Willamette Valley Campus
June was an amazing month for Willamette Valley. The President of Adult and Teen Challenge USA, Gary Blackard, stopped by our center for a tour of the facility and took the time to pray with a student that was completing the 12-15 month journey God had set him on.
That evening we would also have the amazing completion celebration for several others as well. We were encouraged to watch as several students transitioned into the next phase of the program. We shared hugs, tears, laughs and are so proud of these guys as they step into the next part of their new lives. As Center Director Troy Cunningham and his wife Krista say “this is why we do what we do”. Praise God that these men are choosing to follow Jesus and building their lives upon His cross
Gorgeous weather provided an wonderful Father’s Day outing as we gathered with students and families for fun & games, bbq, and laughs.
Central Oregon Campus
Since our last update, three students gave their lives to Christ. We are blessed to witness this pivotal moment of transformation and to see these men make the decision to follow Christ. Days like this are why we do what we do, getting to see God work and change lives. Continue to pray for Tim, Fellow and Jason with their journey to be more like Christ.
Here are two of their testimonies:
Fellow : “I was an atheist when I got here. I’ve been here for almost two months, and after hearing a lot about Jesus and his love for us, I discovered that with Him I can have love, joy, peace and kindness in my life. I Broke down on my knees at the altar a few times these past few months and gave my life to Christ this last Sunday. I am looking forward to what God has in store for my life.”
Tim: “I was born in Orlando, Florida in 1987. I have two younger siblings who are just a couple years apart from each other. My childhood consisted of my mom struggling to take care of the three of us. We were homeless and lived in government housing all our childhood. When I was seventeen we moved to Montana. I didn’t like that idea because I thought everyone rode around on horse and buggy. Well, I’ve never ridden a horse let alone see one up close. As soon as we got there my Mom enrolled me into high school to finish my junior year. That was short lived. I had a lot of resentment from leaving home to go somewhere I never knew existed. I acted out and quickly became friends with the wrong people. After five months I was kicked out of school and shortly after that I was on the streets. I had my first kid at 18 and three years later had a baby girl. I was trying to keep my family together but couldn’t stop smoking meth and heroin. Eventually this landed me in jail looking at a lengthy prison sentence. I was presented with the opportunity to come to Teen Challenge rather than going to prison and I took it. It’s been the best decision of my life! After some time in the program I surrendered my life to God and have been studying the word and feel for the first time in a long time that I’m free from addiction and I’m getting my life back with everything I lost in it. Thank you T.C. Thank you God.”
Saturday June 15th we participated in the local founder’s day parade. We love to be active in our community and showed up to assist with the event. Our student interns helped with set up and even walked in the parade. We also had a table set up for the event afterwards to spread our message of putting hope within reach. This was a great opportunity for our interns to learn how to organize community outreach experiences by sharing our christ-centered vision with professionalism.
Portland Metro Campus
An amazing aspect of the ministry is getting to educate and encourage young people. We got to share our testimonies and experiences with the youth group at Two Rivers Church in Milwaukee We hope that by educating future young leaders, we can help to correct the epidemic of addiction which typically begins by experimenting at a young age.
This is what it is all about, new students and now, new believers! An altar call at a community Church brought these men to their feet and they made the choice to give their lives over to our Lord and Savior. Watching broken men surrender to Christ and commit to a life-changing relationship is the fruit of our ministry. We are so pleased to cheer them on as we work with them to battle their past and move forward in love and healing.
We had the honor of celebrating the completion of Mahlon T. Mahlon has entered the Internship Program and is serving here at the Alaska Campus. It’s a privilege to have him serve here as he is a valuable member of the family. We had a packed house for the celebration with friends and family all there to celebrate this momentous occasion. It’s always a special time for all to see firsthand the reconciliation that occurs as we follow Christ. All attendees were readily on deck to pray for Mahlon in this new season of his journey. The worship team blessed the house with some wonderful worship, and they are certainly getting good under the direction of our newest staff Tom Rolston who is an amazing musician. To Him who is able be all the glory!
We are happy to announce the commencement of Living Free here at the Alaska Campus, and in partnership with many participating local churches. Living Free is the community-based expression of Teen Challenge for those who don’t require a residential setting. It is an incredible series of curriculum covering many topics dealing with common issues of life that many find themselves struggling to manage, and opens the participants eyes to the practical application of the Scripture.
Fishing Camp 2019 – The fishing trip this year was a blast for all involved. It’s a wondrous thing to gather around a campfire in the midst of the Alaskan wilderness for Bible study. They certainly needed it for what we call “combat fishing” where one has to wait for a spot to fish. Even in this wilderness, it is filled with people from all over the world who come to fish the Russian River. What an adventure for all, and the bounty was plentiful with a total of 27 Reds. Time to spark up the smoker!