Monday, February 01, 2010

I thought I had written about one of the most alarming experiences I had at Teen Challenge about three months ago, but apparently I have not. It was a cold rainy day and the guys called me because a man about thirty was standing right outside of our front door barefooted in the rain and cold, and yelling at the cars as they drove by. He continued for some time when I reluctantly decided I needed to go out and see if I could help him; or at least get him to go away and stop running off all my customers. I asked the students to pray for me because he was a tall guy and I could see he was not in his right mind. I cautiously walked up to his side and asked him if he needed any help. He had a vacant look in his eyes, he was terribly thin and his speech was off in many directions but he was willing to come inside where it was warm and I promised to get him some dry socks for his shoes which were sitting on the sidewalk. Once he came inside about six of the brothers and I, circled him and tried to see if we could help. He was wasted on Meth or some other drug and half of what he said made no sense whatsoever. Luckily one of the visiting Pastors was at the center, and old fellow with lots of experience, so I had one of the guys go and get him, pronto! When Pastor Glen came, he and I led the fella to a more private spot in the store where we could sit down and talk. It was as though we were talking with the demon possessed man that Jesus talked with named “Legion; for many demons had entered him.” What was most alarming to me was that his head was filled with scripture, he quoted the Bible, talked about reaching the lost, spoke with boldness and yet he heart was absolutely vacant; nothing of God resided there, the drugs had cast out all that was holy and he was enslaved, bound with chains and shackles.

I noticed some cuts on his arms and asked him if he would mind pulling up his sleeves; he didn’t mind and he exposed cuts and scratches that covered his entire forearms. Hundreds on each arm. I asked him about it but he was oblivious and off telling me a mile a minute, how he goes into the adult book stores and preaches.

I have never felt more helpless and ill-equipped. None of us got anywhere with him and after the director of the center came to speak with him I bowed out feeling useless and disturbed by the horrid drug state that he was in and although I have seen old men who seemed to have lost their minds I have never seen a young man so mentally disturbed. Ultimately he went back out and disappeared down the street.

That was about three months ago and I have thought about that incident from time to time especially when guys are first admitted to the program and many look just horrible; scrawny, dirty, and lost.

As I was sitting in my office on Friday one of the guys brought a young man back to see me. He was a nice looking fella, big smile, bright eyed and bushy tailed about six feet tall and 190 pounds. He asked me if I remembered this man.

I didn’t think so but there was something about him that seemed familiar; turns out it was the same guy that I had tried to help three months ago. What a contrast! I could barely believe it was the same man. He was level headed, gained 40 pounds of muscle, now in a program and free of drugs. It was a miracle, I just couldn’t get over the contrast. I had to ask him, “What was it that caused you to change?”

He gave me a two word answer, “The law”. He then described how he was picked up by the police and put in jail where he could detox and be ministered to by a jail minister and re-dedicated his life back to Christ. It was an amazing transformation and I still can’t get over the change.

Photo by Stephen Oachs

19 comments:

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Greetings:)

This is an amazing real life story. Perhaps when he was in jail, all that you had talked to him must have worked in his mind. With the additional help he got from the jail minister, he came to God.

Unbelievable but wonderfully true.

Have a nice day Fred:)
Joseph

fcb4 said...

Thank you Jesus, Fred and Teen Challenge.

Matt said...

great story Dad. you life is so much more interesting that last year! loving it. keep on!

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
I thought you would enjoy this story, I must confess the drama is difficult to get down on paper. It was an intense time only to be outdone when he returned with smile and all his mental faculties.
God bless,
Fred



Hi Eric and Matt,
Yes, Teen Challenge has made a dramatic change in my life to understate it. Hope I can keep up!
God willing,
Love Dad

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