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.
Teen Challenge Center: Home of Hope, Casa Grande, AZ Graduated : May 2013
My Testimony in Brief:
I grew up with a christian background, but never personally knew the Lord. When I reached my 20s- 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!
The Purpose and Calling God Has Given Me:
I am now Education Coordinator of the Pensacola Teen Challenge Women’s Center! God has given me his blessing to lead these women to an understanding of His Word that will ultimately set the foundation for their recovery!
The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:
ELP has impacted me tremendously. Each one of the 8 books has helped shape my character into that of Christ. In particular- Servant Leadership and Armor Bearer. This curriculum continues to help grow, challenge and confirm the calling that the Lord has on my life!
My name is Carla and I have worked for Teen Challenge for 10 years since graduating the program in 2003. I knew at 4 months in the program that I would work for Teen Challenge for what I thought would be, until the rapture happened. I always knew I wanted to be a drug counselor but never dreamed of it being with a faith based program.
When I started out as staff, I didn’t know much and everything I had learned was just God and me. After several years, I felt I had grown and knew as much as I was going to know and learn. I had the mentality, this is how it’s done and that’s just how it is.
When I married, I married a man that always wanted to learn and knew there was more to what we do. He began taking ELP while attending TCIMI in Oregon and continued into Level 2 and is now in Level 3. He always shared with me what he was learning and something in me began stirring – drawing me towards ELP. It was remembering all that had been spoken over me during my spiritual journey and not knowing how it was all going to happen. If I didn’t know how it was going to work, I needed to be open to learning new things. I knew I was called to Teen Challenge and I also knew my way wasn’t the only way. What worked for me wasn’t necessarily going to work for others.
I was doing what the Lord called me to do and to do that I have to remain teachable and willing. ELP is an opportunity for me to do just that, but what I learn helps me to be better at what I do.
Now I am in Level 3 which will take 2 years to finish. Everything I do is training ground for what God has planned for me. ELP is a part of that plan..I can’t stop learning and have to keep persevering towards what He has planned for me.