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Next Step Ministries Offers Recovering Addicts A Place To Live, Making Middle Georgia Great

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - It doesn't look like much from the outside. It's a two-story house in the middle of downtown Macon, has a big front porch, and sits at the top of the hill on Orange Terrace. There is really nothing unusual about the 729 building.

But it's whats happening inside the four walls, that makes this more than just a home.

"We just make sure they get what we're offering," Chris Carmichael says.

What Carmichael and his Next Step Ministries are offering, is a way out.

"We get them off the streets, and get them off their addictions."

The home has become a ministry for Carmichael. 10 men struggling with various addictions, live here at one time. Carmichael, a man who had his own addictions in life, credits his faith in God for his transformation. That's what he's passing onto the men living at the house.

"All I can do is share my life," Carmichael explains. "And shine what the Lord has put in me to get them, and hope they see something in me, that would give them a hunger for what the Lord has for them."

Carmichael isn't doing this ministry by himself. Bill Lefler, a man who still battles with addiction, is hoping his struggle can be a building block for the men inside the house.

"Being here has taught me that I didn't have to stay down," Lefler says. "I can get back up again and get right back involved in doing things here."

And for those who live at 729 Orange Terrace, no rent of bill paying is required. Men simply need to be working hard to make a change in their life. The house must be kept clean, Bible study is a must, and dinner needs to be cooked for everyone, every night.

"Just like if you was at home with mama," Carmichael jokes.

It's nothing fancy. It's a house on a hill. But it's a ministry to get men to take that next step.

"We offer them a shaken hand, or a hug. Or we let them know we do care, and we do love them."

 If you would like to volunteer to help, call Chris Carmichael at 478-538-2152.

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