Meet Duane Rouse
I was born Sept 11, 1945 in Milton, VT and will be celebrating 50 years of marriage this Dec 28th. I grew up having loving parents. Church was present in my life but was a task to appease my parents. I’ve always believed in God, but throughout my life I could never pull off the road long enough to really let God in.
From a very young age I loved music, and in high school I started to play music in a band with friends that shared the love. We eventually got a job playing at a night club in Burlington, and alcohol was part of this lifestyle. My life was the American dream; not God’s desire. I was a young adult in a changing world— a world that was booming with echoes of “you’re in charge “and “you can do it.” God was being removed little by little, and the nuclear family was being disassembled. The world was becoming “worldly” right around me, and I embraced it.
Through years of work and music, I finally met my (now) wife, who I wed in 1973. I was also working for GE and my travels started to become taxing- so I built a home, started a family, and became a contractor.
Even though I believed in God, alcohol was my idol of comfort and security. I was very self-centered and needed to make all my decisions, all while not treating my family like I should. Material needs are how I provided for my family because I knew best. I had a disregard for quality family time, and I was very task focused (fueled by alcohol). Over the years this continued to progress, even after seeking outside help. My family was the only solid thing in my life, especially my wife.
My wife was a rock that stood by my side throughout alcohol abuse, bankruptcy, and lack of follow-through from rehabilitation centers. Time and time again she stood by my side through the continuous cycle of meetings, drinking, and counseling. Alcohol consumed me to the point that my family— full of hurt from the broken promises, and continued lies — finally decided to intervene and contacted Covered Bridge. Then the ultimatum. The look in my son’s eyes made it very clear— this was the last option. Either go to Covered Bridge, or leave and be on the streets. Don’t come back. Ever.
When I came to Covered Bridge, it’s the last place I wanted to be. I was offended, convinced my family had no right to do what they did, and was full of resentment. After about a month, I was able to hear a testimony that really hit home for me. Witnessing the reconciliation of another man to his family, after years of hurt, abuse, and neglect— it was clear that I’d better start to pay attention. There might be something to all this. What started as a place for which I only had foul resentment, suddenly was a quiet place of healing and discipleship— exactly what I needed. Through multiple teachings, and reading His word, God showed me on multiple occasions that I was not on the right track whenever my thoughts strayed.
What I finally found through God, is that he can and does care about me. I now know that I can lean on God when I get depressed, and I know I’ve been missing the boat for many years. There’s a wonderful feeling now when I look into my son’s eyes knowing that there is now openness and no more lies. I now believe that everything I do and say needs to go through a biblical filter, and God will be with me. The love and support of my family, even after decades of mistreatment towards them, is very characteristic of God. They don’t want me on the street, and their love for me led to the ultimate decision. Now that I have come to God, I’m not scared to deal with situations, because I have Him!
I look forward to the next couple of months during my transition to go home to pursue full reconciliation using what I’ve learned. It isn’t complicated. It’s living my life according to God’s word!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
This November 28th, we kick off our giving season with Giving Tuesday. We are $69,000 away from being funded for 2023-2024. Any updates that we have will be made immediately available on our website— Donation tab is in the upper right! We will also post regular updates on Facebook. Thank you for your past support, and future support as well if God moves in your heart!
I thank God for his faithfulness and love towards me everyday. Please pray the God will continue to use me to draw my family closer to Him.
Please play for my transition from Covered Bridge back to my home— that I may be an example to my family and act in humility while keeping God as the center of my thoughts and in my heart. I praise the Lord for all the support He has placed in my life, and that he never has or will give up on me!
An Inside Look at Covered Bridge
Residents from different kinds of backgrounds, outlooks, and viewpoints All with the same need: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
• He has the answers; the solution.
• He is the orchestrator of victory over sin and destructive behaviors
• He gives healing, restoration, and peace.
So how do we keep the Lord central in our recovery program?
Here Is A Typical Week
Sunday: Morning Sunday School and Church / Rest
Monday: Morning Meetings for Staff, House Residents, Discipleship / Evening Church Faith Group or Bible Study
Tuesday: Resident Morning Devotions / Evening Church Faith Group or Bible Study
Wednesday: Morning Discipleship Group / Evening Church Bible Study
Thursday: Resident Morning Devotions / Celebrate Recovery
Friday: Morning Discipleship Meeting (with residents/others) / Celebrate Recovery
Saturday: Resident Morning Devotions / Various service projects to assist the community
Residents have small responsibilities within the home, preparing them for eventual graduation. They cook meals, clean, etc. After three months, they often are encouraged to find a job in the community to start supporting themselves. A small rent is asked after they start working. Our residents often have various skills that we try to put to use in ways that will encourage them, bless them, and bless others. Some become involved in various ministries after a period of time. These have included, but certainly not limited to, the Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen, church maintenance and projects, church sound/video technician, church library, church music ministry, service projects to help community members, etc.
Our #1 Tool for Successful Recovery?
Discipleship & Learning Submission to the Lord and His Word !
In fact, each resident is asked to spend time in God’s Word each day;
working through sin and addictive behaviors by tackling the “Giants” in their lives.
What is a "Giant?"
— A habit of life that is hindering recovery and full surrender to the Lord.
Pride, rebellion, anger, sexual sin …? Each examines their hearts, their self-destructive choices flowing from past wounds of abuse, neglect, abandonment… What false comforts have they used to substitute for God’s comfort—a close relationship with their Creator? The men study at least 10 Bible verses dealing with their topic (sometimes assigned), memorize 2-3 verses, and then share with the other men at a discipleship meeting. These giants are often the cornerstone of change, a catalyst for the great work of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of the Covered Bridge family. Accountability and freedom to share pain brings great healing and restoration.o.
COMPLETION OF OUR PROGRAM
A resident may finish the program in 6 months. That may seem long at first. However, there are many, many who then want to stay longer, finding the accountability, structure and family life at Covered Bridge encouraging and needed. Many former residents return to attend discipleship meetings to go deeper with God, learning to become the man who can count it all joy in various trials and to cooperate with God’s divine refinement process through further growth/discipleship.
~ For the men who have come, willing to learn and grow and experience the love of Christ in their lives.
~ For those who have encouraged these men over the years with their time, prayers, opportunities, and interaction. You have been an integral part of men finding purpose, belonging, and accountability.
~ For the prayer and financial supporters of Covered Bridge. You have made a difference for the Lord’s Kingdom! We pray you will be blessed for showing these men Christ’s love, and one day the Lord will show you what He has done through you.