the detoxification for chronic alcoholics; Wilson was newly recovering from that same disease.  As they spoke, Bob began to see hope for his own life, and Bill who had been tempted to drink that day grew more confident in his own sobriety.  Something about that meeting between two hopeless men was healing and helpful. 

                That meeting is generally acknowledged as the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that has influenced millions of people around the world.  Bill Wilson and Bob Smith continued to meet and stayed sober for the rest of their lives.

                They and the other alcoholics who joined them in those early years developed a program of 12 steps to recovery.  Today millions of alcoholics use these 12 steps to stay sober.  Drug addicts use them to stay clean, the sexually compulsive to stay chaste, overeaters to eat modestly, gamblers to stay away from bookies and the tables, and the spouses and children of these sufferers to live a sane home life despite a family members struggle with addictive and obsessive behavior.

                This blossoming “self-help” movement is having a profound impact on society.  The virtual explosion of 12 step groups reveals the tremendous number of people in our society who are hurting, who are desperately seeking “alternative” routes of help, and for whom healing and often, a renewed relationship with the Lord comes through a group of fellow-sufferers.

                More and more Christians are integrating principles of these programs into their lives – both to address personal needs and troubles, and to grow in spirituality.

                Many wonderful things are taking place!  The Lord is truly healing His people!