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My name is Chris, and I am 20 years old.  Growing up, I had loving parents who loved Jesus.  We went to church every Sunday, and at a very young age I had a relationship with God.  I was privileged, and had great opportunities.

Somewhere along the line, I started believing Satan’s lies.  He showed me a lifestyle off in the distance that seemed happy, fun, and fulfilling.  There were fewer rules and less responsibility.  This idea of lifestyle was marketed to me by the media  — it was screaming at me to give in to my fleshly desires.  And I had not yet had a taste.

I got curious in high school, and began indulging in what the world had to offer.  This included sexual sin and pride.  I became very selfish.  My heart was hardened.  I found my significance in what others thought of me.  I started drinking and smoking pot a lot with my friends.  Weed and alcohol made me feel great, seemed to get rid of all my problems, and make me feel accepted by a certain group.  I made partying very habitual.

My senior year, I got kicked out of high school for selling marijuana and getting in a fight.  Around this time, I was introduced to a new drug, methamphetamine.  I loved it, and I made it my idol.  I centered my life on the drug.  I became clearly addicted.

My parents became fed up with my behavior and nonsense, so they kicked me out.  Over the course of the next two years, I spent the majority of my time living on the streets, selling dope to support my habit and survive.  I slept under bridges, on people’s couches, and occasionally at the Men’s Gospel Rescue Mission.

After two years of this, I became so fed up with how I was living.  I was angry and bitter.  I hated my life and the world.  I was living in total darkness, and I knew I was headed for death and destruction.  I became afraid.  I had no hope.  I remembered a time when life used to be beautiful and I was full of joy.  I realized I had been running from God for years.

One night I cried out to Jesus, and I told Him to save me from my darkness.  INSTANTLY, He revealed Himself to me in a way I cannot put on paper.  In that moment, I gave my life to Jesus.  A week later, He led me to the doors of Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge.  I have been in Adult & Teen Challenge following Jesus for eight months now, and I love this new abundant life that the Lord has given me. 

I am a completely new creation in Christ.  I have found true freedom.  I am blessed to be living in a place where reading Scripture, praying, and leading a Christ-like life is encouraged.  I am surrounded by brothers who love me and build me up.  My relationship with my family is also restored.  Today, I am filled with hope, love, and joy.  God is love, and Jesus shows it.  He truly is the way, the truth, and the life.