Dear Bro Mike & staff,
I'm about finished with my first semester at Biola University in California. Couldn’t have done it without the discipline and character God instilled through TCD, which is well needed back out in the world. Out in California there are a lot of crazy views, philosophies, and ideologies out there just like you said there would be haha. It really is a giant mixing pot of self-created religion. If I didn't have you and the staff to fall back on what I know you taught I would be done for, Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your leaders, who spoke The Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." So when I question or get confused I always think what would Bro Dustin, Bro Nate, etc. do...Doing this has been priceless in my walk. Anyways, I thought I'd let you know I have been standing firm by God's grace and have not fell into old sins bondage since entering TC. Temptation is still there, but God has brought me through almost 2 years of freedom now and I cannot look back now. I still struggle with pride, horrible thoughts now and then, and other character struggles. Though I have not stopped serving The Lord, and it is very encouraging to see God use me in people’s lives even if it is at a Christian university. I have been offered a couple leadership positions but turned them down for now as I am just focusing on classes. But, it is still an honor to see how people trust me now. You guys come to my mind often, and I am praying for ya’ll when I think of TC. For example, Saturday nights I think to myself “awh man there is a roar going up in the chapel throughout Heaven!” (I miss TC worship as you can see). I could go on forever but I know how busy you are so…hopefully some summer if it is alright with you I can head on over and visit if time/schedules permit. Please tell everyone I said Hi.
My name is Mark Moore, and I am 33 years old. I’m married to my wife Rosie and a father to my 3 kids, Shelby, Tyler and Oliver. I am now a Christian, a son to God the father. I can say it comfortably that I am all of those things now. I couldn’t say those things before coming to Teen Challenge of the Dakotas. Before, I was Mark Moore, a meth addicted, alcoholic, liar, thief and cheater. I was lost. I was completely broken with no hope, no love and no future. TCD was the last chance for me because nothing else had worked. Prior to Teen Challenge, my whole life I couldn't hold a job, so my work history was not good. But because of TCD and their connections with other believers, I was able to get another chance to work again. I now work at Mills Construction, a local christian construction company. I like it and am respected as a Christian there. This is just another reason God gets the credit. Only He can make these things possible! Coming here, they helped me draw closer to God, and gave me the tools to seek Him and find Him. In doing so, I also found that through God, I do have hope and a future. Through God, I can be a father, a husband and most of all, a son to Christ, my father. I pray to God everyday to be a better son to Him, a better father to my children, and a better husband to my wife. TCD taught me that God answers prayers; and most of the time through other people. He continues to answer mine and my family’s prayers through Teen Challenge of the Dakotas, and all the brothers and sisters, my Godly family. "Teen Challenge helped my husband and I in so many ways. TCD opened up our hearts to the Lord and showed us we don't have to be afraid. There's so much more love, trust and honesty within our marriage and we would never have made it without the power of the Lord. Teen Challenge is our family and we will continue to praise the Lord at church." -Rosie, Mark's wife.
Graduate & Staff Member
Jesus Christ cured my "incurable" mental illness and rebuilt the life I brought to ruin. Teen Challenge provided me with the structure, loving support, spiritual guidance and training necessary to renew my mind and infuse hope into my soul. For six long years, I fell victim to addiction, homelessness, and countless bouts with major depression and uncontrollable mania. I tried psychotherapy, myriads of psychiatric medications, periods of sobriety, and secular rehabilitation centers. I was committed to seven mental institutions over this period of time. None of it rescued me from the depair of knowing that I was relegated to a cyclical life of stabilize things, destroy it all, rebuild my life, destroy it all again, etc...
But I was presented with the opportunity of being discipled at Teen Challenge. I made a decision to go and invest myself to the utmost, and since have never looked back. I live now to please my Lord and Savior and I strive everyday to be more like Him. I have not taken medication in over a year and a half; and have had NO symtoms of manic-depression occur. I wake up everyday and thank my father God for Teen Challenge and the new life that He has blessed me with. I now work at TCD, giving freely as I have received to men who need a miraculous change in their life, just as I once did. Colossians 3:1-3 (NIV) "Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."
Graduate & Staff Member
Hi. My name is Lucas. In order to fit in (or so I thought), as well as dealing with a turbulent home life, I started smoking weed. Eventually that wasn't enough to fill the void and I began experimenting with various drugs more and more. I flunked out of college because I could not balance being a full-time student and drug user. At this time I started drinking heaving and using IV drugs. I moved in with my dad who tried to introduce me to God. He came home to me barely being able to move after going on a week-long binge of meth and cough medicine. I checked into a 28-day ssecular rehab that started me on the 12-steps. Things went smoothly for 3 months. I found God, but had no guidanace to take me any further than that. I started hanging out with an old buddy and we started using meth again. My Dad noticed my rapid weight loss and caught on to what was going on and kicked me out. He knew that was the only way he could help me. I had nowhere to go and was temporarily staying with my grandmother. My mom found out about Teen Challenge from my high school wrestling coach, who came through the program. I wanted to do anything but come to TCD. God seemed to shut all the other plans I had down. He pretty much had to drag me to TCD kicking and screaming right through the doors. After being here for a couple of months, I let go of any plans I had to leave. Eventually, I started to see that the more I submitted and gave myself over to God, the more I started to overcome my problems until I gave myself over entirely. God began to put a call on my heart to work at TCD. This motivated me to grow physically, spiritually, and mentally. Through the Lord, I have been given peace of mind, self-control, and a good work ethic. I never used to have any of these things. I continue to grow daily as a staff member here at TCD. God's been teaching me lately about letting Him work through me and to wait on Him to make decisions. I am very eager to see what else the Lord has to show me! God bless you all.
Graduate & Staff Member
My name is James and I am 27. I grew up here in Brookings, SD. I was raised to basically worship money and worldly things; and I pretty much got what I wanted. It all came to and end in 2009, when I got arrested for writting about $25,000.00 in bad checks. I spent 13 months in jail in 4 different counties and two states. I was getting slaps on the wrist up until the last jail i was in. My probation officer said maybe I should try getting into Teen Challenage so I talked to brother Mike over the phone and he gave me an induction date. I thought it would be easy and I thought I could just go through the motions, but boy was I wrong. It took me two months before I started to let go of my pride and start seeking God. I now have been out of Teen Challenge for almost a year. The best part is that I have a relationship with God and I have a realionship with my two boys. I know how to be a father now because I follow what God says and I know there is more to life than living for myself. Since being out of Teen Challenage I got married and now we have 5 kids between the two of us; and come July, we will have 6. Needless to say we stay busy! This summer I will be starting Liberty University and I've been doing Global University course also, so i can sow God's word and dedicate the rest of my life serving Him and helping change people's lives like my life was changed. There is no other cure for selfishness, pride and a heart of stone than the love of God and the love that the TCD staff show. I'm thankful every day that I went through Teen Challenge and that they didn't give up on a sinner like me.
Before coming to Teen Challenge of the Dakotas, I hated living. Every morning was a new lesson in the futility of this thing called life. The bondages that I clung to kept me going; and my idols were numerous during this time in my life – anesthetics for the soul as it were – alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. I clung to these pleasures completely recognizing that they too were meaningless and hated it – myself, others, the activities, everything. I had gone to school and had dreams at one time, had cohabited, and thought I was in love, with a single mother and her child. During the process of that relationship's end, I had lost the last straw of hope for anything being worthwhile in this world. Okay, so I get my degree and get a job – so what? Just to get put in another hamster wheel of a relationship just to wait for the axle to break on that one as well? Life lost all purpose and so I sold myself to the pleasures of the moment and degenerated quite rapidly – turning to quick money by selling marijuana and selling my soul to the world for a momentary respite from the hatred and pain within. But something changed, God opened my eyes to the evils of the world by first exposing the evil within me; and I recognized that I was quite rapidly degenerating to something that was wicked to the core. After a very real awakening to the realities of Good and evil, God and Satan, I cried out to Jesus Christ to save me – to change me from being the monster that I was; and to come into the lives of those that I have corrupted and to make something worthwhile out of me, to impart that which I have lacked for my whole life. To have purpose, truth, hope, love, and in one word, a REAL relationship with Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth. Two weeks later, He (God) led me to Teen Challenge of the Dakotas and having been through what the program has to offer – I have grown, I have life, I can ove, I have Christ living in me... a Living Hope walking with me and guiding me. Where I once considered waking up to being a failure (that I hadn't died during my slumber), I now look forward to God's lesson for me today. Not every day is 'peachy', but EVERY day IS blessed – by the One who made all there is, by God Himself. Praise God for the venue of Teen Challenge where I could be worked on and molded – pruned and tended – cleansed and discipled.