Christopher grew up in a household that was filled with both fear and love. His father struggled with addiction before he was born and exhibited anger and aggression problems as he grew up. Chris’ mother on the other hand did the best she could to raise Chris and his 3 siblings in a sometimes volatile home. Chris said, “I can’t describe what led me to try Oxycontin at 13 years old, but the moment I did a relationship was formed. Drugs and alcohol filled a gap in me that I didn’t even know existed.” By 16 he was skipping school to steal so that he could support a growing pain pill addiction. By the time he wanted to quit using drugs he felt as though the hole was too deep and there was no ladder to crawl out. Pain pill addiction lead to eventual heroin addiction which ultimately saw Chris checking himself into a homeless shelter in Knoxville, TN. He had literally come to the place in his life where he so desperately wanted to be free, but had accepted that all he would ever be was a drug addict. That is when God intervened in his life, and He did it using Teen Challenge. Chris said, “For the first time in my life I discovered purpose, and there’s no doubt in my mind that God used the ministry of Teen Challenge to save my life. Teen Challenge helped me learn how to deal with emotions and feelings by making practical decisions based on the Word of God.” Chris graduated from New Horizon Recovery Center: A Ministry of Teen Challenge on October 7, 2015. He accepted an Internship and eventually became a full-time staff member coordinating intakes into the men’s center just east of Atlanta. Fast forward to 2017 and Chris is currently the Expansion Director at City Lights Church in Clinton, TN. He has been able to lead Bible studies, develop leaders within his church and will soon be licensed and ordained by the church while simultaneously filling in preaching on Sunday mornings when the pastor can’t preach. Chris said, “I’m proud to say that my family and I including my father have a great relationship today. You’re reading the testimony of a man who was standing on a sidewalk homeless from heroin addiction who never thought he could be free…but God. Everything that has happened in my life would not be possible without the ministry of Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge forever saved my life.”

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Brandon Western knew pain from a young age. His biological dad committed suicide, and Brandon never learned how to cope with the emotional stress from the tragedy. He grew up internalizing anger and depression, and turned to drugs and alcohol early on. After barely graduating high school with no plans for his future, Brandon continued on his path toward destruction dealing drugs full-time. Things went from bad to worse when Brandon began selling drugs for a cartel, and his enterprise ended with the police breaking down the front door of his apartment. Brandon was arrested on 7 felony drug charges, and entered the county jail as a broken and hopeless drug addict. It was there that reality began to set in, and the pain he felt inside was almost too much to bear. For the first time in his life Brandon got real with himself and admitted defeat. He surrendered his heart to Jesus Christ on the floor of that jail cell, and things have never been the same since. After speaking with a Chaplain about what to do next, Brandon was accepted into the New Horizon Recovery Center: A Ministry Of Teen Challenge program east of Atlanta, GA. The judge presiding over his case agreed to let him go under the condition that if he did not complete the program he would end up in prison. That was November 03, 2011. Brandon has since completed the program, and now serves as the Assistant Director of the ministry. He is now married to a beautiful woman who loves the Lord, and they have a daughter and a son together. Through the principles he was taught in the program Brandon says, “Teen Challenge was the bridge that brought me to the other side of freedom. Teen Challenge saved my life!”

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