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Annika

It's not just the women's lives that are touched and changed by God through the ministry of Teen Challenge Montana Women's Outreach.  Annika came to Teen Challenge in the summer of 2005 and completed in the summer of 2006.  Here is a note from the heart of her mom about Annika's journey with God and how it started with Annika but it didn't end there…

"Teen Challenge doesn’t just heal individuals. It heals families. Our daughter, Annika, was only fourteen when she fell into a deep depression. She developed an eating disorder and started isolating, cutting, and abusing substances. We took her to counselors and therapists, but no one could reach her. Things spun out of control through her high school years and we found ourselves on many occasions waiting with her in emergency rooms or visiting her in psychiatric wards. No one seemed to have any lasting answers, though. Our family life was severely disrupted as so much of our emotional energy and resources were poured into keeping her alive. I prayed constantly for God to heal Annika, but at times, I honestly felt like He was ignoring me.

Having her move out of our home when she turned eighteen didn’t help much. Even though we no longer had to physically see her horrifying death spiral play out in front of us, our hearts were constantly sick with the knowledge that Annika was destroying herself in another, even more dangerous location. I became afraid to answer the phone after getting calls from her when she was in jail or on a terrible meth trip.

Finally, though, God broke His silence. He didn’t thunder words from heaven, but chose instead to speak love to us through some key people and some amazing circumstances that pointed us straight toward the Teen Challenge Montana Women’s Outreach.

Teen Challenge proved to be the exact answer, not just for Annika’s need, but for mine as a mother, as well. The Teen Challenge program offered all of us something that none of the other counselors and hospitals could—the power of God. There Annika learned that her ultimate recovery would not spring from a proper diagnosis, or the right combination of meds, or even human wisdom. Annika’s devastated spirit would be bathed and nurtured back to health by simply submitting to a program that invited the Holy Spirit into its facility. It wasn’t an overnight process, and now, years later, we’re all still hammering out the details, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that Teen Challenge saved my daughter’s life…

…and mended this mom’s broken heart in the process."