Prisoner of hope
Once bound by the emotional chains of addiction, Daniel is now a prisoner of hope found in Jesus through Teen Challenge SA.
You could say my struggles started from day one, with my poor mum having a caesarean and still needed forceps to pull me out. I came out with two black eyes and a broken nose, still today with the dents in my head, but no drain ‘bamage’!
On a more serious note, through Teen Challenge God literally saved my life. I had been addicted to drugs nearly 20 years. Drugs controlled every facet of my life – relationships, family, and work.
It got me into a lot of trouble and due to the people involved in that world, it ended up causing much pain and anguish, through things done and games played on me which needed deep healing.
There was a lack of a good father figure, with three fathers having been and gone, all of whom I have forgiven. The first I never knew, the second was violent (me being whipped and kicked with his steel-capped boots, also remember him raping my mum). Father number two was emotionally detached and didn’t really seem to care.
Most of my childhood has been blocked out, whether by choice or instinct I’m unsure.
I always used to get with the wrong crowd, longing for acceptance and taking drugs to fit in. Looking for that father figure led me to the older generation. They saw me as a young impressionable lad, using me for their own gain and laughs, driving for dealers, break and enters, robberies theft, all so they could get what they want, and for me to get my drugs.
This continued until 2009 when I committed an aggravated robbery on a chemist to get Kapanol and OxyContin. Hours later I was in the cells and then in jail from 2009 until 2012.
Whilst in jail God came to me through His word. I was in my cell one day and for some reason I needed to read the Bible. A still small voice said, ‘Look under the TV’. I looked and found it, straight away I started reading, within minutes it came alive. God revealed Himself to me in such a personal way. My time in jail became one of freedom and peace, my relationship grew exponentially and rapidly as I pressed into Him more and more each day. I felt invincible.
Upon release in 2012 I found a church and committed myself to volunteering and became a real part of it.
But I allowed the world to get in the way. My relationship with God fell away, and therefore drugs came back in.
This continued until 2016 when after countless attempts to quit, hating myself I decided to end it all. Getting the noose ready, the Holy Spirit said to me: ‘What about rehab?’. I was filled with hope as the realisation came that freedom was possible once again. The very next day phone calls were made and things were done to get into Teen Challenge as quick as possible.
Due to the Living Free program’s Christ-centred focus, I am now realising who and what I am and pushing into my potential.
Special thanks to God for His amazing love and sacrifice. Thanks to all that make Teen Challenge possible.