Starting a new life requires a completely new way of thinking. Old patterns that were once a crutch have to be replaced with healthy habits. Led by Community Life Pastor and Worship Pastor Danny Kugelberg, the staff at the The Harbor put together the “beauty and inspiration team.”
“Our desire is to create an environment that is different from what the guys experienced before,” Danny said. “More than a building, we want this to be a place that feels like home to them.”
Besides the building layout itself, a big part of hospitality goal is accomplished through the scriptures that are strategically scattered throughout the facility. From the kitchen, to the hallway, to the very napkin holders that are found in the main community room on the tables, God’s Word can be found around every corner. It’s at the heart of The Harbor’s whole recovery process.
For example, when men go into the life skills office, where they focus on vocational training, Colossians 3:23 can be found: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” If one of the men is working with a growth leader about future plans, or starts worrying about circumstances beyond their control, Proverbs 3:5-6 is on the wall close at hand: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Above the tools in the shed, Hebrews 6:19 hangs: “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
Everywhere the men in the program go, scripture is sure to follow.
“A huge part of the recovery piece that we do in the New Life Ministry is through the Holy Spirit’s work,” Danny emphasized. “This means erasing some of those lies and false beliefs that have been deeply engrained in them … What better way to do that then having them actually be surrounded by the Word?
“While it’s new for a lot of the guys, it reawakens faith and memories they had from the past – positive memories – whether from a family that loved Christ, or a church they might have attended long ago.”
Eric Vogt does the vast majority of the photography found throughout The Harbor coupled with scriptures. The scenes range anywhere from waterscapes, to landscapes, to cityscapes and everything in between — all serve a unique purpose, and all are very close to Vogt’s heart.
“The reclaimed joy seen on each face in the portraits and stories puts a huge smile on my face each time. The restored lives are so powerfully won through the love of such a merciful God,” he said. “I’m touched and feel it’s just a tiny part of what may inspire each resident that may enjoy photos to understand how beautiful God’s creation is, and just how much He loves us and wants the best for us.”
One particular photo you can find at The Harbor that stands out to Vogt has snow geese and the sunrise at its focal point (pictured to the left). This photo is paired with Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
Everywhere you look, the photography and scriptures you’ll find at The Harbor have been given an extensive amount of thought by the staff. Nothing is without purpose.
“God’s Word is living and active, and it has the capacity to encourage as us in a way that few other things can,” Danny reiterates. “We want the men to see how God sees them and who they can be in Christ.
“Whether it’s the fitness room or the family room, we want every room to have the imprint of scripture on the wall so they can start thinking differently.”
There are currently 36 men who are part of the yearlong New Life Ministry program at The Harbor.