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From sorrow to joy: Kenosis Women Centre is breaking the cycle of addiction amongst Miri’s women

For seven girls whose lives have been tragically altered by drugs, Kenosis Women Centre (KWC) is a sanctuary from the world outside.

Established in February 2023, KWC is a drug rehabilitation centre for girls and women. It hopes to restore the identity, health and grounding of recovering female addicts in Miri to live a drug-free, purpose-driven life. 

According to Tricia Lim, a KWC part-timer, all of the girls mixed with friends who introduced them to a life of addiction.

Tricia Lim of Kenosis Women Centre shares the centre’s vision to empower girls to live a drug-free, purpose-driven life.

“Most come from broken families, whether rich or poor. Many have been in toxic and abusive relationships; some have been through phases of self-harm, suicidal bouts, running away from home and homelessness,” she said.

We asked Tricia to share more about the centre and importantly, how we as the wider Malaysian Church can support meaningful causes such as theirs. 

What do you hope to accomplish at KWC?

Our aim is to support and care for our clients in their journey towards full restoration through a nine-month programme. We currently have seven clients ranging from 16 to 36 years old. Two are from West Malaysia while the rest are from different parts of Sarawak. The most senior girl has been promoted to student leader. She holds more of a “supervisor” role at the centre, making sure the girls do their chores and uphold good behaviour. Two other girls are working at a café linked to our church, adopting skills that may help them in the future. 

This is our goal and what we hope to accomplish: to restore them in mind, body and soul, so that they can return as contributing individuals to society whilst having a lasting and thriving relationship with the Lord.

In May 2024, we celebrated our one-year anniversary — watch our video here.

What is your approach? 

We try our best to approach their healing through holistic means. 

After a two-week detoxification from drugs in their system, clients will be brought through three syllabuses: Freedom in Christ (FIC) by Steve Goss and Neil T. Anderson, Keys to Freedom (KTF) by Mercy Multiplied and SMART, a ‘self-management and recovery training’ (SMART) module that assists recovering addicts. FIC strengthens their spiritual being, KTF manages their emotions, and SMART helps them with practical ways to be aware of their triggers and overcome them. 

In between the classes, the girls do household chores, cooking, painting, music classes, gardening and exercise.

Kenosis Women Centre is a haven of hope for young girls on their journey to recovery.

Any stories of transformation to share? 

Yes, I’ll share the stories of Rose* and Daffodil*!

One of our earliest clients, Rose, invited her family to visit her at KWC recently. They stay in Kuala Lumpur so it took some planning. Moreover, both her caseworkers and parents harboured concerns that she might insist on returning home with them, prematurely believing herself to be fully recovered. KWC is her fourth centre after cycles of centre-release-relapse. 

Her father was especially worried because a chunk of their finances had been spent on her rehabilitation to no avail. When they arrived, they were anxious. But they left feeling the exact opposite. They were surprised and relieved to see a profound transformation in Rose. 

With tears in his eyes, the father said in Bahasa, “I came with a heavy heart, expecting the worst, but now I am returning with a light heart because God is so good. He answered my prayers.” 

He attested that KWC has made a difference in Rose’s life and it was clear that she is enjoying herself and growing within the church community. He believes it is because KWC is holistic in its approach and addresses inner root issues as well as spiritual issues. He and his wife left the centre feeling very hopeful.

Daffodil is our latest addition and had just turned 16 when she first came. She came in broken and betrayed by family and friends. When she was informed of her stay at KWC for nine months, she fought and retaliated. In shock, she tried to talk her way out of staying. But we wanted her to consent to the stay for her own safety and recovery. 

Her adjustment happened so quickly that by day four or five, she said, “Now I know why I am here. Even in this detox, I can hear God clearer and clearer every day. I can feel Him close to me.” Every day, she shares the amazing insights and revelations she received while talking to God. Her face has begun to shine and a deep joy exudes from her. She has something positive to say every day. A major key she learned was forgiveness, and with that, she is letting go of her past and is filled with hope for her future. She is now more aware of the influence others have in her life and is more intentional in pursuing the right friendships. 

She came in suicidal, rejected and broken; it is so beautiful to see her shed her old “self” and understand her true identity in Christ. She has shown accelerated growth both physically and spiritually in her first month here, and it’s truly a joy and honour to witness.

What are some of your on-ground needs at this time? How can churches, corporations or individuals get involved?  

  • Financial aid. We are in dire need to expand in two areas, the facility as well as staff strength. We are at full capacity at the moment, but there are a couple more girls on our waiting list. The goal is to finish renovations in the next three months so we can accommodate those on the waiting list and welcome more girls that are needing a safe place to stay. 
  • Staff (counsellor, nutritionist). We are looking for counsellors who can help the girls walk through their emotional baggage. However, we are also open to having people who are willing to commit to coming every month for counselling visits. We also hope to find a nutritionist who can help give the girls advice on healthy living.
  • Volunteers. Many church members from Cornerstone Miri are volunteering their time and skills. Some teach the girls gardening, painting, cooking, baking, and exercise amongst other activities. However, we are keen to expand this volunteer pool. If you live in Miri and you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with us!

*Names have been changed. All photos provided by KWC.

If you feel led to support Kenosis Women Centre in any of the ways above, get in touch with Tricia at 014-300 5390.

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