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Ray Adamyk’s face lights up when he talks about his restoration company’s completed projects that include the comeback stories of historic gems like the Catalina Casino on the small island off the coast of Los Angeles in Avalon, and Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel and El Capitan Theater.

Spectra is the largest construction company in the Western United States that focuses on historic restoration and preservation. Adamyk and his staff say they are “committed to the protection and preservation of our country’s most cherished architectural, historic and cultural landmarks.”

However, with that said, there are no projects more important to Adamyk than those undertaken by his recently started ministry – the restoration of people’s lives through Christ-centered recovery homes.

Although the 53-year-old follower of Jesus has already opened two facilities for men who have had problems with alcohol and drugs through Homes of Promise this year, his vision is much wider.

Adamyk would like to see each church in America sponsor a recovery home.

“What I want to do with the rest of my life, even though I’m involved with the restoration of historic buildings, is fully involve myself in the restoration of men’s lives,” he told me from his office in Pomona, California, recently.

Like the history of some of the famous buildings that his company has worked on, the first Homes of Promise that opened earlier this year has quite a past.

From David Koresh Compound to Ministry Model

The 1917 house in La Verne that’s now home to 14 men was once the “western headquarters” of David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect. For about a year, Koresh lived in the house, where he “kept 18 of his ‘wives,’” according to a Chicago Tribune story as reported by David Allen of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “At one time the house was home to Koresh and up to 25 of the cult’s women and children, who slept in bunks in the home’s five bedrooms.”

Eighty Branch Davidians, including Koresh, and four agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms died during a 51-day siege of the Mount Carmel Center in Waco, Texas in 1993.

It’s no surprise that Koresh’s house in La Verne did not sell quickly. However, an opportunity for restoration began for Adamyk, who once struggled in his own life to the point of needing help to overcome issues of lust and addiction.

He bought the house, restored it, and invited pastors and Christian friends to pray and anoint the dwelling before it opened as a recovery home. Now, the home is known as Izzy’s Place, named after a much-loved former addict “known by everybody” in the Pomona Valley circles of Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered program adopted by Homes of Promise. Izzy recently died but his legacy continues.

Izzy's House, a recovery home in La Verne, California run by Homes of Promise, hosts Friday Night Light open to the public every week. Those in attendance follow the Celebrate Recovery program.

Izzy’s Place, a recovery home in La Verne, California run by Homes of Promise, hosts Friday Night Light open to the public every week. Those in attendance follow the Celebrate Recovery program.

Friday Night Light

On Fridays, Izzy’s Place opens its doors and backyard to those interested in overcoming their hurts, hang-ups, and habits with an “open share” meeting that includes a time of worship music, testimony and speaker. Friday Night Light is based on the CR format developed at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. People attending are also treated to a home-cooked meal from the kitchen.

The love at Izzy’s Place is palpable. Adamyk served as the “MC” on the evening I went and his enthusiasm for lives being transformed in the name of Jesus is obvious. Victory over past defeats can be witnessed among the 60 or so attending that night whether it be through the few words they share or smiles on their faces.

A second Izzy’s Place just opened in Ontario. Both cities embrace Homes of Promise. More than one church is involved in making sure these recovery homes work. That’s part of Adamyk’s dream. He’d like to see churches get fully engaged and behind Christ-centered recovery homes.

“There’s not enough of them,” he said. “I’d like to see each church in the U.S. have a recovery home. Our plan is to have ten homes just in our area in the next five years.”

It’s easy to see why Adamyk is excited about his goal. He’s in the restoration business and it’s not just about houses.

On the Web

Homes of Promise: Friday Night Light: Celebrate Recovery: