One Voice sponsored a visit to York of the Teen Challenge UK tour last night. It was hosted at Clifton Parish Church. See the write up on the One Voice website for details and some pics. It was a fantastic evening.
I knew generally what to expect as I have been to these things before.
The evening is almost in the form of a concert with songs from a great groups of well drilled singers, who are also graduates of the Teen Challenge rehab and training programme. The songs are interspersed with the singers telling their own stories which are amazing. These stories are simply too far fetched to be true, were in not for the fact that this Jesus stuff really does work.
A year ago Penny and I visited the Teen Challenge base in South Wales. We had chatted with the women there and recognised some of them as those we had met then.
Some of the stories were quite heart-breaking to hear, even though we know these women have come out of their darkness.
Claire (26) told of her 11 year addiction to crack cocaine and heroin. We heard from the others of years lost to alchohol, or drug use from the age of 13 leading to addiction, of a life on the streets with the prostitution and the general degradation that followed. We heard of the amazing and fantastic accounts of how Jesus transformed them and their journeys to recovery through the Teen Challenge programmes.
After the singing and story-telling was complete we heard from Jacqui Strothoff who, like the other, told her story but mixed it with readings from the Bible and lessons to be found there.
Jacqui’s story was harrowing as she told us of the years of her heroin addiction and how she had been responsible for the deaths of other people including her own non-drug using 19 year old brother. Her account of rescue and restoration at the hands of Jesus was inspiring.
All in all, these people are yet more evidence that the power of Jesus is at work in our world in our time.