Letters from some of the boys at Camp Challenger preceded by Chaplain Jones. Letters will be continuously added.

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What is it that you want to be when you grow up?‍‍‍

My name is Brian S. I am 28 years old. I grew up in the South bay in West Los Angeles. I have been struggling with drug addiction for the past 11 years. It started out as a party, drinking and smoking weed there really wasnt any consiquences in the beginning. I started smoking weed and drinking at age 12, my older brother and his friends thought it was funny to get me high and drunk, and i liked the attention and feeling apart of the crew. that started my addiction to getting loaded. as time went on i began smoking weed daily and drinking at house parties on the weekend. then i graduated to pills and cocaine at age 14. I began to drink more and continue smoking weed and doing hard drugs on the weekends like cocaine and ecstasy and pills. the drugs worked for me, they made me able to get with girls, made me funny on point and the life of the party. also they took all my fears and self consciouseness away. I felt like i had found what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then at 17 i was introduced to crystal meth. That became my favorite thing of all. it had me from the first hit. at first it was all good, just getting high before school , and on the weekends. nobody could tell and i was able to maintain. It gave me the false confidence that i was a badass and i decided to start robbing people for no reason. I ended up catching a couple robbery cases that landed me in juvenile hall for an extended period of time. But i still didnt learn my lesson, i learned inside about heroin and how much better the drugs felt when u injected them in your veins. So when i was released i decided to try using needles. i was almost 19 years old at this time and most my friends had graduated and went on with their lives, but i wanted to hit the ground right where i left off, so i kicked it with the older homies that where still around. i began to crime and continued to go in and out of Los Angeles County jail, not really caring and believing this is how life is. as time went on the party began to not be fun anymore, the trips to jail became more and more depressing and hard on me emotionally, i was destroying my life and all my relationships and becoming a slave to the disease more and more with each day passing. The demons had their claws in me, the world i used to know and love became foreign to me, what i used to be familiar with all became strange. i was dancing with the devil and he was in full control. till one night the incomprehensible demorilization of my life had reached an all time low, i was harming myself on purpose the way i had been using drugs turned from fun to pain for the last few years, comepletly out of my mind i knew i wanted it to end but i didnt know how to make that happen, so i decided i would take my own life. I just wanted it all to stop so i decided to hang myself in my garage with an extention cord, and record it on my snapchat for the world to see . the devil had his next victim, who he had been tormenting for years, but somehow god had intervened in my life to give me another shot at life. My brother walked in the garage late at night and found me hanging there and cut me down. i have no recolection of what happened after that but i am thankful he did. The next week i went to a mens breakfast at the life center to hear Brother Nico Speak the word and i couldnt help but break down and cry infront of the whole congrigation of men who accepeted me with nothing but love and open arms, they held me up when i was weak and loved me when i couldnt love myself, and God put me in the right place at the right time and saved me from the devil. Devine intervention. Nico and pastor Nati helped me find a place to stay and gave me another shot at life, which is all i needed and now i have 30 days clean, i go to AA meeting daily, work with a sponsor, and help others to see there is a better way of life.. all praise and glory be to God for my life today, and i send my love to Brother Nico for saving my life and being there for me when i was lost and guiding me to a new way of life. Also thank you pastor Nati for taking me into his home and letting me get back on my feet. God bless you all and Thank you from the bottom of my heart.‍‍‍

B