Here are just a few of the brief stories of life change that have happened while men were participating in our program.
I grew up in a Christian home in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s safe to say that my faith was not my own. At age twelve my parents divorced and this proved to be a catalyst for my self-destructive behavior and poor choices. As far I was concerned, I now had a license to rebel against what I had been taught in the home. I started to hang out with the wrong crowd and make poor choices. Eventually the drugs I had been using recreationally became much more to me; they had become my escape. At the age of nineteen I was a lost, hopeless, and directionless opiate addict. I began to reach out for help. Teen Challenge the vehicle God used to radically change my life. The power for change came through experiencing a new and right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I am no longer the man I once was. I have identity, hope and purpose in my relationship with God. Since graduating the program I’ve gone on to pursue my B.A. in Ministry Leadership and I am currently serving as an assistant counselor. God is so good! I get to share the same message of hope that was shared with me: Jesus brings wholeness to the hopeless.
I started drinking and smoking weed at the age of 15 because I wanted to be cool. Growing up in a home with both parents who loved and affirmed me and provided everything I needed just wasn’t enough. Living a life of parties and chasing good times led me into a crack cocaine addiction. Because of my addiction, I lost relationships, opportunities, dreams, and eventually, my freedom due to incarceration. After 13 years of addiction, I entered Teen Challenge and graduated in June 2002. Since graduating, the Lord continued to use TC to shape my life. I’ve had the privilege of serving the ministry in different capacities. Most recently the Lord allowed me to help pioneer the Student and Family Enrichment Department (SAFE). More importantly, the very thing that I failed to cherish and find satisfaction in earlier in life, God has given me. He has given me my wife, Andrea, and our two beautiful children. It is because of God’s goodness and mercy that I now have the opportunity to pour Christ into my family so that they can find satisfaction in Him.)
I am 61 years old and the Lord rescued me from 40 years of alcohol use and abuse. My journey with the Lord began when I entered Shepherd’s Flock, a ministry located in Yonkers, New York. Sadly, through a series of compromises and broken promises my marriage ended and I became distant from family. I lost finances and jobs, and developed health issues.
In October of 2011, I entered Teen Challenge and I began a new journey of second chances. I started a relationship with the Lord through prayer and devotions, and began to walk out a life of obedience and faithfulness. After graduation, I stayed on at the Training Center and completed the graduate program while working in the print shop/mailroom. I continue to serve, mentor and give back to a ministry that saved my life. Before my mom’s recent passing, my parent’s got to see the man God meant for me to be. I have seen relationships restored with my wife, three children and two grand-daughters. I am blessed to be where I am today, serving a Great God!