I grew up in a normal and healthy family. There were no problems with alcohol or drugs. I started drinking occasionally on the weekends in high school. During my twenties and thirties, I drank socially.
I was 35 years old when I had my only son, Joseph. My problems started when I was taking Joseph to the bus stop. I fell down a flight stairs and was unconscious. I had been drinking the night before. Joseph was 7 at the time and knocked on a neighbor’s door. I was hospitalized.
Seeing the keys in my hand, the police assumed I was going to drive Joseph to school. Therefore DCFS came into my life. My mom was able to get custody (foster parents) of Joseph. I began a cycle of treatment programs, aftercare, AA meetings and DCFS involvement.
My drinking got worse. I was a functioning alcoholic. It was part of my everyday life. My sister knew someone who went through Teen Challenge and suggested I go. I decided to give it a try. I arrived on August 3, 2016 and realized that this was a faith-based program and I would need to make a one year commitment to myself, God and the Bible. A couple of days went by and that is when I started to realize I do have a life-controlling problem that I cannot handle on my own.
I struggle with sorrow in my heart when I think of all those times I spent with Joseph and I had to rush home to have that drink. I lost much time and much of his life because of my addiction. I didn't get a chance to see his laughter or wipe his tears. I thank God that he kept Joseph warm, safe and loved under all the wings of His angels.
Today, I am completely sober through my own will and faith. Jesus wants to do so much for me in my life and all I have to do is love, pray and follow him. He gives me wisdom, knowledge and strength to believe, so I can continue on my journey to the life He has planned for me.
Laurie has accepted an internship with Teen Challenge and will be working at SuperThrift.
“When all is lost, there’s still one thing left, and that’s Teen Challenge…that’s why I’ve been committed to the program. I don’t think all hope is lost in life as long as people are willing to get together and do what it takes to do the right thing…”
“If you’re thinking that it’s not worth it – yeah, it is – when you buy it from Teen Challenge! If you don’t want it, buy it, and bring it again next year. Listening to statistics about Teen Challenge graduates, you don’t find that after six months they are out there doing the same old thing again.”
“Thank you for ministering the gifts of mercy and servanthood at our service last Sunday. Teen Challenge is truly a Good Samaritan’ ministry and very close to my – and Parklawn Assembly of God’s – heart and vision.”
“With the deterioration of society, Teen Challenge has become one of the most important arms of the church to this generation.”
“To change people who have addictions like this, you cannot just do it by walking them through a program. You ultimately have to change what is in their heart to change what other actions they do. This is a program that has shown great success.”
“When I founded Teen Challenge 40 years ago, I had no idea that God would multiply this movement around the world! From the beginning, my vision has been to introduce troubled young people to Jesus Christ, and then get them back on the streets witnessing for the Lord. Today, God is raising up a mighty army of Spirit-filled soul-winners and evangelists – out of former drug addicts and gang members! But we must have help to continue. The problems we see today are much worse than what I encountered in New York in 1958. I pray you will stand with us in prayer and support.”
“I’ve believed in this ministry since it’s very beginning, and I continue to support it. I consider it a real privilege to endorse this work. Thank God for Teen Challenge!”
“What a joy it was for me to be with you in Milwaukee. I appreciate all of your hard work. I want to tell you that I appreciate you being a man of God and a man of integrity. I work with many organizations all over the world (and many Teen Challenges), and it is refreshing to me to work with someone like you who has a heart for ministry and is a person who has learned to give to others.”
“Teen Challenge is the oldest one of the most effective ongoing programs of its kind in America. Not only does Teen Challenge help our young people deal with substance abuse, but it also gives our kids something to live for, a relationship with God, a healthy self-esteem – direction in their lives that finally leads somewhere.”