In a time when the drug epidemic, specifically heroin, is sweeping through Western New York, Pastor Joe Kiwiatkowski is looking to heal.
“I sat with families where we’ve wept, we’ve cried, we’ve prayed,” Kiwiatkowski told 7 Eyewitness News.
As recovery pastor at Restoration Church Twin Village in Depew, Kwiatkowski has made it his mission to tackle the disease in a unique way – weaving a spiritual element into addiction treatment.
“There’s a whole big holistic view and I think a vital spoke in that wheel is the church,” the pastor said.
“The first step in recovery is that you recognize I’m powerless over my situation, second that there is a higher power that can come in and pull me out of it and that’s what we really want to we really want to dive into.”
But Kwiatkowski says this is a battle we cannot fight alone.
Wednesday night, nearly 100 community members took part in an evening of hope. The meeting offered advice on what to look for in heroin users and ways loved ones can get help for those battling the disease.
The pastor says he’s hopeful the holistic approach with community meetings and a faith based 12 step program is just another step in tackling the regions addiction problems.
“It’s just not me it’s just that I think that the vision is placed here and I’m the one pushing it and carrying it out,” Kwiatkowski said.
“I’m impacted by it and I can’t let it continue and go by without us stepping in and really getting our hands into this.”