Savannah Mission Bible Training Center Interview in Savannah, Georgia
We at the South Shore Roofing, a local roofing company from Savannah, Georgia, recently started a new local campaign whose purpose is to raise awareness about local non-profit organizations around Savannah. We would like to help them promote themselves so more people could hear their story and eventually donate because the situation with financing non-profit organizations is tough.
One of those organizations is Savannah Mission Bible Training Center (SMBTC) whose goal is to provide free alternative rehabilitation to people who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions.
To get them know better, promote their work and improve our relationship, we contacted the SMBTC, who then gave us a short introduction to their work and mission. You can read about their working motivations and challenges in the following interview.
Introduction: To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization.
Savannah Mission Bible Training Center (SMBTC) is a division of Mission Teens, Inc. A non-profit, non-denominational organization with a Christ-centered, residential discipleship program for people of all backgrounds with a history of alcohol or drug abuse or emotional problems. Our purpose is to provide hope to the hopeless. It is our goal to direct people to The Lord Jesus Christ to find hope and a purpose for their lives and to make disciples of them as the Word of God directs.
1. What do you do exactly? And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
Savannah Mission Bible Training Center is a division of Mission Teens inc. We are a long term residential program for people with a history of alcohol and drug abuse or other life-controlling problems. We house, feed and clothe up to 30 people year-round for free. Since 1969 over 20,000 people have come into the various Mission Teens centers. In our annual review, we hear from about 57% of our graduates and of those, approximately 90% are doing well. Also, roughly 40% of the non-graduates we hear from are doing well. Many have gone into Christian ministries, and some have stayed on to work in our centers.
2. What motivates you? Describe your passion.
Our goal is to provide hope to the hopeless, those who society has no answer for and has given up on. Reverend James D. Bracken (1934-2012) founded Mission Teens, Inc. in 1969. He opened the first residential center in Norma, NJ after much prayer. He knew there was a need for a more effective ministry for the troubled young people who were attending his home prayer meetings. After two years of little results in the center, God answered his prayer by dictating to him a program which, when put into effect brought immediate results in people’s lives. This same program is still used today in all of the Mission Teens centers, and the results are still phenomenal.
3. Tell us about your goals.
To provide free alternative rehabilitation to people who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. We know that Jesus Christ is the answer to everyone’s needs. We will provide any, and all facilities necessary to evangelize, educate and disciple any persons spiritually, physically, vocationally and psychologically as the Holy Spirit of God leads and directs. We reserve the right to engage in any business we feel led to enter into to further the purpose of this mission.
4. What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with? Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Raising financial support is a continual struggle on a yearly basis. Since 1994 Savannah Mission Bible Training Center has offered our services free to all. We do not charge for our services, and we do not receive any funding from the government. All of our support comes from concerned individuals and a few churches who are sensitive to the type of work we do. We do not receive any denominational funding (we are non-denominational).
5. What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
Year after year I see the results of our efforts when people come in broken and beat down, ready to give up on life and leave as changed individuals, successful and productive members of society. They go home, get jobs, get married, raise families and contribute to their communities.
6. What separates you from the rest? Why you?
I would have to say our success rate. In our annual review, we hear from about 57% of our graduates and of those, approximately 90% are doing well. Also, roughly 40% of the non-graduates we hear from are doing well.
7. Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
Friday November 17th we have an annual Fall/Thanksgiving Talent Show
8. What is it that you love most about what you do?
Helping others get free from life-controlling problems the same way that I was helped.
9. What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
Our biggest challenge is getting a person over the hump of them wanting to leave, feeling like they have things they need to attend to (even though they weren’t handling these things before) and sitting still long enough for the program to do what it does in their lives.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
All of our staff are graduates of the discipleship training program. They do not receive any salary but work as missionaries giving back their life to serve the Lord by reaching out to others. Reverend Bradley W. Wanhala is the Assistant Executive Director of Savannah MBTC. Brad works directly with the Executive Director to oversee the general condition of the building, raise necessary support as well as teach, counsel, etc. Brad came to Savannah from the Michigan Center in 2004 following the call of God to help others as he had been helped. He has been with Mission Teens, Inc. for 15 years total.
Contact: How can people reach out to you? Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your social media.
Savannah Mission Bible Training Center
1000 E Victory Dr. Savannah GA 31405