Making a brand new start with Celebrating Recovery


Larry Evans with the award chips that are given to individuals when they reach various levels of recovery. Photo provided by Pat Van Dyke.

A young woman fears for her future. She sees no choice but to continue to watch her life spiral out of control.  A father knows that the poor decisions that he has made will haunt him for the rest of his life unless he faces his family, but he doesn’t know how to approach the subject.  A parent stands in the doorway of their teenager’s room living over and over again the nightmare of a child out of control.  Where can these individuals find help?  There is an answer.

Ten years ago a small group of people seeking help for themselves and others discovered an effective way to make a difference in their lives.  After much searching they were introduced to a self-help program called Celebrate Recovery.  Within a short time, a Celebrate Recovery program was started in Canyon Lake and since that time, scores of local individuals have been helped with their personal struggles.

Every Sunday evening this same group, along with dozens of others, gather to learn how to deal with their “hurts, habits and hang-ups.” People who join this group are given an opportunity to face their fears and reach out for help in a supportive, safe environment.

Celebrate Recovery is a program that teaches and gives one tools on how to address their hurts, habits, and hang ups so that they can move forward and find their purpose and a life filled with joy. Participants discover that they are not alone in what they are going through and find people to walk alongside them. Life-long relationships are built with others who have faced similar situations.

Some of the issues that may be faced in the Celebrate Recovery program include drug and alcohol addictions, eating disorders, high anxiety, co-dependency, compulsive behaviors, sexual addiction and financial dysfunction.

Although Celebrate Recovery upholds anonymity and confidentiality for its members, several of the leaders have made themselves available for persons in their communities who have an interest in discovering how they too can be helped through this effective process of recovery.

Canyon Lake residents, Larry and Michelle Evans, are active participants in Canyon Lake’s Celebrate Recovery which is held at Canyon Lake Community Church (CLCC).  Michelle shares that meeting at CLCC, right outside the gates, makes Celebrate Recovery a close and safe place to go. She credits this Christ-based program for helping her to overcome her own hurts and hang-ups with which she had been struggling.

Larry shares from his own perspective the following: “This ministry helped to save my life and my marriage. I am now 5 years sober from alcohol. By going to Celebrate Recovery and allowing this powerful 12-Step ministry to help with saving our marriage, pulled me away from the destructive path I was on. If this ministry can help someone like me, it can help anyone.”

Tom and Marianne Segobia started Canyon Lake’s Celebrate Recovery. Tom and Marianne saw a need for a solid base on which to rest their marriage and Celebrate Recovery’s emphasis on biblical principles and accountability was what they were seeking.

Tom and Marianne met with the board of Canyon Lake Community Church and the recovery group became a reality. Canyon Lake’s Celebrate Recovery is under the auspices of the church but is totally self-funded. Canyon Lake Community Church provides the physical building and needed equipment, but Celebrate Recovery provides the leaders, support and drive.

Tom not only works with Celebrate Recovery on the local level, he also is involved on the state and national level. Tom has served as the Celebrate Recovery State Representative for Riverside County for almost five years. He oversees more than 20 churches in the area and assists Celebrate Recovery ministry leaders develop and maintain their ministry.  At Celebrate Recovery National meetings, Tom participates by making himself available for persons who may desire to begin a Celebrate Recovery chapter in their area.

What can a person expect to receive from being associated with Celebrate Recovery?  Tom Segobia put it best when he shared his thoughts on the purpose of Celebrate Recobery. “The main purpose of Celebrate Recovery is ultimately to bring people into a closer walk with Jesus. This is accomplished when we can get over our hurts, habits or hang-ups that keep us stuck, thus preventing us from that close relationship with God.  It’s through the healing and renewing of our minds that frees us from the things that keep us stuck and we receive peace and comfort because we finally realize we have a heavenly Father that loves and forgives us unconditionally.”

Celebrate Recovery is not limited to only adults. Because being in recovery is often a family issue, Celebrate Recovery provides opportunities for the entire family.  Child care is provided for children whose parents are taking part in the program.

For children in grades K-6, Celebration Place addresses issues that they may be facing as their parents are going through the process of recovery.  Celebration Place is a safe place for the children to share their own struggles and learn the tools to cope with life’s dynamics. The facilitators of the program are Canyon Lake residents, Linda Rhine and Michelle Evans.

Celebrate Recovery also offers “The Landing” for teenagers. The Landing operates very similar to Celebrate Recovery but their lesson time is geared to speak to the teens and meet them where they are at in a more dynamic way. Many of these teenagers are struggling as they deal with the habits and hang-ups of their family, but others are reaching out in hope to break their own personal cycles of dysfunction in a healthy way. Those interested in joining are welcomed anytime. Celebrate Recovery, Celebration Place, and The Landing all meet on Sundays at 6 p.m. in Building C at Canyon Lake Community Church.