TRANSFORMING BROKEN LIVES
From the beginning, Teen Challenge has operated under the concept that, “a person
with life-controlling problems can change, if that person wants to change.”
STORIES OF CHANGED LIVES
The months that led to my coming to TCD were the lowest months of my life. I was broken and lost. I needed a Savior. It took a while to understand that God has a plan for me, and that He loved me even when I was at my worst. Mountains were moved by God to get me to TCD when I was so undeserving. I was a drug dealer. I was very dangerous to both strangers and those who loved me. I was in and out of jail. I was on probation for assaulting the police. I was lost and blind to sin. My whole life was so tainted with abuse, neglect and abandonment that it never seemed wrong to do the things I’d done.
As I walk with God each day I no longer look to my past and see a criminal, a drug dealer, a dangerous person. I see a lost son searching for what he thought he needed: friends, money, women, things. But what I found at just the right time was God.
God has shown me many things since I graduated from TCD one year ago, and I mean MANY. I was scared at first being back on my own, but I stuck to what TCD taught me and the habits I attained there to stay on the correct path. I knew life wasn't gonna be easy going back into the real world, but God has definitely shown me how faithful He is.
One big thing I've learned is that I’ll have times where I will fail, both big and small mistakes, and it’s up to me to decide to lean on God to help me get up from those failures. I can FAIL FORWARD and learn from the mistakes that are made.
I’ve discovered that I still like to try to take my own CONTROL on things in life, especially when it comes to things that I have absolutely no control over. I have found myself many times doing this and causing unnecessary stress; whether it's financial problems, life issues, job, family, etc. Throughout all this I always had two scriptures that came to mind, Philippians 4:8 and Romans 8:28. They reminded me to pour out all my worries and stress to God in prayer and to know that God will always work GOOD out of everything, even when it seems impossible.
There are many more things I’ve learned this past year but the one thing I know for sure is that God has done so much for me and I'm so thankful for everything He has done: helping me be sober for over two years, putting me in contact with the right people in life, and molding my life into the one I've always wanted. I'm so thankful each and every day for the Teen Challenge staff who guided me into this amazing relationship that I have with God to this day.
Before Teen Challenge there was a lot of misery in my life. I was a slave to the thoughts in my mind and there were broken relationships with my family. I had hopes for the future, but those hopes were always unfulfilled. I lived a life of always wanting more, never content with anything. I spent about one year in jail before coming to Teen Challenge. I didn’t really know God - I thought I did, but throughout my time in jail, I had to trust that God had something more for me than what I could provide, and the beginning of that was TCD.
My character needed a lot of improvement. Even to this day God is still working on my character, especially my discontentment. I remember making pull bars during work study in the program day after day, and it would bug me. I always wanted to do something else, but one day I had a hardcore revelation of how only God can fill the void I was feeling. Ecclesiastes really spoke to me - King Solomon was a king that had everything of this world that he could desire, and he even said it couldn’t fill him permanently and that it was as if chasing the wind.
God has blessed me with an awesome job and redeemed even more the relationship I have with my father. Re-Entry helped me to have self-control with money, as well as showed me the man I can be in the workforce. It proved to myself that I can do it with God. I used to never work because I never needed or wanted to. I work now because I want to, and I get satisfaction from working. I have hopes and dreams for what my future holds. As for right now, I’m just focused on the season I am in and maintaining what I learned at TCD.
IN THE NEWS
Interview with Executive Director, Rev. Mike Gilmartin:
KELO-Land News Story - READ ARTICLE HERE