My name is Joe and I'm 23 years old. My testimony is all about the grace, love and power of my Father in heaven. When I totally surrendered to Jesus, all the chains that entangled me were released and I found freedom in Christ. I was addicted to every hard drug known to man and then some, constantly trying to fill the void of emptiness and despair in my soul. I went to 12 secular rehab programs and they told me I would be a drug addict for the rest of my life and that I had a 2% chance of ever having a full recovery.
I was in and out of jail and psych wards, each time losing more hope that I was ever getting better. I decided to try Teen Challenge. When I walked through the front door on January 3, 2016, I was told 2 Corinthians 5:17, that in Christ I could be a new creation. They told me Jesus could give me a totally new life and at that moment I was filled with hope.
After completing the program as a student, I am now working as an intern for Teen Challenge helping other men overcome the obstacles in their process of healing. Today I stand in the sonship that Jesus Christ has given me, forgetting what is behind and pursuing the Hope of Glory!
Growing up, I felt love but also felt a veil between myself and everyone around me. I dealt with a slew of emotions, never feeling normal. I began experimenting with prescription meds at age 15. I continued using drugs and at age 21, my life was a train wreck. Several people offered me Teen Challenge, and desperate for hope, it seemed to be the only option. I came into TC with a measure of faith in Christ, but Jesus is much more real and intimate to me now. Many of my emotional problems have been healed and I now understand that Jesus is Lord. He is much more than a theological concept; He is the purpose of life. He is to be experienced and loved by us. My life verse is John 15:5 “I am the Vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in Him shall bear much fruit. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
At a young age, my younger siblings and I were removed from our home and were placed in foster care. At that time, I was on 6-8 pills daily for ADHD, depression and anxiey. When I was 8 years old, we were adopted. Everything seemed ok at first, but due to the medication, I didn’t really feel my emotions. In my freshman year of high-school, I started using marijuana and drinking. After that, I was constantly in trouble and did many horrible things to my family. When my parents couldn’t take it anymore, I was taken to Oaklawn. I spent the next two years in group homes and at age 18, I was sent to a transition home. I stole from the lady who I was staying with and that lead to me being homeless for the next 3 years. I tried multiple times to get my GED and just couldn’t do it.
I had a job working for a man who flipped houses and one day I came to work and there were men there from Teen Challenge. The following week, I found myself in Teen Challenge with no idea what was about to come. God showed me that the drugs weren’t the problem with me, but that I had an identity problem and I was believing everything that people were labeling me with. He showed me that I am His child and that He has always been on my side. Now my relationship with my parents is better and since coming to NCITC, I had been able to get my GED.
I know God is calling me into the ministry to pastor in some way. For now, I just want to serve and my next stepping stone is to do an internship at NCITC. Where I go from here, I don’t know exactly, but God does and I trust Him.
1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."
My name is Jordan and I'm from Dallas Texas. Two years ago, my life was a wreck. I was days away from being killed by my life of crime and addiction. I was approaching my due penalty for over 20 years of drug abuse, unchecked anger, mental illnesses, prison sentences, mental hospitals and manifested works of the flesh.
In September of 2015, my mom showed up at my house and said to me, "You're leaving for Elkhart Teen Challenge tomorrow!" I didn't even put up resistance, because I knew God's hand was all over it. The next morning I got on a bus and headed north where God has been revealing truth to my heart every day. I met Jesus Christ here and I am still encountering the One who paid for my sins in His own blood. He will make ALL things new in my life. Now I get to serve the very ministry that God used to help me.
I came into North Central Indiana Teen Challenge with no prior knowledge of Jesus or Christianity, but I came in with all I needed to succeed; I was broken.
I had exhausted my family; they no longer wanted or allowed me to be around because of my drug use. Heroin was the only thing that meant anything to me and I was so entangled in addiction that I didn't even care that it was taking everything from me. I found myself homeless and living out of my car. Eventually I was taken to jail.
After two months in jail, I was accepted into Teen Challenge and that is the point everything in my life started to change. I remember the first service I attended, the worship team sang, "Our God is an Awesome God" and I knew that God had His hand on me and my quest for freedom had begun. My faith and relationship with Christ began to grow. Teen Challenge was the tool God used to free me from the things I couldn't escape from on my own. One of the biggest things they provided was the vision of hope. I began to believe that the Savior could break through any darkness in my life.
After 12 months of Teen Challenge, I walked out of the doors with a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. I had a purpose for being alive and a mission to share my faith. A few days after my graduation, I drove 1,000 miles to Rapid City, South Dakota where I entered a discipleship school called Master's Commission and began to further my training. As months passed, I noticed God was giving me a love for the youth of our generation. I became very active in our youth group and became an intern under the youth pastor.
As time passed, relationships I thought could never be restored, began to be rebuilt. I began to share my story and hope with people who God brought my way. My mom began to share our story at different churches and gave hope to other mother's whose sons were fighting the same battles I once had. I got letters from people who were in jail, others messaged me on facebook asking me how I was able to get my life turned around.
In 2013, I began the process of becoming a minister with the Assemblies of God and on April 08, 2014, I became a licensed minister. Currently, I am a coordinator for YMCA at a public school in Rapid City. I am blessed to share the love of Christ to school children who may never set foot in a church. God has truly poured His grace and blessing on me and I am so thankful that He chose to use Teen Challenge as the tool that changed my life forever.
I grew up in a small town in Indiana and from the time I can remember, we went to church. I never truly believed and had never given my life to Jesus. By the age of 12, I started drinking and using drugs. By the age of 15, I was using meth and was sent to my first drug rehab.
When I graduated from high school, I started working and got married to my high school sweetheart. We had our first son when I was 20 years old. At this point, I was just managing my addiction, but by the time I was twenty-two, I had completely lost control of my life. I abandoned my wife, lost my job and spent my time manufacturing meth. I was unable to maintain any kind of stability and was in an out of jail. Mentally and physically I was a complete wrecking ball.
After a night of hopelessness and an attempted overdose, something happened that changed my heart and mind. I now know God was saving me from myself.
My family did not want me around and my wife left me and took our son. After losing everything and having no hope of getting it back, I entered North Central Indiana Teen Challenge. I came to Teen Challenge a self-loathing, angry and lost man. After being there one week, I began seeking God to find out who He is and why I was like this. God revealed Himself to me in an undeniable, ultra powerful way. My life was changed from that moment on.
During my year at NCITC, my wife gave her life to Jesus. She came to see me and decided to stay with me. My family came back into my life to love and support me through the process of transforming my life.
I completed the 12-month program at Teen Challenge in 2014. Through my mentor, I was given an amazing job at the company where he worked. I have been with the same company ever since.
A year after completing Teen Challenge, our daughter was born and soon after, we were able to purchase our first home. With my previous record and history, I had questioned if this would ever be possible. But God has restored my life beyond what I ever thought was possible. It has only been possible though a life surrendered to Jesus and the chain-breaking power of God!