Ever since my birth, I had been living in a broken family, and my elder sister and I were raised by Mom alone. Given such circumstances, I had learned to do everything & deal with problems all by myself, never asking for help from others. I dropped out of school at Grade 8, and started to find a job, to earn a living and to improve the living condition of my family.
All along I had been crazy about motorcycling as my only hobby, & had wanted to own a motorcycle dealership business. To make this dream come true, I kept working hard and saving money equally hard, and eventually realized my dream at the age of twenty five. As part of my business routines, I had to entertain customers going out with them late at night. In the process and for more than once, some customers offered me drugs to try with, but I declined them firmly, well aware of the harms that drugs could do us. Unfortunately, after their repeated persuasions, I had my first dose of cocaine.
At first, I told myself self-deceivingly that it would not matter just taking it once or twice, that I would not get addicted as long as I did not consume it daily, and that I could control it with my will power. But it was precisely this kind of mentality that paved my way to addiction, initially taking it once a week, and eventually not a day passed without it. By then I knew I had become an addict, and that it was a road of no return. Thereafter, I would take to drugs whenever I was happy or unhappy, or whenever problems arose in work or life, as a way of avoiding these problems.
During those days, I had very bad temper, leading a disorderly life, totally uninterested in work, and only wanting to be left alone with drugs. This made my family sad and worried, and for that I felt extremely sorry and regretful. Once I tried to quit drugs with my own will power, but in vain in less than a week, and ending up consuming more and more drugs each day.
To cover the huge amount of money for buying drugs, I pocketed the proceeds from a sale concluded on behalf of a motorcycle vendor. When I failed to return the proceeds to the vendor and to settle what was owed to the agent, my dealership business had to fold up. Because of drugs, I ruined all that I had previously established, including my reputation and integrity. I was also sued and brought to the court to face whatever legal consequences I was responsible for.
The end of the road for man is where God comes in. Going from drugs to debts to lawsuits, I felt helpless and worried. But my family had not given me up, and my sister made arrangement for me to be admitted to Dawn Island for addiction treatment. I saw no harm giving it a try. All I wanted was to get rid of the addiction, recover physically, and then leave the place. There was not the slightest intention in me to seek help from God.
At the beginning, I was not accustomed to the life on the Island. But I was due to be moved and changed, thanks to the love from the staff, social workers and brothers there. They often prayed for me on the pending lawsuits, and also encouraged me to accept Jesus Christ, to plead to God personally, and to leave with Him all my worry about the charges against me. But I was too stubborn and self-centred, refusing to accept Jesus the Lord, relying only on myself, and doing things my own way. All this until the last days before the court’s ruling of one of the cases. I was so uneasy then that I started to pray, after which I felt peace and joy. So I continued to pray to God, leaving with Him all my problems including those lawsuits which had been annoying me the most.
Thanks to God for consenting to the requests in my prayers, of the more than ten lawsuits against me, most were allowed to be settled outside the court, and only two of them were still awaiting judgments at a later time. I felt very much the power and help from God, and became all the more confident in Him. For the same reason I accepted our Lord Jesus. While waiting for the remaining judgments to come, I continued to receive encouragement and support from God through the brothers and staff on the Island.
Before going to the court to hear the ruling as the time came, I prayed to God for Him to move the judge to sentence me for one-year treatment on Dawn Island. But the judge’s decision was for me to be detained until the next hearing. Immediately I lost confidence in God, thinking that He had not responded to my request and had not paid attention to me. But by the next hearing, the sentence passed down was for six-month imprisonment, less some days of leave and certain deduction for my having pleaded guilty, with the result that I only had to be jailed for a little over two months, which was actually less severe than a probation order. For sure God had had His own plan and idea, granting me more than what I had asked and hoped for, a graceful and merciful God indeed. After that, I regained confidence in God, which also taught me a lesson that I should never waiver back and forth in relying on God.
After completing my term in prison, and with a heart that felt grateful and ready to reciprocate, I returned to Dawn Island to resume my learning and service there. My family felt relieved, and I no longer had to feel sorry and regretful to them for any damage caused by drugs. In short, we have started to live in joy and satisfaction. I am also grateful to Operation Dawn for offering me quite some programmes in practical skills, e.g. first aid class, training for beach service medals, and electrical engineering foundation course. I have been awarded qualifying certificates for these programmes. I am now better equipped to serve other abusers who are in need of help, as a way of responding to the grace and love from God.
Last but not least, I have also enrolled in a programme at the Bible Training Centre of Operation Dawn. This will not only nourish my soul, but will also enrich me with spiritual knowledge, with which to provide guidance to other brothers on the Island. I will also watch closely what I have learned, just as it is said in the Bible: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16). May all glories be attributed to Jesus our Lord, and thanks to God!