From the Big House to The Freedom House

My name is Rob Reynolds, i am 43 and from Martinsburg WV. I spent 17 years there as an addict. I grew up with parents who were addicts . I got into drug dealing around 15 or 16. Was heavy into it by age 16. I drank a lot then and smoked a lot of pot. I was selling around 100 pounds of weed a week. I did that through most of high school.

I graduated from Hedgesville High School in 1993. I was moving on to heavier drugs by then,cocaine and a lot of acid. I stayed out of trouble for the most part ,meaning i never got caught. I had my first daughter in 95 and gave up a lot of the dealing. Then got married in 97. Around 99 i started working in Leesburg doing plumbing ,still drinking and using. I started selling cocaine in large quantities after working with a lot of drug dealers in Va. It wasn't long before i was strung out on cocaine and running out of money and resorting to criminal activity. I was stealing credit cards and maxing them out and then cutting them up ,trading the stuff...

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There is hope from the street life

One of the biggest challenges a person who struggles with addiction will ever experience in early recovery is learning how to live life on life's terms clean and sober. I've shared in previous blogs about what it's like trying to move on after living the street life and overcoming trauma. Chronic fear and heartache used to plague my mind and soul, and it's what kept me out there for so long. Anxiety and depression is usually caused by unprocessed trauma. I've mentioned before the nervous system gets stuck when we don't process our pain and grief. What people need to realize, especially those recovering, is that addictions were but a symptom of what's really taking place on the inside.

When I first began my journey of recovery, it was hard just living your normal everyday life. I had to learn how to fall into normal day to day activities like holding a steady job, a steady home, being a stable mother, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. What seemed easy for others was a...

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I shouldn’t be alive today but God..

I grew up in church. I’m 27 years old. I fell away from church in high school and started getting into worldly things. Drinking, drugs, sex and alcohol. I thought I was living the fun life, staying high and drunk all the time, treating girls like objects instead of the jewels that they are. I had a son when I was 19.

I was so far gone on bath salts, meth, pills, weed, and drinking I didn’t care about anything but chasing that high. On my 20th Birthday, I wanted to die. I was so strung out I was tired of life.

I remember praying for the first time in years that God would change me. Help me become a better person, a better dad for my son, even if that meant jail.

My son was 5 months old at that time and I hardly ever saw him. I just wanted to get high all the time. Not even a month later I was arrested. I overdosed one night and the cops were called and I freaked out when I saw them and spit at them and got 3 felony assault charges. I was a terrible person. I ended up...

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From Prison to Pastor

As a former atheist and addict, I never thought I would ever be a Christian with over eighteen years of sobriety, much less a Pastor. I also never thought I would serve a life sentence in prison, but that’s exactly what happened to me.

While I was in High School, I drank on the weekends and smoked marijuana occasionally. Then when I went to college, the floodgates of alcoholism and drug addiction opened up. I was getting high and drunk all of the time. During my senior year, I tried cocaine for the first time and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t get enough of it, staying up for days at a time, and losing over forty pounds in the process.

In an effort to support my expensive habit, I started selling drugs. One night, one of my customers tried to rob me at gunpoint. Not wanting to hand over the drugs and money, I opted for grabbing the gun I had on me and started shooting at him instead. After the bullets ran out, I was still alive but he was not. I never thought my...

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Megan's Story of Hope

My name is Megan. I am 32 years old and I am from Amarillo, Texas.

I was molested by a neighbor when I was 8 years old. He got me drunk on pina coladas and he told me they were snocones. I was spending the night over there because his neice was there. I never told anyone.

From that point on I always sought love and acceptance from all the wrong people, places, and things as well as being very rebellious, especially at school.

I got pregnant with Andrew my senior year of high school and dropped out. I got my GED a year later.

I dabbled with drinking, pills, and weed but it was never really a problem.

I met a man and fell in love. While we were together he lost his son to SIDS. He moved away to North Carolina. I found out I was pregnant shortly after but I never told anyone. About 5 or 6 months into that pregnancy I lost the baby, a little boy I named Ezra Blake. I didn't even tell his father that I was pregnant and I didn't because I saw how it destroyed him when he lost one of his...

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John Arnold - Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge Alumni Spotlight

One of the greatest joys is to get to hear stories of the Alumni of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge still serving the Lord several years later. 

One of our team members recently was able to catch up with John Arnold, a 2015 graduate and got a few encouraging words from him. 

For all of those that support us at SVTC, thank you. These are the testimonies of life transformation that take place because of YOU!!

Alumni Spotlight - John Arnold

For most of my teenage years and beyond I bought into anything the world had to offer.

I thought that with the right amount/combination of drugs, the right job, the right amount of money, living in the right city, the right relationship, the right friends etc. would give me happiness.

I searched for that combination for almost 10 years and never found it.

I remember my mom coming to visit me one weekend and just completely breaking down.

I had been trying for so many years to keep it together but couldn’t...

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Kyle's Story of Hope

"My name is Kyle and I am 19 years old, from Sterling, Va. The past 5 years, I have struggled with depression, addiction, and control issues. Growing up, I never had a relationship with God. We went to church, but it was more about religion than a relationship. I didn't pursue Him because I didn't believe that He could change what I was facing in my life.

Since I have been here at Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge, I have made the most important decision of my life - accepting the Lord into my life.

I was so focused on the dissatisfaction of myself and consumed with shame and self-pity, but I have learned that in the moments where everything is about us, failure is inevitable. With Him, I can do anything! He has been working in my life so much since I have gotten here. Christ's power is perfect in human weakness! Every weakness I have has allowed me to be more than a conqueror. I may be scared or discouraged, but I will never be alone. With Christ in me, I am loved,...

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Ben's Story of Hope

"My name is Ben and I am 38 years old, from Blacksburg, VA. I'm a father of 3 beautiful girls. I grew up in a Christian home and attended my Grandfather's church. At age 13, my parents divorced and I became very bitter and angry. By age 15, I stopped going to church and started smoking cigarettes, drinking and smoking marijuana.

I continued to smoke weed and party through high school and by age 20, I was totally hooked on painkillers. At the age of 24, I was arrested for the first time and charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute meth. I was sentenced to 26 months in Federal Prison Camp in Beckley, WVa.

After being released and living in a halfway house, I fell off a ladder and broke 2 major bones in my wrist. Before I knew it, I was strung out on pills again. I never thought that I would be anything other than a drug addict. 

In Spring 2015, I overdosed on heroin and fentanyl, almost losing my life. After 18 months in jail, I was ordered to come to Teen Challenge,...

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Kailah's Story of Hope

My name is Kailah.  I’m 24 years old, born in Trenton, New Jersey but grew up in Virginia.  This is my story.  This life I have been given could be seen as many things.  Some people may even say unfair, tragic, broken, defeat, even hopeless.  That’s how I used to see it.  

Just a few words of what the world taught me to be defined as.  Words played to me by the events of my life to confirm to a broken heart that it was deemed worthless.  So this empty soul began her quest of validation.  Thanks to the powers of a praying Mother my heart was always seeking; a seed beneath the surface, just waiting for the cultivation of a hardened heart to break through.  

That point hit last year and due to a series of events my life changed the moment it ended.  The seeker inside of me knew something was missing so I needed to fill what spaces my past had left...

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Amos Story of Hope

My name is Amos and I am a 37 year old “addict” working towards a better life through the Lord Jesus Christ. I am always hoping and praying for that better future, but I seem to catch myself being stuck in the darkness a lot. Wondering when this never-ending nightmare will be over – will I ever move forward? This never-ending battle of addiction.

I’ve come to focus on the things that I can change. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now have light from the Lord.” I’ve learned to live as a person of light. The more I live in God’s light the less I will want to be influenced by the darkness of the world around me. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

In Proverbs, we are told that wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you and...

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