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Testimony 1:
Hello, my name is Eric Gauwitz, a 36 year old Peorian of IL. Having successfully completed the first phase of a wonderful but hard program I am about to continue my journey into the 2 nd phase of Teen Challenge. It has been a long journey. I rarely attended church, read the Bible or praised God. My self esteem was extremely low. IN fact, I am surprised to still be alive from all the blackouts and alcohol poisoning that my body endured. The Lord, truly, was with me! He even worked through my family as they were trying to get me into this program at Teen Challenge. I thank God they did because today, after a long journey, I am free from the bondage of alcohol. I now read and understand the Bible, love going to church and I am closer to God. With much emotion I thank Teen Challenge Peoria for helping me. Just as a caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly, I am changing through the Grace of God from my old life to a beautiful new life.
Testimony 2:
Hello, my name is Bobby Morrell. I am 29 years old from Carmi, a small southern Illinois town. At the age of 18 I was as introduced to Crystal Meth. My Journey started with simple usage but soon developed into manufacturing and then selling the drug. The result - I have been in and out of jails and rehab centers. Last April I was given a chance to receive induction into the rehab program at Teen Challenge Peoria. While in the program I was introduced to Christ where I gave my life to Christ. Since then my life has turned around. The relationship I have with my family today is better then ever. At first, it seemed a little awkward and different and somewhat confusing. It came to me though that as long as I leave my life in God's hands, He will direct my paths! I still mess up and know it will take time for me to correct the things I have done, but at least now with the help of Teen Challenge Peoria, I have started to live a clean and sober life! In closing, I would like to leave you with this scripture, Proverbs 3:12, “For the Lord corrects those He loves just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights”.
Testimony 3:
Greetings, my name is Don and I'm 26 years old. I was brought up in a great home with Christian values instilled in me by two loving parents so I had no excuse for my rebelliousness towards God. I excelled in academics and athletics all through my school years. For two years I even attended college with my life still in order and on the way to more opportunities. No one could have guessed I would put myself through so much trouble. After my 2 years of college I was offered a full time position at a Fire Department near home. I took the position and went on to attend Paramedic school and other various rescue/medical classes. Things were looking good on the outside, but my spiritual condition was slowly deteriorating. I enjoyed lifting weights as a hobby, and unfortunately I let the devil get a foothold in my life in that area. As a weight lifter I had goals that I wanted to reach and I found that “Anabolic Steroids” were the quickest path to my goals. I wasn't really thinking of any consequences at the time, all I could see were results. The enemy seems to be good at downplaying consequences and emphasizing all the enjoyable aspects of sin. This started drawing me away from God to the point that I started saying “yes” to alcohol and club drugs, which in turn led me down a road of bondage to narcotics. Eventually I lost my girlfriend, career, and almost every material item I owned due to the illegal use of pain killers. I found myself with nothing but hopelessness and depression. I never thought I would end up like this when I started taking steroids. I was so ashamed that I tried to cover it up with heroin and ended up overdosing twice in the same day. My parents didn't know what to do with me so they put me in a mental hospital. It was there that I became desperate for a change and my mother suggested Teen Challenge. At this point I was ready to try anything. It has been a slow process, but I know I am getting a real transformation. I'm here because I want a life long change, not a quick fix where I get cleaned up on the outside. I want to be changed on the inside, and I desire righteousness now. Now with less than a couple months until I graduate the year long program, God has restored my mind, body, and soul. I found the relationship with Jesus is what I needed all along. I love to spend time in His presence where He meets my every need! I have a close bond with my family like I've never had before. I have vision for the future so I am not bound to my past. Most of all, God has given me a new hope and a new identity in Christ Jesus. I am forever grateful! Bless His Name!
Testimony 4:
Hello! My name is Jason, I am from Alton, IL and I'm 30 years old. 've been in Teen Challenge almost 3 months now. When I was about 10 years old I started stealing cigarettes from my dad. This quickly led to stealing whiskey. By the time I was twelve I had begun hanging around with the wrong crowd and had started smoking marijuana and inhaling paint, gasoline and pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I soon found myself living as a crack junkie. A few months ago I ran into a friend of mine who had gone through Teen Challenge and told me how it had changed his life. I was tired of living life the way I had been and asked him how I could get into Teen Challenge. Not only did he help me contact Teen Challenge in Peoria, IL, but he also paid the intake fee. He demonstrated the love of Jesus Christ before I even knew who Jesus was. Since coming to Teen Challenge I have given my life to Jesus Christ, I have quit smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and doing drugs. I have new found freedom in Christ. I am also learning how to fellowship with my brothers here at the center. A scripture that helps me everyday is from Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else guard you heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. I would like to thank God, Kyle Connell and all the staff here at Peoria Teen Challenge.
Testimony 5:
Hello my name is Robert I've been in Teen Challenge for 10-months. I'm 20 yrs. old, and I'm from southern Indiana. I would like to give God all the Praise, Honor, and Glory for me being alive and alive in Christ today. I wasn't raised in a Christian household, and I'd only been to church a few times before I came to Teen Challenge IL. But now I'm walking with King! It all started when I was about 13 yrs. old and I started drinking and smoking marijuana. Within about 2 yrs. I was involved with gangs, started selling drugs, and from then on I was trapped. I was insecure with myself; I felt that if I had cars, clothes, and money it would make me happy. At 17 I was kicked out of school and turned to the streets full time. It seemed like that's all I knew, but now I know God, and that's all that matters! What brought me to the program was on St. Patrick's Day one year ago I went to sell some drugs and got set up to be robbed. The robbers shot my friend, and his girlfriend killing her. I ended up getting locked up and was blessed with opportunity to come to Teen Challenge IL. Since then God has blessed me He's got my parents and my girlfriend going to church and has blessed me with a beautiful daughter. God is molding me daily to be the father, husband, and son that I need to be. 2 Cor 1:9-11 Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence death, this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves, but God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and will deliver us. In him we have set our hope's that he will continue to deliver us. As you help by your prayers, then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in the answer to the prayers of many.
Testimony 6:
My name is Dakota and I'm 28 years old. I was raised in a small town in southern Illinois. I am the oldest of 4 children and had dreams of playing major league baseball and owning my own business. I knew God growing up and I even spoke to Him every morning and every night. I went to a private Christian school up until 7 th grade. I knew that Jesus loved me more than I could imagine and that He died for my sins. Somewhere, something went horribly wrong. God made me a great all around athlete, so when my 8 th grade year came around I decided to go to a public school so I could have more competition. Little did I know that the devil saw an opportunity to get to me. I was introduced to marijuana that year at the age of 14. It started out as a once a week habit, but by the time I was a senior it had grown into 3 to 4 times a day . I picked up drinking in those years too because marijuana just wasn't doing it for me anymore. Although I thought I was hiding all of my problems, my family knew something was wrong. By the grace of God I graduated high school and I was even named Athlete of the Year my junior and senior years. I was getting ready to sign with a division 1 school, but I felt like I needed to take a year off from school to get out from all the pressures of college. Instead of getting away from the pressures that year I just filled all my free time with alcohol and began experimenting with crack cocaine. An idle mind is the devils playground! Before I knew it I was hooked, and I spent the next 5 years trying to get away from crack, but I just couldn't seem to escape. Then came heroin. I was so low and upset with my past that I didn't want to live anymore. Seven and a half months ago I said, “I just want to change or die.” I really didn't care which either. I called my grandmother and her prayers were answered when I told her “I need to go.” She took me to Teen Challenge! That was the best decision I ever made. My life is back on track because God is restoring me completely and I love Him more than ever. He has shown me mercy and has blessed me with answered prayers. I have a new attitude towards life. I know He is calling me to minister to the youth and gradually become a pastor one day. Also I see myself owning that business now. I want to start a sports ministry for the youth and with God on my side things will happen. I praise Him for everything He has done and I will never go back to my old life. I truly am a new creation and a child of the Almighty God!!!
Testimony 7:
Hello, my name is Joey. When I was just a child my father died on my birthday. So every year when my birthday came around it was not a time of celebration, but a sad, lonely, remembrance of my father whom I missed and loved very much. I was too scared as a child to open up and let other people know I was hurting. Somehow that fear turned into anger in my heart. I quickly turned to the only way I knew how to deal with my pain, which was to try and ignore it. But it kept digging deeper and deeper into my heart. Five years later I was so fed up with the emotions I never dealt with that I finally found a way to numb the pain. I didn't realize it at the time, but that first hit would end up landing me in more pain than I had ever felt before. By the time I was 15 or 16 I was already involved in I.V. drug use. I was putting needles in my arm to kill my pain, but I thought I still had control of the drugs. You can imagine how hard it was to get through school like that, but somehow I managed to graduate. Soon after I joined the military and within a year I was going through a bad conduct separation out of the Marine Corps. Feeling like a failure I came home and basically turned to the streets. I figured it was better to give up than keep trying to do something productive and end up feeling like a failure again. I never stopped running the streets for 10 straight years. One day after near death from overdose I called out to God in desperation. I asked God to help me if He was so real, if He was the only answer like I had heard all my life. He heard me! He acted quickly to save me from my desperation! He made a way to Teen Challenge, where I could experience true love and trust God to heal all my pain. I've been pouring out my heart to Jesus and He has helped restore my mind as well as clean my heart. Instead of pain I have hope. Instead of feeling like a failure I know my purpose and that He will complete the good work He has started in me. I give God all the praise, glory, and honor for all He has done to change my heart and life. Praise God for a place like Teen Challenge! God bless you!
Testimony 8:
Hello, my name is Joe Shinkey. I came into the program on March 25, 2005 with an addiction to crack cocaine. The drug was in complete control of my life and it destroyed me. I lost a full time job, a $21,000 car, got kicked out of my house, and totally destroyed my family. I was at the very bottom of the bottom, and I was tired of it. I knew I had to do something about it, otherwise I was probably going to die. And I knew that God was the only thing that could change me. So I told my mom I wanted to come to Teen Challenge. On March 25, Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified for our sins, I committed my life to Him. From that very moment, I have been delivered from my drug addiction! Ever since that day, I have had a peace in my life that I've never felt before. I will graduate from TC at the end of March. In September, I will start school at the Rockford Masters Commission. God is doing awesome and amazing things in my life. My relationships with my mother and my sister are restored, and I have a new hope in my life. I am a new person in Jesus Christ. (I leave you with one of my favorite scriptures) 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come"
Testimony 9:
My name is LaMonte; I'm 22 years of age. I grew up in a great Christian home. God blessed me with a voice to sing and I used it in church when I was younger. My mother is an ordained preacher and she told me that if anyone ever asked me to sing I was never ever to say no! So I was not one to rebel or miss church. Well at least not right away! After I graduated High School, I enrolled in a University. During college I began smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and even smoking marijuana. I thought everybody else is doing it why can't I? Well my life quickly took a turn for the worse. After 2 years of school I lost my ambition and dropped out. I even had a child out of wedlock. Using drugs and using people all around me I ended up burning bridges faster than I could rebuild them. It hurt me to hurt others but I would just use more drugs to numb the pain. With the pressures of life weighing heavily on me, and no one to turn to, I knew it was time to admit I needed help. That wasn't easy for me. I prayed to God and said, “I just need to get away from everything for a full year. Help me!” Shortly after, my Pastor and my mother told me about Teen Challenge. When I heard it was a yearlong program where men can go to get rooted in relationship with Jesus I knew it was the answer to my prayer. It was easier to pray than it was to go through with it though. From the first day I knew I wouldn't be able to do this on my own. Without the help of Christ I was done for. Thank God that he said, “Come unto me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” He also sent brothers into my life that love me just the way I am. I gave my heart back to Christ and He is restoring old tarnished relationships as well as helping me to build new ones. Life with Christ is not the same as it was before. Now I have a real, intimate, and passionate relationship with a person that is always there for me. I once had a dependency on marijuana and alcohol, but now I have a dependency on Jesus Christ! My life is totally transformed beyond what I could have hoped for. I am now ministering in music with the gift God has given me and I know that this just is just the beginning. Jesus is all I need and I am not looking back anymore. Thank you for your support and I love you in Christ. May He richly bless you!
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