ELP Participant Highlight – December 2017

Name: Christopher Flannery    

Age: 22

Hometown: Dallas, GA

Teen Challenge Center: Tallahassee Men’s Center

Brief Testimony: From an early age of 15 I started using drugs. After a scare to my parents, I put it off until college when freedom was given to me. I went all in with the party scene until I got dismissed from college and began my adventure into a dark tunnel of drugs, women and masked failure. Then I was brought to the end of myself by my own destruction and at the end of the tunnel God’s light overcame me. I ended up going to Teen Challenge where God has moved in my life in significant ways. It has been a very beneficial roller coaster and I can’t wait for the next loop.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? – The vision I have is to be an optimistic minister. I want to open a ministry for community and love for those needing God.

 How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP has brought me to terms with who I wanted to be and the challenges of being that person. I am now becoming who God wants me to be.

Main Article – December 2017

Merry Christmas!

By: Dustin Nance

It’s the season when we take time to reflect back and assess what we have accomplished throughout the year and laugh over memories created with friends and family. This year I have been reflecting on just how good God has been to me. It’s so refreshing for me to look back and see the hand of God over every situation in my life, especially in the midst of hardship.

While spending time looking back at my own life and looking forward to the new year, it’s hard not to notice the types of songs we sing around Christmas; “Joy to the World”, “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Away in a Manger”, “Silent Night”, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”, I love this time of year! I may not be one to play Christmas music around the clock through the month of December, but I love that these songs point us to the real reason we celebrate this season. 

It’s important to take time and reflect on your year, learn from mistakes and plan for the next year. It’s important to create memories with family and love on each other through gifts and kind words. However, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Born to a virgin and lived a perfect life only to die as the one and only atoning sacrifice.

It is truly a season to celebrate what He has done for our eternity and reflect on His active hand in our lives. I challenge you to take a few minutes and re-read the lyrics to two of my favorite Christmas Carols. I hope and pray you have a truly Merry Christmas!

 Joy to the World  

Joy to the world

The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world

The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the earth

The Savior reigns

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods

Rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

Hark! the herald angels sing

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful, all ye nations, rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With angelic host proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

Christ, by highest heaven adored

Christ, the everlasting Lord

Late in time behold him come

Offspring of the Virgin's womb

Hail the Flesh, the God Head see

Hail the incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell

Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

 

Participant Highlight – November 2017

Name: Michelle Peltier

Age: 34

Hometown: Peoria, Arizona

Teen Challenge Center: Pensacola Women’s Home; Graduated Home of Hope in Arizona, 2013

 Testimony in Brief: I grew up with a Christian background, but never personally knew the Lord. When I reached my 20’s- I made bad decisions and fell into alcohol addiction. At 29 years old- I finally found myself at rock bottom where I desperately wanted to change my life. I cried out to the Lord and He helped me! I was told about Teen Challenge and knew that was God’s will for me. I entered the program with restored hope and a new relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

What is the vison and calling God has given you? – I am now the Admissions Coordinator for Pensacola Teen Challenge Women’s Center. God has given me his blessing to help others receive life transformation and freedom from addiction, just as I had, through Jesus Christ at Teen Challenge.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP Level I and II have impacted me tremendously and continue to keep me focused on my walk with the Lord. One book in particular, Ordering Your Private World, taught me proper time management skills and I learned how to prioritize my personal life, so that it reflected that peace and order within my ministry. ELP is a blessing in that not only do I continue to grow with the Lord, but I have the privilege of sharing it with others.

Participant Highlight – October 2017

Name:  Tyler Graeff

Age: 26

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Teen Challenge Center: Orlando Men’s Center

Brief Testimony: When I was living in the world I was consumed with a lifestyle of sin. I was lost and broken and a door opened for me to come to Teen Challenge. While enrolled in TC, I rededicated my life to Christ. God began speaking to me, as He broke off the chains of depression and heroin addiction. I now live a life with more freedom, peace, and joy than I could ever have imagined.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? – God has called me specifically to Teen Challenge to serve Him in full-time ministry. My vision is to serve in this ministry and help broken men overcome their addictions and pain through the power of Christ in me.

 How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP is giving me the leadership skills that I need to help me become the leader God has called me to be. I’ve also grown spiritually, as I am learning more and more about God’s perspective on leadership. ELP is helping me answer the call that God has placed on my life.

ELP Highlight – August 2017

Name: Katherine Kirkland

Age:31

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Teen Challenge Center: Southwest Florida Women’s Home; Fort Myers, Florida

Testimony: Before coming to Teen Challenge I was lost, confused and hopeless. I was overwhelmed with the world and things that had haunted me from my past. I was stuck in addiction with drugs and alcohol. I tried inpatient and outpatient facilities, but nothing seemed to work. I finally made the decision to come into Teen Challenge where I was introduced to Christ. I discovered a new identity and was able to surrender everything to Him. The Lord opened my eyes and softened heart and through Him I was given a completely new life.

What is the vision and calling God has given you? –  I believe the Lord is wanting me to help women that have gone through abuse and addiction. I want to help them out of the entanglement of death and help introduce them to Christ and proclaim His truth.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP has taught me a lot! The curriculum has given me insight for my future, by teaching me how to be an armor bearer to my leaders. It has also shown me how to support the Teen Challenge ministry, by always being available to the Holy Spirit. ELP also allows me to continue my education.

ELP Highlight – July 2017

Name: Andrew Cartwright

Age: 25 years old

Hometown: South St. Paul, MN

Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Men’s Center

Testimony: I found my significance in how others viewed me from early childhood.  I started using at 13 and only got worse. My good times of drinking with friends on the weekend ended up with me alone in my garage with a handle of liquor and an eight-ball of cocaine. This led me to the point of being lonely, broken, homeless, and defeated.  Since coming to Teen Challenge, I have found hope, purpose, and a restored relationship with family and God.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? – God has called me to be a living Bible, to always be growing and to help others build a relationship with Jesus. I will teach others to live out their values with His truth by devoting themselves to God and the application of His word.
How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP has completely changed my view of leadership. I see where I need to grow and how and when to rely on God.  I have also learned that everyone has personal values God has given them and we must learn to follow these values the right way so that others come to Jesus.

ELP Highlight – June 2017

Name: Christie Ganpat

Age: 29

Hometown: Queens, NY

Teen Challenge Center: Graduated from Davie Teen Challenge, 2016

Brief Testimony: My parents were divorced when I was 2 years old. I lived with my dad for the early part of my childhood, my dad was an alcoholic. I moved in with my mom when I was 12 and started drinking and experimenting with drugs at age 13. At 28 I found myself in a very abusive relationship, very hopeless and broken. I came to Teen Challenge and found love in the right place and so much has been restored in my life. I know that God is able and He is the lover of my soul.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? God has called me to be a light in a dark world. I know that He has called me to be a leader within Teen Challenge, to continue giving the same hope that was given to me to others. I know He is raising me up to spread His love to others.

How has the Emerging Leaders Program impacted you? ELP has given me the ability to admit my faults and recognize that I’m not perfect. It has taught me to remain teachable and allow God to show me how to lead like Jesus did. I’m so happy I decided to remain on this journey and I’m so ready to go to the next level with my God!

ELP Highlight – May 2017

Name: Brian Armstrong

Age: 40

Hometown: Central City, Kentucky

Center: Dixon, Kentucky Teen Challenge

Testimony: I was raised in a well-to-do God fearing family who instilled great morals and values. I gave my life to the Lord when I was 13 years old and was made to go to church until I was 16 years old. I began to live a life of rebellion around the age of 18 which included smoking pot and drinking. Soon after I became addicted to opiates, which caused my life to spiral out of control. I continued to battle addiction for the next 20 years, making countless attempts at sobriety in countless treatment centers. All failed until God brought me to Teen Challenge.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? After my encounter with God I was given a whole new outlook on life and a new vision for my future. Being delivered from my addiction, through the power of Jesus Christ has made an eternal impact on my life. I now know it is my duty to lead others to have the same experience and receive the same saving grace.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? My main goal in ELP is to acquire the wisdom and skills needed to develop the ability to lead like Jesus. I would like to learn how to teach and commune with other disciples of Christ ultimately leading others to our common goal; beings freed from the chains of addiction and other life controlling problems through the power of Jesus Christ.

ELP Highlight – December 2016

Name: Craig Jemmottcraig-jemmott
Age
: 45
Hometown: Queens New York

Teen Challenge Center: Arizona Tucson Men’s Induction Center. 2013 Graduate from Teen Challenge of Arizona

My Testimony: At the age of 29, my life took a huge turn that lasted 12 years before I found Teen Challenge. My addiction to crack cocaine took me to places that I never ever dreamed of going. It was at Teen Challenge where God met me, right where I was at, and through His grace I will be forever changed.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: My purpose is to love the unlovable and to reach the unreachable with the gospel of good news in our Lord, Jesus Christ. The calling is to be a shepherd to a flock.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership: Level 1 of ELP has shown me the importance of being an Armor Bearer, Team Player, and making healthy boundaries in my personal life and work environment which resulted in teaching me the value of being a “Servant Leader.” While serving as the Intake Coordinator, I learned how to organize my work day as the result of taking the ELP Administrative Career Track. This helped me to become the organized leader that I am today.

 

ELP Highlight – Oct 2016

Name: David BullisDavid Bullis

Age: 28 years old

Hometown: Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Teen Challenge Center: Pensacola, FL Men’s Center

Graduated From: Teen Challenge International Mid-America

Testimony: Growing up, I came from a Christian family but never actually got saved or took it serious. When I was 16 my biological father passed away and shortly after that, I began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. This began a 10 year struggle with addiction and I would eventually experiment with everything except for heroin, with cocaine, benzos, weed, and alcohol being my drugs of choice. On November 24, 2014 I got my second DUI and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. While there I finally got saved and gave my life over to God. Upon being released on Christmas Eve, I entered Mercy House in Hurley, MS and then transferred to the Teen Challenge in Cape Girardeau, MO after completing induction. After graduating there I came to Pensacola Teen Challenge where I am currently serving in the Education department.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: I believe God has called me to work at Teen Challenge and give the same gift I was given to others who are struggling with addiction.

The ELP’s impact on my leadership: It has made me a more patient and understanding person. It has also strengthened my relationship with God.