At Teen Challenge SA, our day starts how most functional households do. We live as a community, but our living quarters are made up of seven small houses, with up to four people in each, so before the day gets underway, it’s a normal morning run around of showers, breakfast and prayer.
The first structured part of the day is devotions, where a community member usually reflects on a Bible chapter or verse and how they can relate it to their life. Mornings are always my favourite part of the day. Before coming here, I always dreaded waking up each day because I was so badly damaged from substance abuse, but now, through health and structure, waking up and engaging in the day is a joy.
After devotions, we have 20 minutes of quiet reflection before we start a group session. A brief period of coffee and banter between the two is always embraced. Although we have different groups each day, such as gospel study, personal contract work, 12-step work, encounter groups, or public speaking class, today, we focused on personal contract work, which gives us a more intimate understanding of Scripture and how we feel and relate to it.
Lunch in the middle of group is always welcome. The food is great, and there is plenty of it. Our lunch break is long enough for us to enjoy some community time before returning to group. There is plenty to do, but I usually do a few laps of the 1.1 kilometres surrounding the property if I am not on cooking or
clean-up duties. Group continues until 5.00pm, and in that time, we can usually get the majority of our current contract completed, and we get a new one every fortnight.
At 5.00pm, it’s time to take off my shoes and socks in exchange for a pair of slippers as the day winds down. We usually socialise or catch up on personal interests at this time before a 6.00pm dinner. The cooking and cleaning duties rotate each day, and when I’m not on those duties, I’m always looking forward to a big cup of chamomile tea after dinner (I’m actually drinking one as I write this). Then, I wind down with some TV or reading before bed at about 9.30pm.
It’s wonderful going to bed sober each night, knowing that I’m actually going to sleep without being sedated before waking up the next day, looking forward to the day to come. I am happy and hopeful. Praise be to God!