Name: Shannon McDonald
Hometown: Ft. Myers, FL
Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Teen Challenge
Brief Testimony: The Ministry of Teen Challenge has forever changed my life, before entering the program I had no clue about my Savior Jesus, never saw a bible or set foot in a church. I was bound in addiction for 21 years always looking for something that was missing, only I never knew what it was. Today I’ve found it, and I am delivered and passionate about giving to others what God has given me through this ministry. FREEDOM!
What is the vision and calling that God has given you?
To work in street ministry and evangelism with women in prostitution and addiction.
How has the ELP Program impacted you?
God is intimately shaping my Christ-like attitude and character through all the studies I am doing. He is also breaking my fleshly ways off me that hinder me in my leadership and giving me the wisdom and grace to change. He is aligning my heart with his for His people so I am not selfish and can do His will for His people and not my own.
Name: Alyssa Coulthard
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Teen Challenge Women’s Center. Graduated in 2016
Brief Testimony: Just under three years ago, I walked into the doors of Teen Challenge – I was broken, humiliated, hungry for freedom, and so desperate for hope. A 6-year drug addiction led me into a life of homelessness, jails, prison, and despair. By the mercy of my Heavenly Father, I was able to serve my supposed prison sentence in TeenChallenge instead, where I was introduced to the person of Jesus Christ – He liberated me and broke off chains of bondage and addiction. I now live to spread the same hope and salvation that has been given to me, developing and raising up the next generation of disciples and disciplers. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the privilege of being able to identify, develop, and equip leaders who will take part in advancing the Kingdom of God – I love to see disciples making disciples!
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?
I feel that leadership and training are valuable because we must teach, train, and equip those who are wanting to mature and grow in their walk with Christ in order for them to in-turn pour into the lives of others, raising them up as disciple-makers as well.
Name: Glenn Abernethy
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Teen Challenge Center: Pensacola Teen Challenge
Testimony: I started abusing alcohol and drugs in 1978 and didn’t stop until 1991, when God rescued me and gave me a new start. It’s been an amazing journey. He has blessed me so much, and I’m living a life I never thought possible. I am honored to be a part of what God is doing through Teen Challenge.
Vision/Calling: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) I have a heart to teach and share God’s Word. It is so necessary for the men and women we minister to to have a solid foundation and a vital relationship with His Word and the Holy Spirit. To help develop spiritual warriors who will take the fight to the enemy and restore what has been lost.
How has the ELP Program impacted you? The ELP program has stretched me and challenged me to be not just a better leader but a better follower. Learning to work together with so many diverse people yet all working toward the same goals, serving together for His Kingdom.
Name: Joshua Horne
Hometown: Fairhope, Alabama
Teen Challenge Center: Pensacola Men’s Center, 2013
Brief Testimony: I came into Pensacola Teen Challenge on August 20, 2012 with
intent to manipulate the judicial system. Shortly after arriving to the program,
God started to break my heart. After 20 years of drugs, alcohol and living a
completely self-centered lifestyle, the God of the universe called my name and I
heard Him. God has shown Himself through circumstance and has faithfully grown
me through trials, therefore equipping me to make disciples.
What do you enjoy most about your role? – I very much enjoy helping men grow
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Identifying and equipping leaders ensures the future moving of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Time For Everything
By: Bryan Sampson
One of my favorite things to do while traveling overseas is observe people and cultures. I like to take on the role of an ethnographer as I observe and record just about everything that catches my attention. I am just fascinated with the differences in our cultures. One of the greatest differences between our North American culture and that of Central America is the way we see time. Here in the United States we are monochronic. We see our time linearly in chronological order. We focus on one thing at a time; things should begin and end on time and we don’t like people to be late or for things to run over the time we allot. While in Nicaragua they are polychronic, meaning they do many things at once. Their concept of time is free-flowing, and changes depending on each situation. Distractions and interruptions are a natural part of life, and have to be taken in stride. The polychronic culture shows greater commitment to people and relationships over just a job.
Looking at these two very different views of time I begin to ask myself; which does God prefer? I would have to say both. God is a God of order, the God of cosmos, not chaos so we know he can prefer the monochronic view, but I also know that God wants our availability and for us to be more relational. As one saying goes “God is not looking for ability but availability” Our monochronic view of time can leave us with too much structure and not enough room for spontaneity allowing deep meaningful relationships to build. What are we to do?
What I propose that we do this new year is create an awareness of how we see our time. Imagine if we could begin to analyze each situation and adopt the proper view of time to bring about the greatest glory for God. If we are in work mode a monochronic view may be best, but when you leave the office maybe it is time to change your view. Imagine what your life would look like if you could embrace each moment, each conversation, each dinner without the concern of the next event. I think we would be surprised at how much enjoyment we would get out of the simple things in life when we slow down and embrace what God is doing around us. I believe that by becoming more polychronic we will build real relationships that can lead to the salvation of souls while also experiencing the awe and wonder of His glory. It is when we begin to see our time as God’s and not our own that we may choose to spend it differently. Solomon says it best “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecl. 3:1). So how will you spend your time this year?