AP NEWS

Indiana ministry’s gym boosts lives with fitness, counseling

July 2, 2019

GREENWOOD, Ind. (AP) — Among the resistance machines, free weights and kettlebells spread across the gym at 148 Wellness, individuals work on building strength.

Individual workouts or small group training classes help them increase their muscles and become healthier. Rowing machines and exercise bikes develop endurance and the ability to push through difficulty.

But while the gym focuses on the physical, other aspects of 148 Wellness guides people as they become stronger mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Counseling gives them the endurance to overcome addiction, or the drive to rebuild their family lives.

“People are coming in. They like the overall wellness approach to the facility, whether that’s counseling or physical therapy or personal training. That seems to have touched a number of people,” said David Storvick, pastor and president of 148 Ministries.

As Johnson County, and all of Indiana, continues to struggle with the impact of opioid addiction in the community, 148 Wellness and its ministry component has reached an increasing number of people. The wellness center opened in Greenwood in February, combining counseling services for individuals struggling with addiction or caught in trafficking with a gym, rehabilitation services and movement-based therapy.

Since that time, participation has grown steadily — an indicator just how much this approach to overall health is needed, said Chris Walker, a physical therapist for 148 Wellness.

“Our whole goal here is that it’s not just about the physical health, it’s about mental health as well. Seeing people often enough to share their problems and share their prayer requests, that’s meaningful,” he said. “You can’t go to another gym and feel comfortable sharing that, where we’ll support you.”

Madison Bateson first came into contact with 148 Ministries through a Boone County-based program called Teen Challenge, a boarding school program that helps young women deal with substance abuse, sexual trauma and other serious issues.

The 17-year-old had been struggling with drug addiction, and reached a point where she needed help to turn her life around, she said.

Bateson had only been there two weeks when she met pastor David Storvick and his wife, personal trainer Amber Storvick. They had come as part of a partnership, in which 148 Ministries comes to Teen Challenge weekly to lead exercise classes, provide counseling and do other services.

“They were there every Saturday. Amber would do the workout portion, so we’d work out for a half hour. Then David would do the ministry portion, giving a sermon and leading a group conversation,” she said.

The approach reached Bateson. She found that the exercise aspect of the ministry was a way to release some of the pent-up anger, frustration and stress she held inside of her in a healthy way. The ministry aspect helped her spiritually.

“When I came into the program, I was very weak every way: mentally, physically, emotionally. They came at the perfect time. They started to strengthen me,” she said.

David and Amber Storvick founded 148 Ministries in an effort to use physical fitness and faith to improve people’s lives. Amber Storvick had taken a mission trip to Cambodia, where she took part in a program helping women who had been trapped in sex trafficking. She returned to the U.S. and implored her husband to do something here in central Indiana.

Their idea was to combine fitness and faith to help those in need.

The ministry outreaches to residential centers for people struggling with addiction, abuse and other issues such as Teen Challenge, the Hope Center in Indianapolis, which focuses on helping sex-trafficked victims, and Volunteers of America.

“We’re still go into the residential (programs) on a weekly basis,” David Storvick said. “We do group workouts and church services with them.”

148 Wellness encompasses two different entities. The first is 148 Ministries. On the other side, the Storvicks partnered with Walker, who formed 148 LLC to handle rehabilitation.

The Greenwood wellness center serves as the base of operations. The facility brings together physical, behavioral and spiritual wellness in its approach to addiction, abuse and other mental health issues. Clients can take advantage of a fully equipped gym and exercise center 24 hours per day. They can sign up for services such as semi-private training, group fitness classes and rehabilitation exercise.

Those who need it can receive faith-based counseling for behavioral health issues such as addiction, as well as join small Bible study groups.

Walker has seen the impact that the ministry and center has had on people.

“People are coming here just to work out, because they want to get out of their current environment,” he said. “We’re building the community that we wanted.”

As ministry as well as a wellness center, faith is a central component of the program. Counseling and small group sessions are conducted throughout the week. People who come in can fill out prayer requests as well when they are struggling with an issue.

“Some of the requests we get are pretty heartbreaking, from personal family stuff to sobriety to life difficulties,” David Storvick said. “It’s an honor to be able to pray over these on a weekly basis as well.”

The facility also allows the ministry to connect with its work in the greater community, he said.

“We’ve had some opportunities to bring some of the people from the residential programs, to pick them up and bring them here to do a workout, Bible study and give them dinner,” he said. “Opening the facility allowed us to do that.”

Jessica Mawby first encountered 148 Ministries through the Hope Center Indy, a residential program for survivors of human trafficking, abuse and addiction.

While she was living at the center, 148 Ministries came to offer exercise classes and a Bible study for those residents who were interested. She started to feel more in control than she had in a long time.

“For anybody who’s gone through addiction recovery or abuse or trafficking, it’s really healthy to be completely healthy, in every area of your life,” she said.

The program was so impactful that Mawby, 34, has joined the 148 Ministries wellness center in Greenwood. The Indianapolis resident has also been volunteering with 148 Ministries doing similar outreach at programs such as Volunteers for America, a nonprofit which helps people struggling with issues such as addiction, housing and other issues.

“Coming back to being a productive member of society, those were the things that I had challenges with. It feels really good to give back and to do something that’s close to your heart, that you’ve personally gone through,” she said. “It’s wonderful to serve.”

After only three months, the facility has 45 members and is expecting more. The success of the program so far has organizers already thinking of potential expansion in the future. They’re also working on bringing a muscle activation therapist and a massage therapist as part of the wellness component.

Discussions are in place with Fairbanks, the Indianapolis-based recovery and treatment center, about hosting its Prime for Life class. The sessions are based on prevention, pre-treatment and intervention for people who are engaging in high-risk situations. The classes also serve as general education for the community.

“This would be open to anyone, not just addicts. A lot of people are affected by addiction — it’s the family members, it’s educating the general public. That’s what this class is tailored to,” David Storvick said. “If you want to know more about addiction and the opioid epidemic, you can come here.”

More impressive has been the results that 148 officials are seeing in the people they’ve reached.

Bateson has just graduated from the 13-month program at Teen Challenge in May. She still talks to the Storvicks nearly every day, and she plans to intern with Teen Challenge so she can continue working with their ministry in some capacity.

She credits 148 Ministries for helping her turn her life around and regain some semblance of control over her addiction.

“I feel like I’m a work in progress. I’m not going to say I’m a recovered addict, because it’s a battle every day. But I believe absolutely that I’m stronger than I ever thought I’d be,” she said. “I feel better than I’ve ever had before.”

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Source: Daily Journal

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Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net

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