I have seen dark and sorrow days due to my past alcohol addiction. Before Teen Challenge I was empty and lonely, always trying to fill this void through relationships and worldly pleasures. I was always too prideful to ask for help until the pain of this lifestyle forced me to seek change. Calling Teen Challenge was a great step of faith for me, and the first step in allowing Jesus to restore my broken life. I am so thankful that I am clean and sober. I plan on finishing the program, because I know this is God’s will for my life, to have a solid relationship with Jesus. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I am not worried because I know the one who holds my future. The one thing I am certain of is that I am free and redeemed. I am never going back. The scripture I stand on is Philippians 4.13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
My name is Jennifer, and where do I begin? I grew up in a loving home, seeing my parents do everything together. Naturally as a young girl I wanted the same. Finding that life partner that would complete me. In searching for that perfect relationship, guess what? I settled. I found myself in a relationship that ultimately left me depressed and unwanted. Now this shouldn’t be a surprise, in my depression I started a new relationship with alcohol. In my sorrow I found solace in the bottle. After a short time what had started as a couple of glasses to ease the pain, became a necessity. A morning, noon, and night way of life. I will now fast forward. Walking into Teen Challenge was my reality that not only had I been hurting myself, but I had literally hurt every single person I loved. I don’t remember much of the intake, but what I do remember was vital to the future of my recovery. I was asked a simple question. Was I ready to commit to the Lord with my heart? At this time there are two things that I am most certain of. One, I not only love my Lord but I fear Him as well. As a backslider, I know how wonderful He is. I know that what my Jesus did is the most amazing proof of love I will ever know. So as I hold back my tears while I write this, I immediately think of Lamentations 3:19-24. Verses 21-22 strike my heart so deeply, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.” My second certainty, wherever God wants me, that is where I will be.
My name is Jose I have been at Teen Challenge for 10 months. Before coming to Teen Challenge my life was a disaster. I grew up in the hood, around drugs, gangs, and violence. At an early age I was hanging with older guys, trying to be like them, the money, the women and the life style. The more I was around it; the more I fell in love with the streets. Due to my problems, we moved from state to state. I spent years going in and out of jail; this caused my family to lose trust in me. I joined a gang at the age of 15, by the age of 19 years old I was in the state prison. After doing two years, I became an even worse criminal. Due to my life style, I was shot in the chest, but still didn’t learn my lesson. I went back to the streets and 1 month later I was charged with possession of heroin and intent to sell. My life was at its lowest point, due to my record I was facing 12 years in prison. When I was bailed out I was completely hopeless, then I heard about Teen Challenge. Since being here my life has changed in such a big way! At first, I didn’t want to submit but I never gave up, and more importantly God never gave up on me. He has been working in my life showing me in His Word how to become a man of God. I have learned how to really love my family, even my enemies, but mostly love God. I am thankful for this program but more thankful that God found me. The scripture that I stand on is Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor”.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family; my parents were divorced by the age of 8. My father became angry, depressed, bitter and verbally abusive. My mom slipped into a depression and distanced herself while working two jobs to support my brother. My grandparents tried helping my parents out, and tried showing them that God was the answer but I felt that not even God had loved me. I was depressed, angry, and lonely. I started filling that void with drugs, alcohol and women. I started to lose everything all over again, friends, family and all my possessions. I finally asked my mom for help and someone at church told her about Teen Challenge. After many arguments, I finally entered the doors of Teen Challenge. I remember sitting on the couch in the living room, sick as a dog, withdrawing and I heard someone’s testimony coming from the dining hall. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I didn’t just want sobriety anymore, I wanted what he had. I wanted to have a feeling of self-worth, value, being loved, and to fill that hole in my heart that could never be filled. Since that day I’ve been trying to seek God and has given me this opportunity to build a relationship with Him. He has helped me learn how to work through struggles that I have dealt with since I was young. He has given me a sense of purpose, joy, happiness, and has filled that void in my heart. When I complete Teen Challenge I have no idea what He has in store for me, but I do know that as long as my desires are God’s, He will show me the path He wants me to take. The scripture I stand on is psalms 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, o God and renew a steadfast spirit within me”.
My name is Ashley Garrison and I am 24 years old. I entered Teen Challenge on July 8, 2014. Before coming to Teen Challenge, I battled an 11 year addiction that started with pot and led me all the way to heroine. When I was 15 my brother Anthony, whom I looked up to and was the one to always protect me, was killed by a drunk driver. He was 18 years old. I isolated myself and had a lot of hate in my heart. I blamed God for his death and hated Him for it. I grew up Catholic and always knew there was a God, but after the death of my brother I wanted nothing to do with Him. I ended up using drugs and drinking to numb any emotion I didn’t want to feel. I stayed in an abusive relationship for 4 ½ years because I didn’t think there was anything better for me. Xanax and painkillers was what I used to not exist in a time where I just wanted to die. After calling domestic abuse hotlines and finally getting sent away to rehab in 2012, I got sober and left him for good. But in my sobriety I never dealt with the pain that was bottled up from the last 8 years. I ended up drinking again and eventually using heroine. On October 6, 2013 my best friend Ryan was murdered over that evil drug heroine I lost everything and finally found Jesus. I was saved two months after he was killed. I gave my life to Christ and I began learning about God and the loving word and I loved it. But I was still living in the world and drinking all the time. On July 8, 2014 I came to Teen Challenge. My plan was to stay for 3 months and once I got what I needed I was going to leave. But since coming here God has done a work in my life that you have to see to believe. I don’t pity my past experience anymore or the things I’ve been through. I thank God for strengthening me to get through them even when I didn’t really believe in Him. I thank God for sparing my life when I should have died out there. I thank God for bringing me to this place where I can learn about him every single day and sit back while He does open heart surgery on me. I thank Him for all the “friends” who turned their backs on me because it taught me I can only rely on Him. He took my heart of hate and gave me a heart of flesh. The Scripture I stand on is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
My struggle with drugs started in 2010. I started using and abusing prescription pain killers after I had hip replacement surgery. At one point I found myself hustling to support my 120 pill a week habit. After a long run on pills, my body stopped feeling the euphoric effect that they once gave me and I turned to heroin to feed the craving. I fell in love with heroin immediately. Even though I was doing heroin, it still wasn’t enough for me, I spiraled out of control using a toxic combination of pills and heroin. Finally I reached a point where I was sick and tired of chasing my high and going through the physical withdrawals. It was affecting my job and that’s when I knew I needed to change so I checked myself into a secular detox and rehab. Upon my release my pastor told me about Teen Challenge. I have been a student here for six months; it has been challenging and sometimes a struggle. The Lord is helping me through my ups and downs. I have found myself growing closer to my Lord and Savior more and more each day. I no longer need to be high to be happy. I now enjoy holidays and birthdays sober, and drug free. God has done a great work in me and my family. I know my journey is not over yet, but what I do know is my end will be victorious, I will be redeemed and I will be walking with and serving God wholeheartedly. Thank you Teen Challenge! May all the glory honor and praise be to our God.
Hi. I’m Noel Martin. I’m 24 years old and I’ve been in the program for about 5 months. Life was sweet as I grew up for the most part. My father struggled with a full blown heroin addiction which affected me in many ways. I used that as my crutch to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol at the age of 15. I tried to walk the fence of the party girl Christian which of course didn’t work. At the age of 23, a friend of mine who did Teen Challenge in California briefly came back into my life as a changed woman. I
was so captivated by the glow of Christ on her and found myself craving that same sense of peace. At my lowest point one night someone I cared very much for simply said, “Stop running to me and run to God.” In that moment it was as clear as day what my next step should be. So I cried to God for help to be the woman He created me to be and two weeks later I entered Long Island Teen Challenge. God has started to mend my heart and spirit and I know for a fact the best is yet to come. The scripture I stand on is Psalm 18:6, “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help, from His temple He heard my voice and my cry to Him reached His ears.”