In 1999, at the age of 30, I came to a Drug Alternative Program, completed the program and graduated in 2001. Upon graduation, I was employed by the co-founders of the program, Cliff and Freddie Harris. I was hired as House Manager and Lawn Supervisor.
After getting married in 2001, my wife and I purchased a home in Redlands, CA. I was promoted to Assistant Program Director at DAP (Drug Alternative Program). This was the happiest time in my life, not having a mind-altering chemical in my body. I had a beautiful Christian wife, lovely home, a car that I had never wrecked, and money in the bank. In 2003, our son was born bringing us the joyful experience of parenthood. I loved my job that I had held for three years. Most important, Jesus was the Center of my life. In the past, I didn't know or even care about God at all.
After 4 1/2 years of sobriety, I relapsed on pain medication due to a back injury. I had relapsed in the past but this one was the worst yet. I went down fast and hard. I awakened a demon inside of me again as I stopped praying, studying the Bible and attending church. I was running on self-will.
Within a year, I had lost the job I loved, the woman and child I loved, and my home. My drug addiction took me to the streets of San Bernardino where I lived like an animal, killing myself fast this time because the guilt and shame was too much to bare. Jesus kept me alive on those streets for seven months.
One day I asked my ex-wife for a bus ticket to Tennessee where my family lived. I knew I would die if I didn't break the cycle of my addiction. In Tennessee, I continued to drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and pop pills. I was arrested and spent four months in the county jail. While incarcerated, I had lots of time to think.
Ten whole years had passed.
I remembered the DAP "School of Christ", the place where I met Jesus, developed a personal relationship with Him and became an asset to those around me. I wrote Mr. & Mrs. Harris from jail and asked if they would take me back into the program.
My friend, listen to the work of the Holy Spirit: Mrs. Harris intercedes daily for the graduates and clients calling us all by name. Six months prior to hearing from me, I was heavy on her heart. She began to pray profusely for me begging God to save my life and let me contact them.
While out of town, she was told that a letter from me arrived. Hearing my name made her shout aloud with "tears of joy". She knew that letter was a direct answer to her prayers. Immediate plans were made for my return to the program. God worked several miracles within a few days. I was on supervised probation and was granted permission by the court to leave the state.
The answer came in one day. I had no money for a bus ticket to California. Mrs. Harris shared my story with Jim & Dorothy Valcarcel, major donors and close friends. They decided to invest in me by paying for my "airline" ticket and tuition. I met them on the day of my arrival at DAP's 20th Anniversary Celebration. I was overwhelmed with God's love through these two people. What a "warm" welcome I received from the rest of my DAP family and friends at that momentous occasion!