Walking into the clinic, I surveyed the group of people sitting around the room. With my resume in hand, I walked up to the glass window. As I listened to the names being called behind me, the sliding of the window interrupted my train of thought. Re-focusing, I mentioned my name to the receptionist who knew why I was there and asked me to be seated.
During the next 20 minutes of waiting for the supervisor, I began to wonder what brought these patients to this packed office.
The door opened and I was requested to come to another room. This was not a regular physician’s office I had come to learn. I had stepped into the arena of a drug treatment and alcohol rehab center. As I sat down in front of Karen, she began to thank me for coming and wanted to get to the heart of the matter of what the job responsibilities would be.
Karen continued her discussion as to why the patients came to their clinic and the programs offered. In the end, the very last sentence she gave me left me speechless.
“There is no hope or cure for these people, “said Karen. “You don’t know the God I serve,” I said in my thoughts. The interview was over and I was never called back. In those 30 minutes, I had come to realize that those without Christ don’t see the hope they can have.
You see, several times a year at my church, we have the Teen Challenge ministry of young men and women who have been through the worst of drug and alcohol problems. They shared stories of their stealing for drugs to support their habit, seeing close friends die, witnessing children being removed from them, and spending time in jail from the results of their behavior.
Weed, heroin, pain-killers, hard liquor and more took hold of their lives for the longest time and nothing worked. They visited other rehabs, addiction centers and programs, and for a few, tried to go cold turkey only to return worse. They poured out their hearts of feeling rejected, abandoned, and unloved. They were trying to feel accepted and get in return what they lost, even if it meant through their addiction.
With tears, they poured out their hearts of how they started down that path. For a few, it was having their own parent die in their arms because they too struggled with addiction. Some of them (men and women) struggled with physical or sexual abuse as a child and held it in for years trying to find freedom for the demons they were dealing with. Each had their own personal story of brokenness.
So what was so different from their story now to that of those in the clinic? I will share with you the answer in a minute.
For the moment, let’s take a look at one particular drug that is spreading like wildfire across our nation and even the world. This drug is cheap, easy to get, and is the fastest addictive drug to be on. You may be thinking about marijuana since this has been legalized in many places. Think again.
The choice of drug today is Heroin. The drug that continues to kill and keep many chained in addiction for years. Statistics show increased usage not just among teens but people of all ages.
If you’re a parent of a teen who is a user, these statistics can scare you. If you believe in a powerful and mighty God who is the great chain breaker and healer of addiction, then you have something that most parents do not – HOPE and a God who heals!
The group of women and men from Teen Challenge that I have encountered, proved that one can be set free from drug addiction, as well as being set free and healed from mental and emotional traumas, damage, and pain. It starts by uncovering the root and truth of how they started down the path of using. They learn about how much God loves them and desires to heal, touch and minister to them right where they are at in their life. That place for most is rock bottom.
There are many good programs across our nation. Some teens and young adults continue productive lives and a bright future. Many of them are thankful to God for having that second chance. For most whose drug problems are so deep that not even a drug program can help. The only true source that can deliver them is God Himself.
Teen Challenge’s foundation is laid out with God at the center of each one’s treatment program. Why? To make sure that they can rely on God’s Word and prayer to give them the strength and encouragement they need for each day. With the beginning of healing that has started – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, they also learn about renewing relationships by fellowshipping with each other and demonstrating the love that God bestowed on them toward each other.
The word that has impacted those who have or are in the program – HOPE! And if you meet someone who has a drug addiction and believe that there is no cure or help for them, those from the Teen Challenge have this to say, “You don’t know the God I serve!”
A list of other Christ-centered programs, please click on the link below –