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Hi, my name is Steve.  I grew up outside the quiet town of Brownsville, Oregon.  I’m the third oldest of eight kids and my parents’ home schooled all of us until we reached at least 15 years of age.  Needless to say, it was quite the experience growing up in that environment.  Although there were some considerable advantages being brought up like that, there were some disadvantages as well.  One disadvantage was that I had practically zero knowledge of or exposure to drugs and alcohol until I moved out when I turned 18.

I was raised in church but I saw it more as an obligation rather than a choice.  So it makes sense that as soon as I moved out of my parents’ home, I completely stopped going to church.  My faith was dead and I wanted to experience what the world had to offer.

The compromises piled up at an alarming rate: alcohol, friends, weed, sex, etc.  In absolutely no time at all, I took a look at my moral compass and threw it out the window.  The only thing better than living the party life was doing so without the bitter tinge of guilt that came the next day.  The party only lasts so long though.

By the time I was 21, I had dropped out of college, I was getting drunk every night, got my first DUI and developed a newfound love with opiates.  My addiction to heroin began like many who go down that road, with prescription pain pills.  When my dealer didn’t have any OxyContin, he offered me something else advertising it as the natural form of oxy.  It didn’t take much coaxing and I was hooked.

I always told myself I would never shoot up but my resolve only lasted so long.  Over the next four years, my life saw nothing but pain and failure: four over doses, another DUI, broken relationships, countless injuries, deep depression and complete spiritual death.

I decided to come to Adult & Teen Challenge while I was lying in my bed in Tampa, Florida going through intense alcohol withdrawals.  I didn’t know much about the program other than it was faith-based, but at that point, I was ready to try anything. 

I can’t accurately describe with words how I felt when I finally surrendered my life to Jesus, but it was something like a flood of relief coming over me and joy I had not felt since I was a little boy.  During my time here so far, God has been revealing to me how much I need Him and how full and rewarding life can be.  The blessings and favor I’m receiving still continues to amaze me and I believe it is just getting started.