I grew up in a loving family who gave me all the love and opportunity a child could want. But when I came to an age where I was free to make my own decisions I chose to start using drugs. Even though my grades dropped and I lost interest in things I loved. I continued to use because it was what I thought kids did to have fun. My drug use escalated in college, quitting school and getting a DUI shortly after. By the time I was approaching 30 I had added narcotics to my menu of drugs. I lied, cheated, and stole to get what I wanted. My mom found me in a dirty hotel where I had been for 10 days trying to drink myself to death. I was afraid to live, afraid to die. My grandpa, who had experienced addiction in his past, had enough and demanded I come to Teen Challenge. I came in on 9-9-09 and began the slow, arduous process of change. I gave my life to Christ and began to surrender parts of myself to God: my addiction, my past hurts, my future anxieties and as I did this He changed my heart. I am a new person, the person God made me to be: caring, trustworthy, hopeful, silly, a person of integrity. I now work for Teen Challenge as an intern, helping with grant writing and marketing projects. I am back in school to finish my 4 year degree. I have been playing music again and never enjoyed it more. My family and I are closer than ever and God has kept good friends in my life. Mostly, I now have peace and optimism because I believe in God’s promises and rely completely on His love.
The last time I got arrested, I was actually relieved. I grew up thinking violence and drugs were just part of life. My parents even helped me get started selling drugs…and even before I turned 30, that lifestyle cost me 5 years behind bars. I seriously needed help. That’s when I came to Teen Challenge and my whole world turned upside-down...well, really it turned right-side-up. I never knew a turn-around like this was possible. I'm drug-free but best of all, now I know how to stay that way.
My name’s Ashley. Just like every little girl, I had big dreams for my future…I wanted to go to college, see the world, do something really cool. But when I started using drugs at 12, I lost all my dreams and my role models totally changed. I got in deep trouble…fast. But a friend told me I should come to Teen Challenge…and I am so glad she did. My whole life is different now because here, I met Jesus…and it was really Him who gave me back my future.
My name’s Mary. One minute I was a wife and mother dabbling in prescription pills…the next I was handcuffed to a steel bench in a holding-cell. Drugs took me on a ride that ended in twelve felony charges. When I came to Teen Challenge, I never thought my life would change so radically or that, I’d still be drug-free after a year and a half, but here I learned how to trust God with a childlike faith…and that’s kept me from going back and its made me new.
My name’s Kelly. I thought I had to starve myself to have the perfect body, and that I could only get people’s approval only if I were thinner or looked like pictures in a magazine, but deep down I couldn't even get my own approval. I thought no one could love someone like me. Eventually I gave-up and started getting high or drunk just to make the pain go away. But when I came to Teen Challenge, I got clean and sober and started to see that I don't need to be perfect. I can have a great life..drug-free.
My name’s Jim. I’m 32 years old, and I’ve been a drug-user for 32 years. Behind my mom’s back my dad was slipping drugs into my bottle to get me to sleep through the night. Before I came to Teen Challenge, drugs were literally all I knew. But when I got here, the people here didn't seem worried about what I had done. I got a clean slate and for a guy like me a new start is a powerful thing. This time I've found the power and strength to live drug-free.
Hi I'm Nathan. It's been 2 1⁄2 years since I graduated from Teen Challenge, and my life is a walking miracle. I was abusing alcohol since junior high school and I was a full blown alcoholic by the time I was 19. And I went the full gammet of this addiction. The blackouts, the DWIs, the rollovers, the depression, the suicidal thoughts. I've been to psych wards, treatment centers and support groups, but my addiction only got worse. The freedom I was searching for only came when I came to Teen Challenge and found God. And that has made all the difference. He has given me my life back. I now hold a steady job. I'm active in my local church. I'm living out my Christian faith every day. I'm a walking miracle.
Hi, I'm Liane. Having my baby die from SIDS was my worst nightmare. Then add all that to a psychotic husband's abuse and what was left in the wake of that was many years of drug addiction. I can't tell you how broken my heart was. But after going through the Teen Challenge program, Jesus has truly set me free from my addictions and has healed my wounded heart. And now I have no desire to use any drug. My parents now have complete trust in me again and the broken pieces in my life are fixed! I am actively involved in a women's bible study at church. I'm also working full time and getting my masters - and I'm getting married to a wonderful man who treats me like gold. Teen Challenge has completely restored my life.
My name is Randall and I was homeless for 12 years. Because of my drinking, I lost my job and my 10-year marriage. I lived with friends until I finally ended up on the streets of St. Paul. I slept and ate in shelters and worked only enough to get money for cigarettes and alcohol. I thought I was free, but the truth was I was using alcohol and drugs to avoid feelings of guilt and shame. Teen Challenge was my last shot. Now I'm free from addiction and reconciled with my family. My mom knows I'm changed. She never used to kiss me. Now, she kisses me on the cheek with a smile.
Randall graduated from MnTC in the spring of 2003 and is now living with his brother and working for a construction company in the area.
Hi. I'm Brianna. High school was a lonely time for me. I looked for acceptance with a group of friends who introduced me to drugs. I started cutting my wrists and overdosing on drugs. I ended up in the emergency room for suicide, and was sent to a crisis center twice. After being sent to various alternative schools, my drug use only escalated, and my whole life started to revolve around it. My parents intervened and sent me to Teen Challenge. And since then, I have really changed. My drug use has been gone for two years now. I'm studying studio art at Northwestern College, and I have a passion for missions. When I look back on my life, I am convinced of God's faithfulness. That's why I'm going to serve Him for the rest of my life.