Raymond Sinohui: A Former Drug Addict Helping Others
By Jeremy Callahan
The 700 Club
CBN.com- “Popularity was a big thing for me. As a young boy, I was very active in sports. I was an honor roll student. But when I became a teenager, I began to rebel. I thought that in order to be popular, I had to do some things that I thought were cool. I started skipping school and before I knew it, I was a full blown meth addict at the age of 14 years old.”
It all started with a little marijuana and alcohol. Raymond Sinohui used his lunch money and allowance to buy drugs. Before long, the drugs took control of his life.
“I began to steal from my own family to support my addiction. My parents had no knowledge that I wasn’t even going to school because I got up in the morning, I got dressed and I left the house. But rather than going to school, I went to hang out with those friends, and that’s when I really started to get heavily involved with the drugs. I didn’t want them to see me in the condition I was in.”
Eventually Raymond dropped out of high school and left home. He moved from city to city—living on the streets and working odd jobs to support his drug habit.
“I was empty and depressed and lonely and sad and if I didn’t have the drugs, I would sleep for a week straight until I mustered up the energy to be able to get up, get some drugs, and begin to get on with life. I was at the point to where if this is all that life had to offer, I didn’t want any more of it. There were many times when I would be driving down the freeway and I just wanted to run right off a cliff.”
He attempted suicide three times over a nine month period. A friend offered him a place to stay—if he agreed to go to church.
“I was willing to try anything to overcome this addiction that was killing me. When I walked into the church, I felt a spirit of peace within my heart—that even though I was on drugs, and even though I had done all sorts of bad things—I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was real. But I didn’t understand how a man named Jesus Christ could change me.”
He left the church the way he entered—still addicted to meth, but now battling paranoia. Raymond turned to his parents for help.
“Even though I had asked for help many times in the past, this time they had truly believed me. And I said, ‘Mom, Dad—I’m dying, and I need help.’ And so what happened is I stayed over at their house in my old room that I used to stay in when I was a kid.”
His parents thought he was asleep, but Raymond was using all the drugs he had.
“What I was doing is I was overdosing, ‘cause I wanted to end my life. I had dropped to my knees and I asked God to please help me. I said, ‘God, if you are real please help me because I’m dying.’ And it was at that moment that I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and I will never forget it. The spirit of God came into that room that night, and I heard the voice of God say, ‘Son, you could either continue doing what you’re doing—die on these streets—or you can surrender to Me and I will change and transform your life.’ When I woke up in the morning, I immediately threw a duffle bag of clothes together, and I said, ‘Mom, I need to go get some help.’”
Raymond entered Teen Challenge, a Christian drug rehabilitation program.
“I was very lonely and I was depressed. I was empty inside. And even though you can rid yourself from drugs and alcohol, if you don’t fill that emptiness with the goodness of the Lord, life is still meaningless. But when Jesus Christ came into my heart, He gave me a peace in the midst of everything that was going on that helped me to know that there is a life out there better than the one that I was living.”
Today, Raymond works with Teen Challenge to encourage those who are as lost and hopeless as he once was.
“There’s no greater feeling than knowing that God can use my life to help others. Being a spiritual leader to these men kind of reminds me of where I was a few short years ago. When I wake up in the morning, I thank God that He has set me free. I wouldn’t trade one of the best days I thought I had in the world as a drug addict for one of the worst days I have now as a Christian. I was once lost and addicted to drugs for many years and God has changed my life. And if He can do it for me, He can do it for you.”
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