Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Being strong and courageous

On Sunday, students at the MN Teen Challenge center came to sing, pray and share their struggles and journey with addiction. They have amazing testimonies of God's healing and grace. I love hearing the stories of where they started, what they've experienced, lost, and the way they have found Jesus. The common message they all shared was their need for complete brokenness. They talk about the cycle to addiction, treatment, jail, addiction, treatment, jail. And until they were completely broken, only then were they open to lay it down before Jesus, even without knowing what that might entailed or even meant as far as sacrifices, more loss, humiliation, but ultimately they all have the final end to the story- God's grace is so incredible once you receive it and taste it you don't want to go back to that cycle again.
I was moved by their courageousness to share their lives with us, complete strangers. Then they sang some songs and I was moved to tears by the incredible voices these people had. A couple of the females gave me the chills when they started singing. Such amazing gifts that I hope now that they are on the journey to to freedom from their addictions that they will use those incredible gifts for God's glory. I applaud them for doing this HARD work of digging up the painful past and cleaning out the old, so God can clean, purify and fill them with Him.

Just because it's called MNTeen Challenge doesn't mean you need to be a teenager to go there. One woman, 39 shared her story and loss of her children because of her addiction. She seemed broken, and when she spoke of her children she looked at the flower she wore in honor of mother's day and had to pause to collect herself. My heart broke for her, as a mother myself knowing the pain I would feel if I ever lost my kids because of the choices I made. There was a 28 year old man, from Northfield that was in the program. I graduated high school with him, I didn't really recognize him, but from what I heard back in the day he had long hair and was really not nice to people- I sat and wondered, why I hadn't ended up like these people. Why was I shown God's grace before I could self destruct with an addiction to a place of brokenness? I definitely don't think it's beyond me, in fact, I think it would be just like me.
This program is great, and if you feel led to support their ministry financially or through prayer I encourage you to contact them, I know they are struggling for finances, but as they said- It's God that is doing the work their and it is God that will provide, He ALWAYS does!

1 comment:

  1. For those of you who prefer to investigate Teen Challenge instead of just taking someone's word about how "wonderful" this program is, I suggest you read the following links so you can make an informed decision before you send a loved one to Teen Challenge!

    An In-Depth Series on Abuse at Teen Challenge

    Part 1: Teen Challenge: The Assemblies' Own "Kiddie Gulag" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/26/17250/8747/930/503496

    Part 2: Teen Challenge: Coercive Groups Disguised as Rehab http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/27/171937/973

    Part 3: Teen Challenge: A Typical Week in the "Jesus Gulag" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/28/17428/8172/453/503981

    Part 4: Teen Challenge: Life Within the "Jesus Gulag" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/29/165243/571/427/504015

    Part 5: Teen Challenge: Possible Missionary Mill? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/30/1712/32864/374/504060

    Part 6: Teen Challenge: The Depths of Coercion at a "God Warrior" Training Camp http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/1/164418/2864

    Part 7: Teen Challenge: Sex Abuse and Sexual Predators http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/2/17850/21034

    Part 8: Teen Challenge: Court-Ordered Coercion and CYA Indemnity Contracts http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/3/17742/55658

    Part 9: Teen Challenge: Your Tax Dollars, Paying For Institutionalised Abuse http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/4/164443/2223/954/504505

    Links:

    * Bill HR 5876--A Chance to Protect Kids from Abusive "Kiddie Boot Camps" http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/25/114146/721/120/503305

    * Join Teen Challenge Lawsuit! http://www.beyondbusiness.net/teenchallengesuit.htm

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