A Life Restored – Michael’s Story

Nearly every day we encounter the story of someone whose life was changed because of the ministry of Teen Challenge. However, sometimes the story doesn’t go the way we expect it should. Today I want to tell you about Michael. He has just such a story.

When only five months old, Michael was adopted by a Christian family. He was raised in church and at 16 years old, already knew God had a call on his life—but he ran from that and instead chose a lifestyle of parties and drugs.

At 18, he was court-ordered to Teen Challenge. “I went through, finished the whole program and graduated,” Michael told us, “but I didn’t really surrender everything to God.” Soon, Michael was worse off than where he started.

As a personal trainer, Michael started selling Oxycontin for extra cash. But when one of his customers encouraged him to try one for himself, he did and was immediately hooked. From there things went downhill fast. But God still had his eye on Michael—and his parents kept praying for him.

After a drug deal gone wrong, Michael ran for his life, only to wreck his car a couple of days later. Shortly after that, he accidentally overdosed and woke up in the hospital, IVs in his neck because the veins in his arms were so weak from intravenous drug use. Looking back, Michael said, “God used all of these things to put me in a position where I was sensitive to hearing his voice.”

In September 2010, Michael went back to Teen Challenge for a few months of restoration. It was then that God really got his attention. Recently arrived and still recovering from addiction to heroin, methadone, cocaine and methamphetamines, God used a staff member and a guest pastor to speak into his life. Drawn by the Spirit of God, Michael rededicated his life to God. From there, he knew God was calling him to Teen Challenge Ministry Institute to get a solid foundation in his faith. Michael graduated from TCMI in June 2013.

Today he’s been drug free for five years and for the past three years has been the youth pastor at The Oasis in Hollywood.