My name is Alex Willis and I am from Shell Lake, Wisconsin. After completing high school in 2008, I enrolled in the United States Marines Corps. After attending boot camp in San Diego, California I was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan. I loved being a Marine and serving my country.
I really enjoyed growing up in Shell Lake. Shell Lake is a beautiful tourist town and is a great place to experience the outdoors and good people.
My mother grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She did her best to provide for me and my sister. My father abandoned my mother just after I was born. At 9 years old I started smoking marijuana with my cousins. In high school I began to use LSD, cocaine and prescription pills.
While stationed in Japan I went out one night and beat up a civilian. The Japanese police arrested me and put me in jail. The Marine Military Police came and picked me up and brought me to my Sergeant Major who sent me to the Military prison.
I was discharged in 2011 after serving six months in prison. This was devastating. I was at my lowest point in life. In all of this I could not stop drinking. I came back to Shell Lake, but everything just got worse. I was introduced to methamphetamine. I would sell meth to pay for my addiction.
In February of 2014, a large police SWAT team showed up at my house and arrested me for the use and distribution of methamphetamine.
During this time my mom was encouraging me to accept the help that only Jesus Christ could provide. She told me about Teen Challenge. After being incarcerated twice, the jail chaplain contacted Teen Challenge and helped me get into the program.
During this last year the Lord has helped me immensely. I am rebuilding my life in Christ. I graduated last month and will be entering Brooklyn Teen Challenge School of Ministry in October. At this center I will live where Nicky Cruz lived and take classes at the original Teen Challenge Center started by Rev. David Wilkerson. Thank you for supporting Teen Challenge Wisconsin! Your support helps those struggling with addiction find freedom.
“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…”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“With the deterioration of society, Teen Challenge has become one of the most important arms of the church to this generation.”
“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.”