Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Apryl Cordry, Nicole Day
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00095A
00:11 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery,
00:13 I'm Cheri your host, today we are going to talk about
00:15 your organization Teen Challenge. - yes.
00:18 You've got to join us in, it's an incredible organization
00:21 and you get to meet some of the kids,
00:22 that's my favorite part.
00:52 You know I travel a lot, and what is really fun about
00:55 traveling is that I get to meet some folks that have
00:59 incredible stories, you get to meet them as I meet them.
01:02 If they have good story I bring them right here.
01:05 But some of my favorite things to do are treatment
01:08 facilities and so today I get to bring in Teen Challenge.
01:12 I loved them, Teen Challenge is, well I'm going to let
01:17 them explain what it is.
01:18 But I get to meet people in recovery, sometimes I look
01:21 at the girls or the young men that are in Teen Challenge
01:24 and I think you know what they are me, that's exactly
01:28 what I would have said at that time.
01:29 If they cuss me out, or if they are excited about the
01:33 recovery, either one you may run into and I just think
01:36 oh that was me, how cute are you.
01:37 I love it and so I'm going to introduce you to a couple
01:41 today and we are going to have some more on the program
01:44 next week so I just be blessed, just be blessed.
01:48 I'm going to start Apryl with you, and the first time
01:52 I came to Teen Challenge and I came in and I saw you and
01:56 I wanted to hear your story.
01:58 You know what is, where did you come from?
02:01 I was surprised when you said no really it's not me,
02:05 it's my family.
02:06 So start us out about your family and how did you get
02:10 involved in this organization?
02:12 Okay, well I can definitely do that.
02:14 Both of my parents are actually recovered drug
02:17 and alcohol addicts.
02:18 My mother was an alcoholic for many years, up until the
02:22 age of 22, she struggled on and off and finally entered
02:25 treatment at a Teen Challenge program actually located in
02:28 Garrison New York which is called The Walter Hoving Home.
02:31 Were you born yet? - no, no I wasn't, this was all
02:34 before I was born.
02:35 My father at 18 years old also entered the Teen Challenge
02:38 program, he tried every drug there was, he stole cars,
02:41 and was a mess at 18 and had nowhere else to go and Teen
02:44 Challenge was the only program that would accept him.
02:47 So both of them, that is how their journey started.
02:50 From there God transformed their lives.
02:53 Which is what I love, what I love too about some
02:56 organizations like Teen Challenge, is when you say
02:59 nobody else would even want to touch him. - right.
03:02 Yet there are programs that will say, you know what?
03:05 You don't scare us, come on in and sit down.
03:08 They will come in angry and rebellious and lying and
03:12 manipulating and trying to play everybody and within
03:15 a short period of time they get their life back.
03:19 And God does that, it is so fantastic.
03:21 My first home was the Boston Teen Challenge which was
03:24 then called Boston Outreach and my parents started it.
03:27 - you was born there. - Well I was born close by.
03:30 My first home, I was brought home from the hospital was
03:32 to see the Boston Outreach Team Challenge on Bloomfield
03:35 Avenue in Dorchester Massachusetts.
03:37 So you never saw your parents acting out, using, or
03:41 - no. - they probably have the stuff because we all
03:45 have stuff. - right, right absolutely no family is
03:49 perfect but at the same time I saw God shine through my
03:53 parents, they are amazing example to me as a kid and
03:57 even now as an adult, it's somebody I can look to.
04:00 When I hear your story, I know my daughter was born way
04:05 after my recovery and I do ministry so I feel like
04:08 I am looking at Jackie my daughter.
04:10 I feel like she has the same story, so I want to ask you
04:14 things that maybe I would love to even ask her is that
04:17 when you hear your parents, cause you hear them tell their
04:21 story, you gave me a book the story was in the book.
04:24 Like when you hear them tell you your
04:26 story what do you think?
04:27 Were you ever ashamed of where they came from?
04:29 Absolutely not, to me it is the greatest miracle.
04:32 I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the power of God,
04:35 think about it, both of my parents met God and they
04:38 would have never met if it weren't for the fact that
04:40 they went through treatment and recovery.
04:42 Met at a school designed specifically for graduates of
04:45 the Teen Challenge program. That is where they met.
04:48 Then later on they married and four years later I show
04:51 up, and so if it weren't for the power of God I wouldn't
04:54 be here, my life wouldn't exist.
04:56 So there is a joy in their journey? - absolutely.
04:59 When you first recognize, like when you were little,
05:03 for a long time and I'm sure you didn't even know they
05:06 could tell their story and it would even realize that they
05:09 were different, or had a different background than some.
05:12 But if you were raised in Teen Challenge
05:15 maybe they didn't, - right.
05:17 But when you first heard it and realized there was
05:20 a difference and they had all this chaos and all this
05:24 craziness or was all this rebellion, anything, did you
05:28 think about that? Did you think about you know?
05:31 You know what, my thoughts whenever I thought about my
05:35 parents, I mean as I was growing up well my parents were
05:38 really interesting, not that other people's parents were
05:42 boring, but kind of. I mean come on, your average church
05:46 family, I'm kind of going to be that boring parent
05:49 just a little because I had that crazy testimony in the back.
05:52 Now my testimony I think is awesome because I was able
05:55 to at a young age to grow up in the Lord and trust Him
05:58 and know He would take care me the rest of my life and walk in
06:02 love with Him, but at the same time looking at my parents
06:05 and looking at their testimony and where they came from
06:09 no, to me it was great. Now all the time people
06:11 are going your dad thought he was Geronimo, that's part
06:14 of this testimony. - he did? - Oh he did.
06:16 He was high on something, stole a van, ended up he was
06:20 surrounded by police and he thought people were after him.
06:23 He was one of those crazy stories, now everybody's like
06:26 yeah but what about your dad Geronimo.
06:28 He used to have long hair in braids and now he has a short
06:31 flat top, but to me that's like a movie when I hear his
06:34 story, it's hard for me to imagine that that was my dad,
06:37 but that was his story and to me it's like hey look,
06:40 I want you to hear my dad, I have never been ashamed.
06:43 If there was a day when they can come in, I remember a
06:46 couple of times they came when I went to a Christian
06:48 school, they came in and spoke, my father did chapel,
06:51 to me I was so proud that day, because their story, well
06:55 their story is the miracle of my life, but their story
06:59 shows more than just me, people around the world that
07:03 God is still in the business of miracles.
07:06 They weren't done, Jesus wasn't the end of miracles.
07:10 The disciples were at the end of miracles,
07:11 but God is still doing that, so their lives are
07:15 at testimony of that.
07:16 And as you can see I just love it, I just love it.
07:19 I mean I love the fact that I get to work in a place
07:22 that I know every day whether it be the turnaround of
07:25 not getting the ump, the attitude from a teenager to.
07:29 - because you do. - oh I do let me tell you but
07:32 at the same time it is getting that response that I know,
07:36 even if it's small step, to see that turn, that change,
07:40 to see that young lady kneeling during her prayer time
07:44 and really just seeking the Lord.
07:46 - that has never prayed before. - right.
07:49 - That's huge, you know what is amazing to me is the
07:53 joy that you have in your face and the love that you have
07:55 for your parents it's so tangible. And I love that.
08:01 Did you ever feel like you wanted to act out?
08:04 Did you ever feel like you wanted to go out
08:07 and kind of be that crazy?
08:10 I had moments when I thought about it, but the thing is
08:14 that, well you can ask my parents, I was a rebellious
08:18 teenager at one point too. Maybe not to the extreme,
08:22 I definitely wasn't the easiest kid at 13-14-15, but I
08:25 knew even then I can remember being at a convention
08:29 and they had a prayer time for those who felt called into
08:32 ministry and I wouldn't go, I wouldn't go down, I wouldn't
08:35 go down and I could feel like my heart was beating out
08:39 of my chest. I could feel it and I knew, and I knew.
08:43 Finally I was just like God, I haven't shared this yet,
08:46 but I grew up eight years of my life I spent on the
08:49 mission field in Parquet South America.
08:51 They were opening Teen Challenge there, those were the first
08:54 rehabilitation programs that ever existed in the country.
08:58 So in my mind, here I was 14 years old, I didn't need
09:02 any more, I already did my Ministry, did you know Lord
09:05 I grew up in the mission field?
09:07 But you know what, it was then that I really knew in that
09:10 calling that my heart was just beating, and I knew, okay
09:13 God if this is what you want from me than this is what
09:16 I'll do, and from there birth a desire and a love.
09:20 I mean I grew up around it and I just love it.
09:23 Yeah, so you end up and take that call and you come in
09:28 and you start to work in the lives of these, I call
09:33 them kids, I know sometimes they hate me saying that.
09:36 These kids, we don't come in very easy.
09:42 Some come in kicking and screaming and we want to run
09:45 away, we hate you and all that stuff, nobody has ever been in
09:49 some of the stories, nobody has ever been there for this
09:53 child and they just don't trust anybody and so they come
09:57 in not pleasant at all. - chuckle, chuckle you're right.
10:02 I am, I am in our house in Teen Challenge, it is an active
10:08 one, but it is also a home that we pray, when I pray
10:11 for our house is that even as a new student walks in
10:15 with their lives filled with chaos, unrest,
10:18 that they would feel the peace of God.
10:19 Just to surround them, Heh we have girls who have moments,
10:23 whether it be on their first day are they make it through
10:26 a couple weeks and they hop on a window and we have to go
10:29 find them, Heh it happens, that does happen.
10:33 At the same time I think it's only the Lord because
10:37 I feel like even when my heart breaks,
10:39 He just mends it back together.
10:41 There are times when you hear the stories of the these
10:44 ladies and my heart is just broken for them because
10:48 I know that their lives were in shambles, but to know
10:51 when somebody walks in and you have heard their story,
10:54 many of our girls to come to us because their parents
10:56 placed them with us in our program. - yeah, right.
10:59 But to read their story you know on paper and to know
11:03 the brokenness, and the chaos and to watch them walk in,
11:06 the greatest part about my job is knowing that that is not
11:09 the girl I'm going to see leave Teen Challenge. - Amen!
11:12 And you know that - I know it, I watch them walk across
11:15 the stage, whether they walk across the stage or they
11:17 don't make it to the stage - it's almost like
11:19 a graduation? - yes, yes, yeah they have a graduation.
11:24 But when they do that it's then if they're up there
11:28 I am still amazed, every time I know God is going to do
11:33 something amazing, but it's like I never, I never cease
11:37 to be amazed by the power of God in watching these young
11:41 ladies really become someone that
11:42 I couldn't even Envision.
11:44 And I have watched it over and over again.
11:45 So what really is, your faith because you saw it with your
11:49 parents, like I know this is true, I know this is going
11:53 to happen, and the more you see it the more
11:54 you have faith in that.
11:55 Could you tell us a story that really got to you from
11:59 the beginning to the end.
12:01 Okay, a story that really got to me, well.
12:04 I guess I'll talk about my husband's story.
12:08 My husband is a graduate of Teen Challenge as well.
12:11 Walked through the doors of Teen Challenge at 20 years old,
12:14 a heroine addict hopeless, no one else would take him,
12:18 same type of the story, nobody would take him.
12:19 He had too many court dates, too many charges, it wasn't
12:23 going to happen, armed robbery, his life was a mess.
12:27 He didn't believe, - look at your sweet face and I'm
12:32 thinking, God that is an incredible pair.
12:35 So he didn't believe in anything and was very jaded?
12:39 I mean just to the core, nothing, to him religion and
12:44 God is a crutch.
12:45 How weak, he tells stories about one time he worked in
12:49 a deli and there was a lady there who was a Christian
12:52 and he used to just berate her, and berate her.
12:56 I can't even believe it knowing the man that he is now.
13:00 But he came through the door of the Teen Challenge, six months
13:02 in he really gave his life to the Lord and started to get
13:07 his life on track and met God and felt love, felt peace.
13:11 - for the first time. For the first time, yeah
13:13 Things that he had been searching for his
13:15 whole life, in drugs, in relationships and the people
13:20 around him, but they weren't going to fulfill that.
13:25 He had that deep nagging feeling, but he kept filling it
13:28 with all the wrong things.
13:29 So here a hopeless heroine addict, as I say a heroine
13:34 addict for ever, hopeless.
13:35 He went through the program at Teen Challenge, finish
13:39 the program and we met in the span of the end of him
13:43 being at the program.
13:44 To me I just said oh look he's a nice guy, he was a friend
13:48 of a friend and whatever.
13:50 He says that that moment he knew that I was the one.
13:53 I don't know I guess so.
13:56 What is really interesting is that as God changes us,
13:59 and one time I was in the restroom and this girl was
14:03 crying and I went up and I said to her can I help you?
14:07 She was so sad and just in tears, she said you probably
14:10 wouldn't understand a thing that I'm going through.
14:13 I thought stop I'm homeless, heroine addict, and have all
14:17 that background, but even like with your husband as God
14:20 changes us you could hardly see our background because
14:23 God really says let me take all those grave clothes off
14:27 of you and dress you.
14:29 It's amazing. - so he sees you, he knows you are the
14:35 one, what did you think?
14:36 Well I thought he's a funny guy, he's nice I like him but
14:40 there was no thought beyond that at that point.
14:43 I mean come on, he's a student in Teen Challenge so my
14:45 mind is not going to Hey you are prime relationship
14:48 material, - that's funny.
14:52 But I will tell you, but one of the biggest miracles he
14:56 had nine felony charges against him.
14:58 He was in court week after week they had him in court.
15:02 In the end he received a judge who said we are going to
15:06 give you a chance, he could have been in jail until 2013
15:10 and I would never have even met him.
15:12 But he, on those charges was released with three years
15:16 probation because which are long completed already.
15:20 Because the judge even saw there's a change in this guy.
15:23 Yet there's a change in this guy. - that God does and
15:26 what a miracle and then to see that, and that is how
15:30 my father knew that he was definitely a man of God.
15:34 Because at that point when he looked at his
15:36 record and pulled out his student file, you know
15:38 he is my dad and he is going to go check into this.
15:40 - teenage challenge guy.
15:42 Right and he's liking him and he is like, okay we really need
15:44 to check this out, so he checks them out and when
15:47 he saw that, he said alright the hand of
15:49 the Lord is on this man.
15:50 So the story from there continues.
15:55 So for a lot of people, a lot of people watching even,
16:00 that even when you see all of those miracles it is hard to
16:05 believe that God is changing this person and this person
16:10 is walking out new. - right, right.
16:13 This is not the same person and how, do you have even any
16:17 suggestions on how you get someone to do that kind of
16:20 shift in their head?
16:22 Especially when you are looking at someone who is coming
16:25 out of recovery, their lives are not perfect like
16:27 I'm saying, not even my parents changed, transformed,
16:29 married, me four years later, still not perfect.
16:32 They still have their own stuff going through and
16:35 processing and so patience, patience is the greatest
16:38 gift and grace, I mean God gives us so much grace but in that
16:43 also they began to develop new skills.
16:46 Like is the first time they are learning them, because
16:48 you have to remember someone who is coming into recovery
16:51 is really restarting whenever they started using.
16:55 So for my husband who started abusing his prescription
16:59 pills as a kid at 10 years old, you go far back.
17:03 ADD, on meds, and given him meds taking extra pills here, there.
17:09 So he started those patterns at 10-11 years old.
17:14 That is very young and most, of his life- so even he is an
17:18 adult body, he's a 10 year old. - right, right, so but not now.
17:22 I know - We're not talking about you now Hon.
17:28 I love you, so you know it's in that, you have to give
17:32 them that grace and patience to allow them to start
17:35 rebuilding from the past you know, and remove those
17:39 childish ways, but remain as Christ says with the faith
17:44 of a child that is that new wonderest twilight in the eye
17:49 feeling. - so now you are looking at him knowing that
17:54 he has got this joy of his recovery, he is stepping
17:58 into a new life, and you are having to trust that.
18:02 Was that hard at first? - you know what, honestly
18:06 because I have known him as the man that God created him
18:10 to be, as much as there have been struggles, there have
18:14 been trials, I know with all my heart that you know what
18:17 God, what ever you bring us through, You are going to
18:21 bring us completely through, You are not going
18:22 to leave us in the middle.
18:24 - if he needs to learn something else he will have to
18:26 learn it. - if that's what has to happen,
18:28 that's what has to happen.
18:29 But at this point I love that I can leave my life in
18:32 God's hands because what is the point of me holding on
18:35 to it, I can't do anything with it that's going to turn
18:38 out alright so leave it in God's hands and know and
18:41 trust Him, He is going to be the one, He is the perfector
18:45 an author of our faith. - Amen, so you have been married
18:48 how long? Three years. - so you are kind of newlyweds.
18:52 - yep we are. - so dad got, even though he saw his
18:55 record, dad just, you know God's hand is on him and I am okay
18:59 with that. - yep. - everybody has been blessed.
19:04 Yes, absolutely and not only that but then the story
19:09 continues, well a year before we married, on December 1
19:14 December 1, 2006 my mother-in- law, 56 years old, 30 year
19:18 alcoholic walked through the door of Teen Challenge.
19:21 - no way. - yes she did. - because and I just want
19:24 you to say this because a lot of people think Teen
19:26 Challenge, they think teens. - right. - so how does
19:29 your mother in law walk through the door?
19:30 Well Teen Challenge we actually have predominately adult
19:34 centers, we have scattered teen centers around the United
19:37 States, and we also have Teen Challenge is a worldwide
19:40 organization, so we have Teen Challenges across the
19:43 globe, but when it comes to the program although the first 10
19:47 years were mostly, which was 58-68 were mostly for teens.
19:51 At the time they realized that the affects of gang-life drugs
19:56 and alcohol effected way more than just a population of
19:59 teens and young adults, and so from there they opened up,
20:03 although we kept the name of Teen Challenge, which at that
20:05 point had already caught on. - That's because everybody knows
20:08 it now. - right everybody knows Teen Challenge so here we are
20:10 50 years plus into it and we are still called Teen
20:14 Challenge but yes we have adults centers across the United
20:17 States as well as across - it's really worldwide.
20:20 I use you guys all the time come if I can't find a place
20:24 for someone I know that I can go online, Google Teen
20:27 Challenge in that city and in that state and find
20:30 a place for someone to go.
20:32 And what really is amazing is that I have never had a
20:36 center turn down anybody that we have sent, so I don't
20:40 know what the criteria is but it must not be, I've never
20:43 really had anyone say I called them and talk to them
20:46 and they said no.
20:47 You know we want our doors to be open to everyone.
20:51 We don't want anyone to be turned away and that is one
20:54 of our primary goals, we want to reach all of those
20:57 who are hurting, we want to reach the addict population.
21:01 The? say that 1370 youth will try an illegal drug
21:06 within the hour, within this hour, every hour that is how
21:10 it many. - how many say it again.
21:12 1370 youth, - every hour - every hour.
21:16 And if we are not aware or having places that we can help
21:20 them they are going to get lost and will lose years of
21:24 their lives sometimes. - right, right.
21:26 Especially now, you know in these times things are much
21:29 more prevalent, drugs are rampant, alcohol is being tried
21:33 younger and younger, our school campuses is one of the
21:37 highest percentages of places where drugs are sold.
21:40 School campuses and that is not just our public schools,
21:44 that's all schools, that's every school.
21:46 So to look at those statistics and know okay we have got
21:50 to do something about this.
21:51 So setting things in place that there is preventative
21:54 measures, parents get involved with your kids young.
21:58 That is one of the things that is very important, start
22:02 talking to them young.
22:03 - what do you mean getting involved?
22:04 In other words start talking to your kids young about
22:06 their choices, you know what? One of the greatest things
22:09 you can do is wrap them in your arms, love them and
22:12 hang out with them, have family time with them.
22:15 Because you know what? A lot of time you'll hear
22:17 stories from some of our young ladies who, yes they
22:19 had parents, they did have people that were around whether
22:24 it be broken families or not.
22:26 Some had whole families, but in the process of that still
22:29 may be the time wasn't there.
22:31 So that is so important, right everybody is working and
22:36 everybody is tired and just not enough time.
22:38 And then again there is also the choice, each adolescent
22:42 will come to a place where they're going to make a
22:44 decision, but the more you start filling their minds with
22:47 first of all their own self-worth, that is the biggest
22:51 part of the problem is low self-esteem.
22:53 So starting them out with how great they are, how
22:56 precious they are, not just in your site but in God's
22:59 sight as well. - Amen. We are going to go ahead
23:01 break and I want to introduce our audience and the people
23:05 in the café to one of the girls and hear her story and
23:08 her journey, but I would like you to come back at the end
23:12 of the program, is that okay? - of course.
23:13 Okay so are going to take a break.
23:15 One of the things I just got to say is that no matter what
23:19 you are dealing with, God pulls us through.
23:22 And what is really fun is to see the next generation.
23:25 When you give up your stuff and watch your children
23:29 and all the sudden they haven't taken a drug, they
23:33 may rebel but maybe not.
23:35 Maybe I will just have a regular life and my parents love
23:38 me and all that kind of stuff.
23:39 So I look at Apryl and just think how fun is that.
23:43 That for some of us addicts we can say that our legacy
23:47 changes and know that if you have any problems there are
23:51 places to go all over the world.
23:53 Teen Challenge is one of them but there are a ton of
23:55 places so we are going to take a break and we will be
23:58 right back and you'll meet Nicole and you will love her.