2016 Fall Fundraising Banquet
“The Value of a Life”
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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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