I lived a life of pain and misery up until I turned 29. Addicted to alcohol, crack, and meth, I’ve lived all over Canada, homeless most of the time. I always had a strong work ethic, so I would have a job most of the time, which gave me a steady income to use for my addiction. I think the longest I’ve ever had an apartment was six years. I got evicted because I passed out and left the stove on, which filled the whole place up with smoke. The firefighters had to break my door down and resuscitate me. My landlord told me what sealed the deal for her was that as soon as I regained consciousness, the first thing I did was crush a beer. This type of behavior is just one example of many of a life lived with regret, hopelessness, and despair. It wasn’t until I lost everything, my job, my apartment, my family, that something inside me that I couldn’t contain any longer just surfaced one day.
God cared enough that even in my hatred toward Him, He gently guided me towards the truth. He led me to the Adult & Teen Challenge Program in Winnipeg on August 29, 2012. A couple of months in this program, it dawned on me, a revelation that I will never forget. Even though I wanted nothing to do with God, He wanted everything to do with me. He knew that I didn’t know Him. He knew that I never read the Bible and had so much to say about who He was. Despite all that, God allowed me to realize who He is and who I am. What a sobering moment! God was not the problem; I was the problem.
I became enthralled with the truth. God taught me and continues to teach me so much about who I am and how He sees me. Once I accepted Jesus into my heart, things started to change for me. I finished the program a year later, in 2013. I stayed on and continued to serve in the ministry of Adult & Teen Challenge of Central Canada.
Here are some things that have happened since then: I obtained my driver’s license. I bought a car. I obtained my Canadian citizenship. I met a beautiful Christian woman. I got married to her. We bought our first house together. Two years later, God has blessed us with a beautiful little girl of our own.
I continue to serve at Adult & Teen Challenge of Central Canada to help others like me to have the same opportunity that God gave me. I believe that it doesn’t’ matter who you are or what you’ve done. God will always give you an opportunity to turn to Him.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen Howarth Lemmel