Mike C. – Dahlonega, Georgia
My childhood was not anything out of the ordinary. There was no abuse or real neglect. However my father was a passive aggressive man, even though he was there he wasn’t there. So I relied on my mother. I grew up on a 300 acre farm in Indiana. My brother was 5 years younger than me so I had to use my imagination to bide my time growing up. I was a very good son up until my first day of college, where I began to drink and use drugs. After 2 years I flunked out of college and began a career playing music professionally. As a young man who loved to party, this was not the best choice of work for me. I had 2 DUI’s by the time I was 21. I got married at the age of 23 and soon after that started having children. My life started to slow down, but I would quickly cycle back to binge drinking every couple of years, which of course caused problems in my marriage.
On January 14, 2001, I had hit rock bottom. My marriage was not in the best shape, I started drinking again, and pornography quickly became a stronghold in my life. Jesus showed me His grace and changed my life. I felt a calling to ministry; I started taking classes at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. During this time my marriage was mended and I started to plant a church. In 2008, I had hip replacement surgery that had complications. I was in physical therapy for 9 months; I also became dependent on hydrocodone during this time. That dependency soon became an addiction. My life again started to fall apart as everything once again became about me. Strongholds returned, and the hydrocodone addiction got worse and worse. My church plant at this time was located in a store front and had about 25 members. I was preaching sermons on Sunday morning, drowning in the Internet at night while high on opiates and drinking heavily. I finally came to the point of resigning in front of my congregation as they could all tell something was wrong. I was dismissed from seminary just 8 months from ordination. I got off opiates on my own and stopped drinking… for a while.
In 2014 my wife and I moved to Lumpkin County. I was driving a lumber truck, delivering lumber. I had started to cycle back to drinking and watching porn again. On August 20, 2015 I mad a pit stop on the way home from work to pick up beer. I was driving my lumber truck while drinking. I was 4 miles from home when I drove my truck off the road into the ditch and through the trees. I was arrested for my fourth DUI. I entered Waypoint twenty-one days later. While at Waypoint, I have found my true friendship with Jesus Christ who I lost due to my selfishness. Jesus was waiting for me; He is my redeemer and mender of my damages I have done to my family and friends. I am getting to know the Mike that God created me to be. I am also learning that it is not just about me through serving others and sharing me story. Through the grace of God, I have learned the difference between who I thought I was and who I really am.
David P. – Ball Ground, Georgia
Growing up we didn’t go to church. My parents got divorced when I was young and I moved in with my father by the time I was eight. I was about 12 the first time I went to church. That same year, I went to a church camp with Temple Baptist Church and got saved. It was an awesome feeling. I still remember that feeling to this today. It didn’t last long, because at the age of 13 I decided to try pot. I smoked pot for awhile and at the age of 20 I began to use meth for the first time. For the next 12 years of my life, it became a wreck. I lost my kids, home, family, and soon everything was gone that I knew and loved. Once that happened, I lost all hope. I didn’t care who I hurt, I didn’t even care if I lived or not. In 2015, I caught my first drug charge. I got out of jail and had no place to go. I called my sister and asked for help. She being a Christian, quickly helped me get into Waypoint Ministry. I didn’t believe in God when I got first got here. I was angry and hated everyone and myself. All this hate and anger I had towards others was because I hated who I became. The love shown by my brothers here at Waypoint changed that. After a while I started loving myself and my relationship with God started to grow stronger. God has done some amazing things in my life. God has turned my messy life into a message and He has given me a testimony that can save lives. I know God has a plan for me and at times life will get hard and the devil will tempt me, but I’m not scared anymore. I have a friend that will always be there for me and he is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
Miles R. – Atlanta, Georgia
I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of eleven. I used drugs and alcohol to fill a void of having an absent father. I followed my father’s foot steps, finding my identity in selling drugs. On multiple occasions, I would seek attention from my family by getting arrested. I ended up dropping out of college, because of my addiction. I worked several dead end jobs to support my habit. Due to my decision to pursue drugs, I quickly became homeless. Shortly after, I was consumed with suicidal thoughts and continued to fall into a deep dark hole of loneliness and hopelessness. This fueled my fire and my drug addiction continued to spin out of control. After a long exhaustion of consuming all my resources, I reached out to my Mom and she finally allowed me to stay with her. I pleaded with God to save and deliver me from my misery.
Through many prayers from my mom, aunt, and myself my aunt introduced me to Waypoint. I was at the point in my life of giving up when I decided to give them a call. On November 11, 2015 my mom dropped me off at Waypoint. They accepted me with open arms and showed me love that I have never experienced before. This program was patient with me and taught me a new way of living through the Gospel. God delivered me from my past by sending his one and only son to die on the cross. On July 5, 2016 I gave my heart to Him where He would break the spirit of depression and suicide off of me. I experienced love, peace, and a true heart change for myself and others.
I have walked on the path of forgiveness, forgiving my father, myself, and God. After graduating my first year at Waypoint, I felt a strong calling to give back and decided to stay on another year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. Now I am eighteen months clean and sober. I am grateful to Jesus for giving my life back. I enjoy sharing what He has done in my life with others especially with individuals coming into the program. Jesus saved my life and I have a testimony and strong close relationship with Him.
Jordan H. – Warner Robins, Georgia
Before Christ, I was lost in worldly things. I was using anything I could get my hands on to numb the emotional and physical pain. I’d have my way with drugs, people, and relationships. My life was chaotic and to say the least I became comfortable in it. I quit going to college and soon after, my relationship with my family became nonexistent. I cared only about drugs and myself. My life literally was Hell, an eternal life with no relationships and a separation from God. I had no knowledge of God and didn’t know where to began.
I was brought to Christ by a desperate choice on Christmas day of 2015 when I went to the ER for overdosing on meth. I came to Waypoint two weeks after I thought I was going to die. While I have been here, I learned who Jesus Christ is and was introduced to the Bible. It took some time but I finally got the Gospel into my heart and the faith to believe in and receive it.
On March 2nd, 2016 I received Jesus Christ in my heart at The Church @ War Hill. Things turned around completely from that point on. I don’t hate myself anymore. I have learned that God loves me for who I am. I am growing to love God, Jesus, myself, and others. Each day I am learning what my identity looks like in Christ by continuously learning about myself. I have experienced conviction from the Holy Spirit, a relationship with God, God’s restoration in my family, and His divine love. I have died and been born again. God deserves all the glory for giving me a testimony and I use it to serve and help others.
Michael T. – Cumming, Georgia
My name is Michael; I am 30 years old. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in a small family. I did not grow up in a church nor had a relationship with God. At the age of 17, I began using alcohol at the cul-de-sac parties with the neighbors. Through college I wanted to associate myself with the “cool kids”, so I began hanging out with the crowd that drank and partied on the weekends. The life of drugs, sex, and alcohol become an everyday addictive lifestyle. Through this I thought I would eventually find acceptance. However, I began to head down a blind path of rage, destruction, and hate. My life continued to spiral out of control. I pushed away anyone who was close to me; which included my wife, parents, brother, and friends. The end result was losing all of those relationships and hitting rock bottom. I went in and out of jails and then eventually I became homeless.
On March 11, 2016 I finally accepted I’ll never be in control nor I can do this on my own. I desperately needed God. I made the choice to submit my life to a year commitment at Waypoint Ministry. Through my walk here I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savoir. By remaining obedient to Him, God fills up my empty void with the amazing power and love of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit my relationship with myself, family, and others continue to grow and mature. I no longer let fear and anger get the best of me.
I decided to stay another year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. This gives me a great opportunity to serve and help others who feel lost, hopeless, and completely helpless as I once felt. God has given me life so I may use it in giving back to the community. Through my journey, I am finding true love, joy, peace, and the fruits of the Spirit. I constantly make the decision to put my struggles in the past, the choices I make determine who I am today. I am not sure what the future has in store for me; However, by faith I know it is planned out better than I could ever imagine. I do know God’s calling me to share my testimony and encouraging others through the Gospel.
David K. – Overland Park, Kansas
My name is David. I am 27 years old and from Kansas. I originally came to Waypoint back in 2012 and completed the program as well as the SLT program, however, I was not in a good place. I didn’t deal with a lot of issues and misconceptions that I carried which only led me to go back out and use again. And it got so much worse than it had ever previously been. After about 2 and a half years I found myself at a new all-time low; sitting in jail with nothing and nowhere to go.
I really fooled myself into thinking that I was okay and that I really didn’t need God in order to live a sober life. I quickly found out exactly how wrong I was. I knew that I desperately needed to get back into a relationship with God, but I lacked the motivation to do what I needed to do to accomplish that. Unfortunately, what it took was pretty rough because of how hard-headed and stubborn I am.
I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards my family, for loving, supporting, and forgiving me; to Waypoint for allowing me to come back and being patient and willing to work with me; and ultimately to God for his grace and redemption.
I am currently doing the Servant in Leadership in Training (SLT) Program again, but this time with the understanding of how serious it is and a realization that I need God more now than ever. I can’t imagine trying to get sober, let alone live life without God. I’m excited (and a little anxious) to see what He has in store for me!
Stephen P. – Atlanta, Georgia
My name is Stephen. I am 28 years old. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I moved from the Atlanta area when I was about 12 years old. Around this time I started using heavy drugs, which became a big part of my life and destroyed many relationships in my life.
June 15th, 2016 I came to Waypoint. In return, I now have hope and a true relationship with Jesus Christ my Savior. I have confidence in being a father to two awesome boys, Skylan and Shaelan. I have graduated the first year of Waypoint and am really looking forward to what God has for my life. All the Glory goes to the Lord!
Eddie S. – Gainesville, Georgia
My name is Eddie. I was born and raised in Gainesville, GA. My whole life I’ve lived in bad parts of Gainesville with drugs, drinking, and crime including my own home. So, living and seeing these things like that is why I took on a life of Hell, because I didn’t know anything else. I have been in and out of jail since I was 17 year old. From that point on, my life was going down hill fast. This life was all I knew, but God saw fit for me, had a plan that I would see and find something greater, His son Jesus Christ.
Now, I have graduated my first year and am currently serving my second year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. God is moving in my life revealing His love to me everyday. As long as I keep my head up and stay focused on God there is no telling where I will go in life!
Baker J. – Greenville, North Carolina
My name is Baker and I am 25 year old. I am currently serving my second year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. Before I arrived here, my life was quickly falling apart. I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol as a teenager, which eventually lead to full blown addiction. My using cost me several jobs, relationships, and nearly my life when I had a drug related seizure that lead me in an Intensive Care Unit for a week. While in the hospital, my family and I found out about Waypoint and I knew it was time to get help.
A little over a year later, I can honestly say that Waypoint is the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only because of my sobriety, but mainly because of my relationships with God that I have developed during my time here. I am the happiest now that I have ever been and look forward to learning more about myself and who God has created me to be.
Bruce E. – Marietta, Georgia
Prior to Waypoint, I made the choice to follow a dark path in my life. I was bitter, unforgiving, selfish, manipulating, and angry toward everyone and everything. I blamed God all the time for the way I was and for the things that happened to me. In February of 2016, I caught my first possession charge. After 7 days, I made bond and walked right back into thinking I could go back to selling and using, but would be smarter this time. In April of 2016, I caught another possession charge. This time God wasn’t sending me back out on the street to continue to use IV heroine and kill myself or anyone else. After serving nearly 6 months, I got an opportunity to see a judge. In September of 2016, Judge Leonard agreed to send me to Waypoint instead of prison.
Since I have been at Waypoint I have learned just how much power God really has and is capable of! Before coming to Waypoint I had no knowledge of the Bible, nor did I attend church. Now I enjoy getting in the Word and attending Church on a regular basis. God has shown me who I truly am and changed my whole outlook on life. I have learned what the meaning of a true relationship is with God and others. He has restored me to my family, who didn’t ever trust me before. Even though this program is the hardest thing I have ever done, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything. I am now in my second year at Waypoint in the Servant Leadership in Training Program and look forward to what God has planned for my future.
Francisco M. – Gainesville, Georgia
My name is Francisco. I am 21 years old and I grew up in a small house. Growing up I knew about God but I didn’t know Him personally. At age 10 my father got into some trouble and had to leave the house. For years I carried a void and at age 14 I began to use drugs to numb my emotional pain. I felt like I had to be a father figure to my two younger brothers and I grew up fast. My mind always stayed sped up and I learned to suppress my emotions. I was bullied in school and I kept it bottled in. I was torn between two cultures, feeling I had to have a label. As I grew up I had friends who tried to help me with my view of God. I thought He was just a taker and an angry person and if I wanted a relationship with Him I had to work hard it. I lived a double life. During the day people saw I had a great life, good circle of friends and the bullying stopped. School I was great, but during the night my life was hell. I was alone confused and longing to talk to somebody about my inner pains.
During high school I met a person with a similar background, but they didn’t have the same pain as me. Because of that friend, I started to reach out to God, but I didn’t let God in completely. I kept Him in a box. After a few arrest and a car accident, God was getting me to turn to Him, but I remained stubborn. I lost my dear friend because the stress of my drug addiction . With another void I turned away from God again. I didn’t care about myself, I hated myself and I felt like I didn’t have a reason to live. In July 2016, I got into some legal issues that ultimately saved my life. In October 2016, I entered Waypoint and was introduced to God’s love and learned about the Gospel. March 11, 2016 I was baptized at The Church @ War Hill and my life hasn’t been the same. God has delivered me from my pain I carried and the Holy Spirit filled that void. I walk the path of forgiveness and reached out to my father. I have forgiven the people who bullied me, my father, and myself. Waypoint has given me something I’ve been searching for and that’s how to live a positive life with the teaching of Jesus Christ. I felt the calling to give back. I decided to stay for a second year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. This gives me the opportunity to give back and share the same love that was shown to me on my first day. I am thirteen months sober and grateful for the new desires in my heart. I can’t imagine a life without God or the bonds I’ve made. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me and who He has created me to be. God has given me a powerful tool; my testimony and the passion to share His love. God deserves the glory for what He is doing at Waypoint Ministry and the restoration in my life.
Mark T. – Chatsworth, Georgia
My name is Mark. I’m 41 years old and from Chatsworth, which is a small town in North Georgia. As a child I experienced a trauma that made me view God incorrectly. As the years passed I lashed out at God, my family, and tried every drug I could get my hand on. My overall goal was to numb the pain. I settled on Meth. The next 23 years became a blur of hate and violence that should have left me dead. I spent years in prison and gave up on ever having a normal life. My family still loved me, but couldn’t bare to see me destroy myself and I wanted to end my life but couldn’t go through with it.
However, God would not give up on me. On December 10th, 2016, while in jail I gave my life to Jesus and was saved. After 8 months of wandering I found my way to Waypoint. I was broken, poor in spirit, and wanted something different, God was working in me. It wasn’t easy, but after a year at Waypoint I have learned the true power of forgiveness and have a relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have a future. My relationship with my family is being restored and I have true friends, brothers in Christ. I am thankful for the prayers of my family, a Father God who answers prayers and loves me even though I didn’t love myself. I am thankful for Waypoint and the freedom I’ve found.
Joey A. – Dawsonville, Georgia
My name is Joey. When I first came to Waypoint I was lost and broken. I had no love for myself and had no idea who I was. I had lost everything, my family and my life. I was doing anything and everything to be accepted by people. I used with my friends just so I could feel that love. I had heard about God my whole life, but had no idea who He really was. Being here at Waypoint has given me a different outlook on life. Through God I have come to love myself for who I am. I have found out who God is and the meaning of a true friendship. God has restored my relationships with my family in a huge impacting way. There are no words to express how grateful I am. The biggest thing I have gotten out of this year is that I have a true strong relationship with God, myself, and others.
Mike G. – Columbus, Georgia
My name is Michael and I am 35 years old. I grew up in Columbus, Georgia and had a pretty typical childhood. I was quiet, timid, and had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I started drinking alcohol at the age of 15. Alcohol quickly relieved my anxiety, and allowed me to be more extroverted. I became who I wanted to be when I was under the influence, or so I thought. Over time my alcoholism got progressively worse, and I became depressed, angry, and ultimately broken. On October 4, 2016, I got my 5th DUI, went to jail, and was facing prison time. My parents then gave me an ultimatum- stay in jail or get help.
On October 28, 2016 I arrived at Waypoint. I am now serving my second year in the Servant Leadership in Training (SLT) Program. Waypoint has given me a new chance at life. I have a new found relationship with God, and I truly believe that He has a purpose for me. I am grateful for everyone here who has shown me the true meaning of love. The future is wide open, and I am excited to see where God takes me.
Austin M. – Dahlonege, Georgia
My name is Austin and I am 21 years old. I was born in Dahlonega, Georgia. I didn’t understand my feelings growing up. I would constantly condemn myself when things would not go as planned. I would internalize and numb those feelings with drugs and alcohol. This of course would only be a temporary solution. As I got older, I would take no responsibility for the way I was acting in school, at home, or on the streets. I finally got to the point of just not caring. It took me going to jail several times, losing friends, and losing relationships with family before I realized how bad it was. Honestly, I just wanted to get out of jail. However, a small piece of me, behind the anger and resentments, wanted to get sober.
I’ve been at Waypoint Ministry for 14 months. I am in the Servant Leadership Training Program. I have grown in my sobriety through my ongoing relationships with Christ and others from church. I’ve learned to deal with my emotions in a healthy way by talking about it and receiving prayer. I have a better view of myself and enjoy true friendships with other men in recovery. I am very thankful for Waypoint Ministry, seeing life for what it is. The best part of all this is sharing my testimony with others that come into the program.
David P. – Columbus, Georgia
My name is David and I am 33 years old. I grew up in Columbus, Georgia and had a good childhood. However, growing up I always had this empty feeling inside. I started using drugs in high school to feel accepted by the popular kids. This continued until I became addicted in my early twenties. Over the next decade, I walked a very dangerous dark path.
I arrived at Waypoint Ministry on April 5, 2017. God has since then restored my relationships with family and taught me to love myself and others. Currently, I am serving my second year in the Servant Leadership Training Program (SLT). God has truly worked miracles in my life. I was in hell for years and now I see the light through my relationship with Christ. I have been so blessed and enjoy helping others who are coming into this program to receive what God has in store for them.