Michelle’s Story: A Place of Second Chances

As one of our supporters, I know you understand how destructive drug addiction is. For some, the lure of a drug’s empty promise can be very hard to resist. This was the case for Michelle.

Michelle first came to us in 2012, bound by an addiction that was destroying her life. At Teen Challenge Southern California, she learned the truth of Scripture and it released the grip that drugs had on her. She graduated a year later, clean and sober.

But then she stumbled. “I was so comfortable being broken,” Michelle recalls. She didn’t think she was valuable enough to live a normal life.

She plunged headlong back into the world of the drug addict.  Eventually, it led her to Los Angeles, homeless on skid row. But she never completely forgot the truths she learned at Teen Challenge. She knew she needed more help.

“I didn’t think I was worth it. I didn’t think I deserved to be prayed over.” But one of the women volunteers there thought otherwise, came and sat next to her. Then, as Michelle began to cry, the volunteer held her in her arms and prayed., “For the first time in such a long time, I felt like it was going to be okay.”

Michelle rediscovered the truth of God’s love, this time more fully than before. Closer to God than ever, she completed Teen Challenge’s restoration program and then enrolled in the Ministry Institute. “That was probably the best experience I’ve ever had.” TCMI let her experience ministry and work with people in an entirely new environment.  She met another Teen Challenge graduate, who would become her future husband.

She felt drawn to work in medicine and began taking EMT classes while holding down a full-time job. Then she applied to work for an ambulance company in the Central Valley and was hired almost immediately.

Now Michelle is on the frontlines working as an EMT in Fresno County.  “I never thought I’d be able to serve the Fresno community in the way I can now.”

When she sees an addict looking for help, she shows them the needle scars on her arms and they see how God can change them too.  “I let them know they don’t have to die in their mess. I get to love people in their brokenness the way Teen Challenge staff loved me and others when we were broken.”

“Teen Challenge gave me the chance to sit still and surrender to God and to find freedom. I’m so grateful for Teen Challenge.”