Eric Smith Teen Challenge Graduate
Being raised in a home that was void of a steady male role model impacted me in many ways. Although in no way do I blame the way I was raised as an excuse for my poor choices. My mother was a single mom with six children with four different husbands. I want to thank God for those times and bad situations he brought me through because he would eventually use those circumstances to mold me into a vessel He could use for his glory.
At the age of 15 I had started using marijuana and cocaine. These poor choices caused a significant amount of heartache during those influential years of my life. My mom had to protect my younger siblings from me and kicked me out of the house. It was actually more of a mutual thing between the two of us. I didn’t want to follow her rules and she didn’t know how to help me. It was soon after that I started using Meth. I was completely strung out and lost a lot of weight. I remember staying up roaming the streets for 7-9 days straight. I started getting into trouble with the law for stealing cars and being places I shouldn’t had been.
After a long stretch of using Meth, and getting into trouble with the law my family enrolled me into Desert Vista Hospital. I had completely lost my mind. I remember thinking that everyone was talking about me. I was a paranoid lunatic! My mother brought me a bible to read if I wanted to. I opened it to Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” I read this verse and a miracle happened. My brain started working like normal again.
I left the hospital and entered Teen Challenge. I would dedicate myself to the word of God and ministry for the next 3 years of my life. After working at Teen Challenge I decided to go back to school. God blessed me with my amazing wife. We have been happily married for nine years. We have two beautiful children and a love for other people. God has used the sins of my past as a tool to minister to others. I am so thankful for the tools that were given to me through the ministry of Teen Challenge. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for that amazing ministry.
In God I trust,