House of Pearls to have fundraiser

“Addiction is real,” said Brittney Teague. “It kills so many people.”

Teague knows firsthand. Though she lost her mother to a heroin overdose, she’d rather talk about the people she knows whose lives have changed — women who have gotten their children back, whose marriages have been restored or a recovered addict who returned to Albemarle to apologize to the Stanly County law enforcement officers and a county official for the trouble she caused.

Teague is 30 and has her own story of addiction and recovery. She’s also made an impact on her pastor, Wilson Moore of Rekindled Church of Albemarle, who says he’s always had addicts in his path. It’s a path he’s accepted as a calling.

“Being present in someone’s life, showing love without enabling, speaking the hard truth for 10 or 15 years means telling someone that they can’t stay in their mess,” said Moore. “We’re all addicts to our sin. Only the power of Christ can change that. But God pursues us.”

Teague believes God pursued her.

“God’s grace reveals our sin, and He saved me while I was high on meth. After a while I went back (to drugs). I had Jesus, but I didn’t have tools.”

When she looked for help, she learned about a Christian ministry and residential program in Monroe called House of Pearls.

After the application process, she was accepted for the one-year program and moved into the house in May 2019. It was her first program and required no financial obligation.

The obligations were the daily sort. Getting up early, learning to be on time for classes and meetings, completing homework, staying organized.

“To be stable, they taught me about boundaries — how to stay away from certain people and not to search for love in all the wrong places,” she said. “I needed to surround myself with people who cared and would answer the phone when I needed help. I also began to learn to put God first. It wasn’t just about getting sober, but about how to live.”

She graduated two months early because Delois Carpenter, the director of House of Pearls, believed she was ready, and because she had three young children to care for.

“When people are ready to really get right, it’s a wonderful thing,” said Carpenter.

House of Pearls has two houses in North Carolina serving 15-20 women, and several are from Stanly County. They rely on individuals and churches for their financial support, as they accept no government funds.

Moore decided to investigate the nonprofit. He spent a day listening and talking with staff, volunteers and residents. He came away thinking that churches needed to know what House of Pearls was doing for this county and invited Carpenter to bring the ladies to Albemarle to present a program at Rekindled Church.

The church members responded by asking, “What do you need?”

Carpenter first said hygiene items were not their first need, but she acknowledged that financial support was critical for continued ministry.

Rekindled Church has stepped up to help and is looking for other churches, businesses and individuals to join in support of House of Pearls.

As September is National Recovery Month, A Night of Inspiration and Hope Benefit is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Albemarle Parks and Recreation facility, 1816 E. Main St. (behind the Tidal Wave car wash).

Tickets are $10 and include a spaghetti dinner and live music at 7 p.m. by Conviction Notice, a band consisting of Stanly County natives.

House of Pearls staff and residents will be on hand to share their stories and enjoy the fellowship and music.

Tickets can be purchased at www.rekindledchurch.com or www.eventcreate.com/e/houseofpearls.

All proceeds will go to House of Pearls so they can continue to offer cost-free support to women who want help making changes in their lives.

The House of Pearls website, www.houseofpearls.org, provides information about their services, volunteer needs and applications.

“This is the best program of its kind that I’ve seen,” said Moore. “I hope this celebration will become an annual event to help meet needs. The goal is to establish a house in our community.”