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I was born in Mexico, but have lived in the U.S. most of my life.  I grew up in the Catholic faith, attending Mass faithfully, and have known about the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  What I realize I didn't have, however, is a personal and direct relationship with Jesus, and I did not have an understanding of Grace.


My name is Tamara. I was in jail in Crescent City, California when I encountered the Lord once again and knew there had to be more to this life. I really wanted to go to Adult & Teen Challenge in Graham, but there was no bed availability, and I didn't want to go anywhere else. I decided to call every day — sometimes three times a day or more. I had met someone in my hometown that had been to the Graham Campus and told me lots of great things about what happened to her, and I wanted that for my life more then anything else.


I came to the Graham Campus struggling with addiction.  I remember being told I couldn't smoke cigarettes, and that was more overwhelming than anything.  I was really scared the first day, and I remember asking if I could have anything else like a patch. The staff said "No, its the power of prayer that will take that craving away."  I thought they were all crazy.


My name is Becky and I am 23 years old. I was raised in a Christian home with two brothers and two sisters. We were a typical family: we all played sports and went on family vacations. My parents are still together, and we were actively involved in whatever church we attended. I went to private school until 6th grade, and until that point I was certain I would never do drugs, never drink, or give myself to a man before marriage. But just like most teenagers, I struggled with finding my identity and began compromising my morals. I got lost in a world of depression and developed an unhealthy desire for the approval of men, which resulted in shoplifting, drinking, sexual immorality, and bulimia.


My name is Neal, I am 19 years old, and I grew up in Salem, Oregon. When I was a year old my dad went to prison for the first 12 years of my life. My mom left me when I was born, so my aunt and uncle took me in. I finally met my real mom, my older sister, and my two younger brothers for the first time when I turned 14. At that time I also met my older brother for the first and last time. Shortly after I met him he turned 18, and on his 18th birthday he got hit by a car and died. I held a lot of hurt and anger inside because my parents were not there for me.    


I am 22 years old, born in Seattle, and raised in Port Angeles WA. Two 21-day rehabs, two five-day detox facilities, and one sober house did not keep me off of drugs! Jesus did!


I am 20 years old, and I was born in Seattle but raised both here and in Southern California. Before Teen Challenge and Jesus, I was literally living in a tent under a bridge in downtown Seattle. Like most tragic stories, I experimented with drugs and alcohol at a very young age, but would consider the age of 11 as the start of my addiction. I could tell you stories that could be used as a script of a horror movie, but I would rather tell you what God has done in my life since I've surrendered to Him.


I was born and raised in Monrovia, California. Drugs were a part of my life from the age of three or so. It was normal for adults to pass around a pipe filled with marijuana and I was taking a puff or two right along with them. Biker clubs and bar scenes were a part of my norm. I remember one of my very first jobs was selling drugs at the age of 14. To me, selling drugs had a two-fold purpose, getting money and getting free drugs! By the age of 16 I had tried almost every drug possible except for heroin.


My name is Matt, and I am 32 years old from Snohomish, Washington. I dropped out of high school my Junior year. I went to work in the construction industry. I leveraged my construction skills through the real estate boom by flipping houses. Pride blurred my vision and my partying turned to bigger risks. I soon found OxyContin which ultimately lead to intravenous Heroin use. I lost multiple homes to foreclosure, cars repossessed and the collapse of my business. Within twelve months I found myself no longer living in my luxurious home but rather residing in a tent.

How John Found Freedom

John is one of our students who was asked to share his testimony at our Tri-Cities Campus first annual Pies and Ties event. His story is really touching because it includes a stranger named David — an average joe — who took time out of his life that could have been spent with his wife and five kids. Instead he went to the prison and facilitated a bible study and fellowship with some of the inmates.