Sunday morning I visited First Assembly of God, Oroville, CA where the service was blessed by a choir from Teen Challenge and testimonies from a few of the choir members.
The Director spoke about the life changing power of Jesus Christ to change lives and turn hell bound individuals toward a new way of living.
You may have heard of Teen Challenge and their amazing success record of recovery from addiction due to their focus on Jesus Christ.
(Some facts from Wikipedia) In early 1958 David Wilkerson saw a
photograph in Life Magazine of
seven teenagers who were members of a gang in
known as "Egyptian
Dragons." He later wrote that he felt the Holy Spirit move him with compassion and was
drawn to go to New York in order to preach to the gang. New York
On his arrival, Wilkerson went to the court in which the teenagers were being prosecuted. He entered the room and asked the judge for permission to tell them something, but the judge ejected him.
Upon leaving, someone took a photo of Wilkerson, who then became known as the Bible preacher "who had interrupted the gang trial."
this, he began a street ministry to young drug addicts
and gang members, which he continued into the
Later in 1958, he founded the program Teen Challenge.
David Wilkerson gained national recognition after he co-authored the book The Cross and the Switchblade in 1962 with John and Elizabeth Sherrill about his street ministry.
The book became a best-seller, with over 50 million copies in over thirty languages.
It is included in Christianity Today's "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals."
In the book,
Wilkerson tells of the conversion
of gang member Nicky Cruz, who later
became an evangelist himself and wrote the autobiographical Run Baby Run.
Nicky had been the president of the gang "Mau Maus", and he and his friend
became Christians after hearing Wilkerson preach. Israel
In 1970, The Cross and the Switchblade was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson and Erik Estrada as Cruz.
How Does Teen Challenge Operate Today?http://teenchallengeusa.com/
It is a Christ-centered, faith-based solutions for youth, adults, and families struggling with life-controlling problems, such as addiction.
Teen Challenge is holistic – meaning that we are concerned with the body, mind, and spirit of those who come to us for help. We endeavor to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. Teen Challenge, offers a chance to start over, become a new person, live a godly life, and find freedom through a restored purpose and an eternal hope. We do this through classes, individual study, personal mentoring, work ethics training, and involvement in the Christian community.
Adult ProgramsDespite the name, Teen Challenge works extensively with adults. Most adults who arrive at our doors bring with them a tragic history of substance abuse and other life-controlling problems. At Teen Challenge, the journey to sobriety includes attention to the spiritual needs of those who seek our help.
With a focus on the practical applications of Christian teachings, adults not only learn how to change deeply entrenched, self-destructive behavior, but to discover a new identity in Christ that makes these changes possible.
Adults who come to Teen Challenge not only receive a holistic approach to recovery from life-controlling problems, but acquire a new value system that honors family, takes responsibility for community, cultivates a positive work ethic, and helps them become productive, healthy members of society.
If you know someone who would benefit from this Christ centered program check out a program near you on their home page. http://teenchallengeusa.com/