After 18 years of being addicted to heroin, I have been given a new life with Christ. It starts in October 2017, catching my 5th felony heroin charge on probation. I ended up in jail that day. In jail I was given a bond, and I was trying to do everything I could do to get out on bond before my probation officer found out that I was arrested again. While I was in jail, a man told me about the Elim Home, which is a faith-based recovery program of Thomas Road Baptist Church. At this point I was still playing games. I told my friends and family that I would go to a program if they would just bond me out. I went to the program for the wrong reasons.
On January 1, 2018, I checked myself into Elim. After being there a little over a week, things I’d been taught in church and Christian schools as a child started coming back to me. I always believed in God and had even asked Jesus into my heart when I was 10 years old, but I never lived a Christian Life. But, one day while reading my Bible, I felt something come over me, and I asked myself, “Am I still saved? Will I always be saved?” At that point I just knew I needed to go speak to somebody, so I went and found one of the staff to speak. I was witnessed to, and at that point I rededicated my life to the Lord.
While I was at the Elim Home, our resident chaplain Zach Hodge was talking about opening a faith-based transition home, but it wouldn’t be open until the middle of the summer. So, about a week before I was to leave the program, I was told that they had found a house, and that they were signing the lease. Up until this point, I had never given any thought to living in a place like that. As soon as I found out that the house was opening up in March, and that it was in my grasp, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to pass up that kind of opportunity. I graduated from Elim February 24, 2018 and moved into Our Father’s House ten days later on March 9; I was the first resident to move into the house. I would have to say it was the second-best decision of my life with the first being asking the Lord back into my life.
I moved into this house because I wanted to continue my walk with Christ and be around like-minded people. I knew that if I had moved back to the Richmond area with no job, no transportation, and not being around in fellowship with other Christians, it would just be a matter of time before I would fall back into my old self. So being in a house of brothers all struggling to stay clean and sober and in fellowship with the Lord is fantastic. We are all working for the same common goal and understand what we have been through and know how to help each other out.
I now have been clean and sober since January 1, 2018. That is seven months– this is the longest time that I have ever been clean besides being incarcerated. I am learning all kinds of new things like how to deal with a sober life and how to stay sober. I have experienced true joy in simple things like spending time with my son, going on walks and hiking, forming bonds in true friendships– something that I don’t think I’ve ever really had. I am currently working two jobs attending 3 Bible studies and church weekly. These are all things that I enjoy and want to be doing. I owe my life to these two programs; the Elim Home and Our Father’s House because if I had not had this opportunity, I am almost positive that I would be dead.