Jason Koland

Without the Teen Challenge program and Jesus Christ, I would more than likely be dead by now. I was confused at a very young age because my biological mother gave me up for adoption because heroin, cocaine, and alcohol were more important to her than I was. I was tossed around from foster care homes to orphanages, finally finding love and a stable home environment with my Uncle and Aunt.

They raised me in the church and we rarely missed a Sunday or Wednesday service. I got a lot of head knowledge in those years, but I never let the knowledge seep into my heart. I was going to church to make my parents happy, but my so called relationship with Jesus wasn't real. At age 18 I got kicked out of the house due to my drug use and constant manipulation.

I moved to Lake Tahoe and preceded to party, rebel, and try any drug that was offered to me. After injuring myself snowboarding, my dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder went down the drain. I started using heroin and that drug took over my life for 6 years. Because of my addiction, I lost everything material that I owned, got arrested multiple times, and was then homeless on the streets of Portland. I thought I was going to be a heroin addict for life and gave up on trying to change. God had a different plan though.

I was arrested by a police officer in Portland who told me about Jesus and that I needed to get help and that I couldn't do it alone. I detoxed in jail and finally called my parents who I hadn't talked with in months, and I asked them for help. They told me about Teen Challenge and that it was a Christian program. I was a little hesitant to enter because it was one year long. Entering the program was the best choice that I made in my life.

I graduated from Teen Challenge October 28, 2011 and gained a real relationship with Jesus Christ. God has delivered me from the strongholds that had controlled my life for 20 years. I completed the Teen Challenge Ministry Institute requirements and have been hired on as the Program Coordinator for the Central Oregon Men's Center. I never thought I'd be doing full time ministry work, but I'm all in now, and I'm not looking back. I have come a long way, and I am committed to sobriety and serving Jesus for the rest of my life.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."