Betterdayz

Welcome to the Betterdayz Page!

Our Mission- We are a community focused, Christ-centered, outreach and support group. We are committed to recovering the lives of men and women, who are battling with addiction, and/or have been incarcerated; as well as supporting the families of both.

Our Vision- Rebuilding lives in hope; Strengthening Community in love; Rooted and established in faith through Jesus Christ.

Betterdayz thru Jesus Christ is a dynamic approach of support, through community, for a population struggling with poverty, addictions, family dysfunction, and criminal histories. We hope to shed light on the lifestyle, consequences, and impact of addictions/incarceration on family and community.

Topics and Issues Explored:

The Heart of Addiction (the spiritual concept of drug abuse and addictive behaviors)

Family dysfunction

Teen pregnancy

Addictions/Incarceration

Drug statistics and recidivism

Released from Prison and issues related

Relapse prevention

Divine healing and Interventions (hope and help for families of addicts)

Overdose and Death

Strength in Community

These issues and topics will be explored through biblical curriculum, illustrations, testimony, sharing/feedback, group process, guest speakers, and journaling. Betterdayz depends on community and helping build on one another’s strengths and resources. This requires commitment and consistency. Betterdayz is not a replacement for counseling or rehabilitation. Appropriate referrals and services will be offered.

Betterdayz began while I was still living in sin and is something that I had picked up from a song, sung by rapper Tupac Shakur, titled “Betterdayz.” In this song the rapper states, “It’s time to question our lifestyle, look how we live…” And I was in a dark time in my life when I was beginning to question whether I should continue living the way I was living. I had spent over 7 years of life incarcerated and several years abusing drugs and alcohol. It was 2011 and the lifestyle I was living was becoming increasingly reckless and there were several instances when I should have lost my life because of my drug use and drinking and driving. I was hospitalized twice that year and was finally arrested the morning after Thanksgiving 2011 after a night of partying and wrecked my vehicle off an embankment drunk. My parents bonded me out of jail for the first time in all my years of getting in trouble on 12/18/2011. I went straight back into the same lifestyle and everything came to a point on December 29th 2011. I sat in a room surrounded by a crowd of friends and we was drinking, drugging, and the music was blasting in the background. Suddenly I become aware that I was having trouble breathing and everything in the room slowed down and the noise sort of drowned out and I felt so alone like I had never felt in my life. I seen my life sort of flash across my mind and felt a dark and evil feeling come over me and heard in my mind “you know you deserve to die right?” And I agreed with whatever it was that was talking to me. Different times of my life came into my memory and I remembered times when I had been given the opportunity to live right and accept Jesus into my life but I had rebelled and rejected every attempt of God trying to intervene in my life. I seen a lot and was feeling a flood of emotions as I sat in that room and I knew I was dying and deserved whatever outcome that would result from my death. I felt tormented, I felt alone, and I felt fear. I didn’t see hell, or any demons, or nothing like that but I felt a lot and had this conversation deep inside of me and then I felt a vibration in my hand that brought me back to myself for a moment and I read this text from my mom that I will preach and remember the rest of my life, it said, “Are you going to let the devil destroy you?” And there had been several instances of different things that had happened and that been said to me and I had lived through up to that point but suddenly everything lined up and made sense in my mind and just as I had felt that dark and evil presence come over me, I felt another presence of what I can only describe as life and grace flood into me and I stood up in that room and before I knew what I was doing I was talking to my mom and telling her to come get me and I walked out of that room and away from everything in it and have never turned back.

I met my wife Danielle in 2012 an we was married in March of that year and she became pregnant with our son Bentley by the end of Spring. I had already changed my degree in college to Human Services and I became focused on my school and marriage. I would eventually have to serve some time in jail and a year on house arrest from the charges I had received in 2011 but even that was a work of God and a story for another time. So while on the house arrest God brought the concept of Betterdayz back into my mind and I used my time in isolation on house arrest to study the word of God, to continue to be clean and sober, and to work on my ministry which God was laying out before me in the vision of Betterdayz thru Jesus Christ. I started out with creating a face book page of the same name and I was part of an awesome faith family at PTC ministries and had awesome leadership and support in my life. March 2013 I was allowed to plan and have my first Betterdayz youth event and preach for my first time about the “Power of Music” and share my testimony of what I have shared above. I seen in the audience several people from that period of time in 2011 who I had been a negative influence toward and seen how addictions and incarceration was playing out in their life. I felt a burden a sense of purpose to go back and give back some how for all the bad I had done in my past. While I had sat in prisons and jails I had always remembered Betterdayz and would write it on walls and under the bunks of the jails. And then people started telling me how they had seen where I had written those words and how it had given them some hope and how they had heard I had changed my life and whatever. So I focused on addictions and incarceration and created the group as it is now with the help of my mom and wife. March 2014 we had our first group at PTC ministry and stayed there until April 2015. We served over 90 men and women while there and helped one person get into rehab and also had several who have went back into jails or prisons and one man passed away from an overdose. So it has it’s ups and downs. But at the end of April 2015 we partnered with Faith Builders and moved into our new location at the Faith Christian School and have made several different changes which has resulted in tremendous growth for the group. In just 5 months we have already seen 70+ new people come through our doors and several people bring their babies, children, and teenagers. We provide as much transportation as possible and some even walk to our meeting because of its central location in our city.

Recently I posted that I wanted 33 people at our meeting because the week before we had had 22. So, I wanted another half of that and spoke the word 33 and when we passed the sign in sheet around that meeting and it got to me it had exactly 33 signatures. And then 1 more walked in about 15-20 minutes later in the meeting and God spoke to me, “Derrick I will give you the 33 but never forget it will always be about the 1.” And the scripture that the shepherd leaves the 99 and goes looking for the 1 came into my memory and I felt a charge to preach the gospel like I had never felt and I preached my heart out for about 20 minutes. And then we gave people permission to leave at 7pm because thats the time we usually let out and nobody moved so I called for prayer and we had 5 come forward to repent and ask Jesus into their lives, and several more wanted prayer for deliverance. But what blessed me most of all was that “one” went home and later messaged me and said, ” I would usually feel afraid and alone to do what I did when I got home but tonight I feel an overwhelming peace and power in my apartment and I just flushed all my drugs down the toilet and threw away my stuff.” Praise God, that is what its all about! The people we have coming to our group now are making new friends, some go to church, and most go to different meetings, together, and stay involved in each others lives. We never wanted Betterdayz to seem “churchy” to people but wanted them to be introduced to the basics of discipleship and what Jesus Christ has done for them and slowly the group has implemented a time of praise/worship, of prayer, and are hungry for truth. We give them something different than they receive at any other addictions meeting and they respect us for it and many want more.

Betterdayz, in moving forward, will include more groups during the week which will offer certificates and different rewarding incentives for those who get involved. We pray to add more leadership, more discipleship, and maybe even a more focused outreach. We also envision going beyond our city and recently received an invitation to do something in Metamora Indiana. A lot of these things are still in development and in the prayer stages. We are praying for a larger van and more funds to be created for Faith Builders so that we can all do more and fulfill our callings in Jesus Christ. We are living in the last hours of the last days and our response needs to be one of urgency and as if we were acting in an emergency situation. People are hurting, they are hungry, and need healing.

William Harrison