Teen Challenge

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
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Graduated students of Teen Challenge

Let me tell you a story about Carole.  She was a cute, outgoing, perky little girl who thought everyone was happy, for she found life to be satisfying and fun.  Then at age 10 her parents got a divorce, and all hell broke loose in her perfect world.  Life at home became strained and uncomfortable, and as she was shoved from one parent to the other she began to feel unloved.  She also carried enormous guilt because she believed all the confusion was her fault. By the time she was in Junior High she was desperate for love and acceptance, and began to run with a bad crowd.  At age 14 she joined a gang thinking now she belonged, only too late to realize she was on a road to destruction.  Alcohol and drugs became a way of life, and by age 17 she was living in a car with an older man.  To survive, they would steal and sell drugs, which eventually landed her in jail.  When she got out of jail she went to a 6 weeks rehab, but nothing really changed.  For 6 years she was in and out of jail and rehab centers and her life was filled with depression and hopelessness.  A family member told her of a Teen Challenge Center, a faith-based rehab program, where she could find help, and in desperation she entered as a "student".  She knew nothing about the program, but what was there to lose?  Having reached the bottom of a life totally spent, she knew she couldn't go any lower and couldn't survive continuing life as it was.  So she moved into the Center and slowly began to heal.  The Word of God and God's love being ministered to her began to fill the emptiness that had felt like a deep, dark hole in her heart.  One year after entry she graduated from the program, a whole person with her heart full of love to pass on to others.  Today she is happily married with 2 lovely children, and she, as often as given the opportunity, shares the story of her redemption.
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This is a typical Teen Challenge story.  My husband, Jimmy, and I have visited Centers in Georgia, Florida, Missouri, China, Serbia, Czech Republic, South Africa, and Swaziland; and we hear similar stories from people with life controlling issues whose deepest need is always to be loved. It is heart wrenching to hear the stories of degradation and suffering, but to hear of a person's redemption from living death to abundant life is beyond inspiring.

Teen Challenge is a faith-based residential rehab program to help those with life controlling problems that usually involve alcohol, drugs, and sex for adults and children.  Our students come from both good homes and abusive backgrounds.  Though the adults primarily suffer from an addiction, the girls and boys under 18 usually don't, but most are rebellious and have been involved with drugs, alcohol, sex, cutting, or suicide, etc. Their parents "can't do anything with them."  A study done several years ago about rehab programs in America claimed that Teen Challenge had an 86% success rate where other programs had only 12 to 15% success, which I believe is because it gets students involved with God's Word and His Love.

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Jimmy and I are privileged to work closely with the two Centers located in our hometown, Columbus, Georgia, also the headquarters for Global Teen Challenge. One is for women, and one is for girls. We stand amazed as we see people transformed into productive and valuable human beings who can laugh and love and make a difference for others.  Global Teen Challenge now has 234 Centers in the US and is serving in 92 countries, with 25,000 beds worldwide. There are still over 200 million drug addicts who need help.  It is a daunting task to meet the many needs.

If you know anyone who needs help call 706-507-3705 and someone will be happy to put you in touch with one of our Centers.  Or visit our website: www.teenchallengeusa.com.

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