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.”
The real heart of our program is that we focus on the man as a whole, rather than look at the dysfunction, whether it’s addiction, depression,
criminal activity or something else.
STORIES OF CHANGED LIVES
At the ugliest moment of my life, I remember telling God that I was
tired and that I was ready. Just take me where He wanted me to go and it did not matter what it took or how long I was gone. I told God I was ready.... And guess what? He answered. When you pray, the impossible becomes possible. Miracles are God’s line of work. Every door and path closed, except the path to Teen Challenge of the Dakotas. When I recall the first two months of my stay, I remember so many tears. I could feel the love of God surround me, but I was holding on to things I needed to learn to release to Him. After giving God the keys to my prison, He began to really do work on my soul. Our relationship took off and gradually week by week, I found out about the characteristics of Jesus and how much He loves me. God used the TCD staff to introduce me to Jesus. I am not saying it was easy. In fact, I was challenged. I failed, I cried, I got up, and saw things happen within the facility and myself that could never happen unless God had His hand in the mix. Time and time again, I have felt God. His presence alone gave me the assurance I am NOT alone and NEVER will be. I was taught how to live in this crazy world as a Christian should. To recognize the devastating effects I had on family and loved ones and that God forgives me. I was shown what real love and compassion looks like and feels like. The dedication from the staff to guide me into a relationship with Jesus is indescribable. TCD showed me how to live my life by faith and not by sight. The staff at TCD brought God and I together. They helped me see who I am capable of being.
Hi, my name is Brady and I’m 23 years old. I’m from Sioux Falls, SD. Before coming to Teen Challenge of the Dakotas, my addiction to over-the-counter cough medicine had taken full control of my life. From my early years in high school until the age of 22, my abuse of drugs progressed rapidly. When I was expelled from high school my senior year, the drug dependence really kicked off. I spent the first few years of my adult life in and out of treatment centers, jails and inpatient behavioral health clinics. At one point I was even living in a homeless shelter in Sioux Falls. Despite those circumstances, still nothing gave me the wake-up call I needed. Then I heard about Teen Challenge from my case manager at the behavior health clinic, who said that I needed a longer program. TCD's 16-month program sounded too long to me and I really didn’t want to go through with it. But I knew I had no choice because I was homeless. Deep down I wanted help, I just didn’t have the courage. I arrived for my first day on March 6, 2019, which is kind of a memorial day for me because the following 16 months would be the best of my life. One of the biggest revelations for me is learning of God’s grace on my life and teaching me through TCD and the Bible about forgiveness and love. I finally have theconfidence in myself and hope in God that’s necessary to fulfill His will for my life.
I came into the Teen Challenge program at the age of 33 and was desperate to understand why I am still alive after the crazy life I’d been living. I was wondering what purpose – if any – there was for me. I started using and abusing drugs and alcohol around the age of 11 or 12. Since the start of my use, all I wanted was an escape from reality and more of the drugs/alcohol. Up until coming to TCD, I had been in over 10 inpatient treatments, as well as several halfway houses, psychiatric wards, co-occurring disorder treatment centers, jail stays, ICU stays, and a stint in prison. None of these experiences alone helped me, but collectively, looking back, they were all stepping stones to bring me to a feeling that there has to be a reason for my life, or else why would God save me from death and physical harm so often? Coming into TCD, I was lost and knew this was my last hope. I was committing to 16 months and prayed that God would meet me halfway. I wasn’t scared to come to TCD, but was scared for the first little while when I arrived that I had made a mistake and that God wasn’t calling me here. Until I completely broke down and asked the Lord during a chapel service if this was where He wanted me, only then did He answer me. It felt like the whole room was filled with people praising God and yelling Jesus’ name. I believe that was my answer, and since that day I’ve done my best to grasp all I could and search my soul for resolution and the things that kept me bound for hell. I might have been shaky in my faith that God would move, but He stayed faithful to His Word and has never left me or forsaken me. My life now is not what it was before, and it isn’t a life of focusing on not using drugs or alcohol. It is a life of trying my best each day to live up to the life He has called me to live as His child. And man, is that way easier and far more rewarding than living a life without Christ and trying to be your own source of strength. Thank you, God, and thank you, Teen Challenge of the Dakotas, for giving me a focus on the life I was always intended to have.