Drug dealing and stealing to support my addictions. Fighting constantly to prove myself. My mates committing suicide. Deaths from overdoses and accidents. Using drugs to numb my life.
That was all I knew.
For seven years, I was on a downward spiral, a slippery slope that I could not escape.
I battled for solutions, wanting to change but not knowing how, going in circles with no real improvement or direction. I lost control of my life. I hit rock bottom.
On 25 February 2013 it was windy and raining. My dad dropped me off at an unknown place, with the reassuring words that I was going to be okay; I was going to make it.
At the lowest point in my life, I stood at the doors of the Teen Challenge New Life Men’s Centre.
I didn’t know that my life was about to change.
From Day One, the staff treated me like family. The boys accepted me for who I was. They were not interested in my past, but rather who I was going to become.
I felt accepted, loved, valued and part of a family. I never had to gain approval or prove myself.
During my time at Teen Challenge, I found the love of God. I found His forgiveness and true freedom. This was the pivotal moment that changed my life. I found a hope worth living for.
After completing the program, I decided to intern for Teen Challenge. I wanted to give back and help others that were stuck in the same spiral that I was.
I interned for 12 months and went to Bible College at iSEE CHURCH[HG1] . Doors opened up for me to move to the Sunshine Coast. I attended church where I met my soon-to-be wife. We were married in 2016, and we’re now expecting our third child.
I’m now a support worker and a mentor [HG2] for young guys caught up in hopeless situations. It brings me great joy to walk alongside these guys.
I reconciled with my family and am so grateful to them for the grace and love they have shown to me throughout this journey.
The world told me a lie.
It told me I had to be independent and make it on my own – and if I didn’t, I was a failure. Teen Challenge helped me see that we actually need each other.
On the good days we lift up those around us – and on the bad days, they lift us up.
This is my story, and I wouldn't be here today without Teen Challenge.