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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Guest speaker will tell his story of faith and recovery

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Wayne White
SIKESTON -- Attendees of the Fifth Annual Kiwanis Community Prayer Breakfast are in for a treat this year.

"We're especially excited about our guest speaker, Wayne White," said Garry Warner, chair of spiritual arms for the Kiwanis Club of Sikeston. "He has quite a faith story and is new to Sikeston." Warner will even go as far to say "this will be the best prayer speaker we've ever had."

For the first time, the breakfast will be held on National Prayer Day, which is May 6. In previous years, the breakfast was held during Holy Week. The breakfast will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Sikeston with the program commencing at 7 a.m. and ending at 8 a.m.

"Moving from crisis to well being ... from darkness to light" is the theme for the breakfast, and White, who serves as the director of the House of Liberty in Sikeston, will share his experience of seeing the "light."

At 13, White began using drugs and alcohol. "I was 18 and served in Vietnam," White recalled. "From there I maintained excellent employment. I was always considered functional; however, I had an empty soul."

He continued: "There came a point in my life where I literally felt dead, although I was still living."

White stopped using drugs and alcohol at age 35 and has been clean and sober for the past 16 years, he said.

"There really was a point where I had to give up and then God showed up and then I was able to clean up. The clean up process had to do with making up with individuals that I had committed faults against and to the point I had to grow up."

At the breakfast, White will discuss the changing process of an addiction -- from identifying the process of "how do you change and how to maintain your change in growth."

Over the past 14 years, White has worked as a certified advanced substance abuse counselor and Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program qualified professional. He has served as one of the leading "recoveryologist" in the Midwest and conducts workshops and presentations assisting persons through the "Change Process."

In fact, one of White's goals while working in Sikeston is to get people to understand that changing is a process.

"Just because you've stopped doing what you were doing doesn't mean everything gets better -- it might get worse before it gets better," he pointed out.

White moved to Sikeston from Kansas City three months ago, and since then he said he's been given the opportunity to literally be involved in each of the three communities the House of Liberty serves in Sikeston: professional health community, faith community and the recovery community.

"We felt this (White's story) touches the hearts and minds of everyone, regardless of race, income or job," Warner noted. "It's crossed all specters' messages. With all the positive things in Sikeston, this was perfect."

As of Wednesday, over 150 tickets have been sold, and the organization expects 200-250 people to be present for the communitywide event.

"We start with a welcome and an invocation by the president of the Sikeston Ministerial Alliance. We will have special music provided by the Sikeston Senior High Mixed Double Quartet under the direction of Nora Fuchs," Warner explained.

Warner said the prayer's emphasis will be placed on the country, troops and local, state, national and world leaders. And Kiwanis members are especially fond of the prayer breakfast because it also coincides with one of the Kiwanis' six objectives: spiritual primacy, Warner pointed out.

"We hope this will be a time of coming together and rallying, focusing on gifts from God and the power of God," Warner said. "It will be a rather solemn occasion but tinged with joy because of hope the experience brings to us."

Tickets for the event cost $7 and will not be sold at the door. They may be purchased from any Kiwanis member or by contacting Warner at 471-7999 or Jonathan Maloyed at 471-1200. Proceeds pay for the breakfast's food.