Steve came to us first in 2004. At Teen Challenge, he learned how to live free of drugs. But now, looking back on that time, he will tell you that he never gave God everything. He graduated from the one-year program in 2005, joined a church and sang on the worship team. On the outside, it looked like he was doing everything right. “But everything wasn’t ok. I needed a closer relationship with God,” Steve told us. “Small compromises began to turn into big compromises and before long, I was right back in my addiction, only ten times worse than before.”
Steve was so miserable, that he tried to commit suicide by overdosing several times. In his guilt and shame, he cried out to God, “Lord, save me!” When a Teen Challenge van pulled up to the job site where he was working, Steve’s first response was, “Wait, God, that’s not what I meant! I don’t want to go back to Teen Challenge.” But inside, Steve knew he needed this second chance.
And Teen Challenge was there for him. Again.
In 2016, Steve returned to Teen Challenge, determined to do it right the second time. He told God that this time, he was going to give him everything—all the hurt, pain, brokenness, and unforgiveness that he had thought he could deal with on his own. And the Teen Challenge staff was there to help him walk through his pain. With their help, he even earned his GED, and the day after he graduated for the second time, he started Bible college. Now he only needs a handful of classes to complete a degree in Biblical theology! “It’s been pretty amazing, the journey that God has me on, being sold out for him and standing for what’s right. That’s my goal from now on. I didn’t see how God could use somebody like me. But that’s what God does! God chooses people like us.”
Today, Steve works at Inland Empire Teen Challenge, helping other men work through the issues and addictions that he himself has battled.
“God has been transforming me, slowly reworking and rebuilding me this whole time. God has taken all the broken pieces of my life and has made something beautiful out of it.”