ELP Participant Highlight – September 2017

Name: Thomas Burton

Age: 40

Hometown: Lincolnton, Georgia

Teen Challenge Center: Graduate of Dublin Men’s Center, April 2017

Brief Testimony: 18 years of drug abuse & pornography.  As a result, my marriage was destroyed.  God has now restored my marriage and my life.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? God has given me a vision and calling for evangelism and executive leadership in Teen Challenge.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP has provided instructions and study material to help me to learn about God’s calling on my life.

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Name: Erin Burton

Age: 38

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Teen Challenge Center: Graduate of Columbus Women’s Center, March 2017. Now serving at Dublin Men’s Center

Brief Testimony: I fell in love with Jesus at 8 years old, but was instantly consumed by death gripping fear due to hurt, abandonment, and loss. This lead to my first drug overdose at 15 years old. I was consumed by greed, control and lust. I walked out of God’s will and adventured right into the hands of the enemy…only to find Jesus Christ right in the middle of my despair and destruction. He faithfully pulled me out of a deep, extremely dark pit of depression, and placed me at Teen Challenge in Columbus, GA., While at Teen Challenge I received the true revelation of salvation. God’s grace changed everything. My body was healed, my heart was not afraid to love or be loved, my mind was completely renewed, damaged relationships were restored and I was made Kingdom bound. I’m now serving, wholeheartedly, with my husband as an Emerging Leader at Dublin Men’s Center in Dublin, Georgia.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? – My husband and I answered God’s call while we were both in the program at Teen Challenge. After being made whole in Christ, the vision of leading multitudes to Christ is now being breathed into existence.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? – The Emerging Leaders Program continuously improves and enhances my intimate relationship with the Lord. Through the Lord’s strength, He is molding, forming, and shaping me. The Lord is helping me to be a walking, breathing display of Christ.

Thomas and his wife Erin, now serve together as Emerging Leaders at the Dublin Men’s Center. They have also been reunited with their beautiful 3 year old daughter, Carly.

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.

Training Facilitator Highlight – August 2017

Name: Rachel Massieu

Age: 21

Hometown: Dothan, AL

Teen Challenge Center: Fort Myers Women’s Center; Graduate of Columbus Girls Home, 2012

Brief Testimony: When I first came to Teen Challenge I was bound to my eating disorder and insecurities. During my time in Teen Challenge I radically fell in love with Jesus, who picked me up from the muck and mire and gave me the beautiful life that I live today.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I love being able to see men and women come to the knowledge of their gifts, callings and passions through ELP and learn how to apply them to their lives.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? The leadership training that Teen Challenge men and women receive in ELP, empowers them to walk in their gifts. They are then able to be the vessels that God has ordained them to be.

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.

Training Facilitator Highlight – June 2017

Name: Barbara Cooper

Age: 61

Hometown: Woodbridge, VA

Teen Challenge Center: Davie Women’s Center

Brief Testimony: I was working in the bar business and realized at 26 I was heading for trouble. I was blacking out every time I drank. Someone told me I would like this church, so I went and I did and was born again.  A friend of mine started working at TC and I went to visit her and the Director offered me a job, so I went through the program as a staff, so to say.  God dealt with me about the same things He was dealing with the students about.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I love seeing the captives get set free and watching God do it anyway He wants-can’t put God in a box that’s for sure!

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  When I started, it was on the job training by the Holy Spirit-I never cried so much in my life! God was merciful and used me in spite of me still being crippled in many ways. I feel that Teen Challenge training is putting out a much better quality of staff and they are healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and better prepared spiritually for the battle.  Those that stick with it turn out to be “quality”.

Training Facilitator Highlight – May 2017

Name: John Arnold

Age: 26

Hometown: Manitou, KY

Teen Challenge Center: Graduated from Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge in 2015. Currently on staff at Teen Challenge Men’s Center, Dixon, KY.

Testimony: I had a great upbringing as a child in a supportive loving home but early in my teenage years chose to consume myself with the things of this world. I entered Teen Challenge in September of 2014 broken, depressed, desperate and addicted. During my 12 months at Teen Challenge, I encountered God and He revealed Himself to me like never before. It is 100% His credit for the changes He has helped me make in my life and continue to make daily. I am extremely grateful that He restored me and am excited for the future He has for me.

Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy being able to firsthand witness God impacting others’ lives the same way He impacted mine. It’s humbling to be in a position to help lead others to new levels of leadership and discipleship.

What do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Leadership training is essential for the Kingdom to expand! We all have to teach and learn from one another to more effectively carry out our purpose for Him.

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 Testimonies

Name:  Laurie Lusink   laurie

Age:   56

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Teen Challenge Center: Davie, FL

Which Center/What Year did you Graduate: Davie Women’s Home 2013

My Testimony in Brief:  After 25 years of marriage, my husband was killed in an automobile accident and I turned to alcohol to cope. Eventually the drinking took over my life and even eating wasn’t important to me. Gradually my health became so poor, that my children feared for my life and reached out to Teen Challenge, where I was accepted into the program.  A miracle was prayed for me, God heard, and restored my soul, health and family.   

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  The calling God has given me is to stay at Teen Challenge, of South Florida as an ELP Vocational Intern in the role of Cook for this amazing ministry.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership: I have learned to lead like Jesus, be a successful team player, use the motivational gift God gave me to be a servant leader, and many, many other facets that have inspired me.   

 

TC Mission Trips – Guatemala

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One of our ELP Rep’s from the Teen Challenge in Bonifay, FL wrote an amazing short article that we really wanted to share with everyone! Over the past few years we have seen a lot of our Emerging Leaders staff and students get the opportunity to serve at Teen Challenge programs overseas. Every single person that has had the opportunity has been dramatically impacted and blessed. We highly recommend taking students and staff on a mission trip each year to a Teen Challenge overseas!

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Here is what Chuck Odum wrote us: “Desafio Juvenil is the only Teen Challenge center in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I had the joy of spending the day with them while on a mission trip to their area with our center, West Florida Teen Challenge, Bonifay, FL. The directors, Richard and Janet Conti, were away from the center on other business. Jose Flores, who runs the center in their absence, was our host. He is an amazing young man with a God-sized vision for increasing the Teen Challenge presence in Guatemala City. They currently have a house full of men, 18 and older, who are finding freedom through their ministry. He shared the vision he has of seeing additional centers for women and also adolescent boys and girls. As, he walked me through the center showing me the many blessings that God has given them through the love and support of others, he shared with me that their greatest needs is for workers. Many have come to help in short-term ways but Jose said that they need people who are called of God to do ministry in their country and city who can commit to being part of the ministry and helping to reach the lives of those who they cannot currently reach. I was reminded of the scripture in Luke 10:2 “These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Teen Challenge is very familiar with the amazing things God can do when His children will respond in simple obedience to the needs that are in front of them. Recently I heard Greg Hammond share a great thought with our staff. He said, “the need IS the call.” I frequently reminded our team of this quote while we were in Guatemala. The need is great, and so is the call. Hallelujah!”

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Have you been on a mission trip with your Teen Challenge program? If so, where have you been and how was your experience???

Emerging Leader Highlight

Name:  Felicia Franklin600104_100371393464195_567062038_n copy

Age: 27

Hometown: Mastic Beach, New York.

Testimony: As a kid I was forced to go to church but as I got older I chose the things of this world instead of doing what I knew was right. After losing my dad in a tragic hunting accident what I once did for fun became a way to escape reality.  I was a full blown crack and opiate addict by age 25. I had a college degree but my life was such a mess I couldn’t keep a job.   I knew there was more to life and God was the only one that could help me.

Teen Challenge Center: Fort Myers Women

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: I was called into Missions where my purpose is to reach out and help the lost and hopeless.

ELP’s Impact on my Leadership: I learned to be a servant leader. I have also learned that being a leader at times means doing the jobs no one else wants to do and doing them with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Everything I do, I do for the Glory of God and with Integrity.