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Addict Finds Deliverance When All Else Fails

A thief and an addict, Matthew had made a mess of his life early on, but God was waiting to offer an escape Read Transcript


I REMEMBER MY FIRST NIGHT

ON THE STREET.

AND IT WAS COLD OUT THAT

NIGHT.

AND I REMEMBER GOING TO A

PLAYGROUND AND TRYING TO

HUDDLE UP IN THE JUNGLE

GYM.

I SEEN A TRASH CAN OFF IN

THE DISTANCE.

AND I SAID, YOU KNOW, IT'S

PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA TO GO

TAKE THELINER FRO THE LINER

FROM THAT TRASH CAN AND

SLEEP INSIDE THE PLASTIC.

Reporter: AS A BY,

MATTHEW PROBABLY NEVER

THOUGHT HE WOULD END UP LIKE

THIS, BUT HE DID.

MATTHEW GREW UP NEAR

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO.

HE HAD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP

WITH HIS FATHER, WHO WAS A

FIREFIGHTER AND LATER A

PASTOR.

BUT HE DIDN'T FEEL THE SAME

ABOUT HIS MOTHER.

SHE WOULD PUT ME BEHIND A

DOOR WITH LEGOS AND LEAVE ME

THERE AND NOT EVEN TALK TO

ME.

IT REALLY PUT ME IN A PLACE

WHERE I THOUGHT IT WAS MEANT

TO BE ABANDONED AND

REJECTED.

Reporter: EVENTUALLY

HIS MOTHER LEFT.

HIS FATHER LATER REMARRIED,

AND MATTHEW FINALLY BEGAN TO

OPEN UP TO HIS STEPMOTHER,

BUT THEN SHE WAS DIAGNOSED

WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS.

I REALLY TOOK A

SELF-PERSPECTIVE LIKE I'M

BEING ABANDONED AGAIN.

IT MADE THOSE WALLS GO RIGHT

BACK UP.

Reporter: AFTER LOSING

A MOTHER FOR THE SECOND

TIME, MATTHEW, WHO WAS NOW

IN HIGH SCHOOL, TURNED TO

DRUGS TO EASE THE PAIN.

I FELT HURT.

I FELT LOST.

AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO

DO.

BUT I KNEW, YOU KNOW, FOR

ME, AT THAT AGE, GOING TO

CHURCH DIDN'T WORK FOR ME.

WHAT WORKED WAS, YOU KNOW,

PUTTING A HAZE IN FRONT OF

ME SO THAT I DIDN'T HAVE TO

DEAL WITH REALITY.

Reporter: MATTHEW SOLD

DRUGS AS A TEENAGER AND THEN

MOVED ON TO STEALING CARS.

ONE NIGHT I WAS AT A

PARTY, AND I WAS GETTING

DRUNK, AND THERE WAS A

GENTLEMAN THAT SAID, OH, YOU

KNOW, I HAVE A BUDDY WHO

RUNS A CHOP SHOP.

AND THEY NEED A NISSAN.

AND THEY'RE GOING TO GIVE

$1500 FOR THE PERSON THAT

GETS IT.

THAT'S LIKE THREE WEEKS

WORTH OF SELLING DOPE.

Reporter: AFTER SEVERAL

YEARS OF STEALING CARS, HE

WAS ARRESTED AND SENT TO

PRISON.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS

LIFE, HIS CONSCIENCE STARTED

TO BOTHER HIM.

WHEN I WAS IN PRISON, I

HAD A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO

REFLECT AND THINK ABOUT THE

THINGS THAT I HAD DONE, THE

PEOPLE THAT I HAD HURT, AND

IT CONSUMED ME.

Reporter: WHEN HE WAS

RELEASED, MATTHEW DECIDED HE

NO LONGER WANTED TO STEAL

CARS.

WITH NO INFLUX OF CASH, HE

LOOKED FOR A CHEAP WAY TO

GET HIGH, AND FOUND ONE,

HEROIN.

THREE MONTHS INTO

SHOOTING HEROIN, I FOUND

MYSELF WITH NOTHING, BROKE

AND HOMELESS.

I HAD LIONELL FINALLY

REACHED THE PLACE I LONGED:

HOMELESS, STRUNG OUT ON

DOPE, SLEEPING IN A TRASH

CAN LINER, AND THE PLASTIC

KEPT ME WARM.

BUT IT SMELLED LIKE TRASH.

AND I REMEMBER THINKING TO

MYSELF, YOU KNOW, THIS IS

WHERE YOU BELONG.

THIS IS WHAT YOU DESERVE.

Reporter: ONE EVENING

MATTHEW WAS OUTLOOKING FOR

HIS NEXT FIX.

I WAS WALKING NORTHBOUND

ON SIXTH AVENUE, AND I

STARTED PRAYING, SAYING, YOU

KNOW, LORD, PLEASE, JUST

GIVE ME $10 SO I CAN BUY A

SHOT OF DOPE.

AND I LOOK

OFF

IN THE

DISTANCE, AND I SEE

SOMETHING THAT LOOKS TO BE

CURRENCY.

IN ABOUT 10 YARDS I COULD

SEE A 10 ON IT.

AND IT'S A $10 BILL.

AND I SAID, THERE IS A GOD.

MY WHOLE LIFE I'M WAITING

FOR YOU TO SHOW YOURSELF,

AND HERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW

GIVING ME

A $10 BILL FOR

DOPE.

Reporter: THE $10 BILL

WAS PHONY, BUT WHAT WAS

INSIDE WAS WORTH FAR MORE.

I REALIZED IT IS NOT A

REAL $10 BILL.

IT IS A FAKE $10 BILL.

I SAID, LORD, I KNOW YOU

DIDN'T LOVE ME.

I KNEW YOU WEREN'T GOING TO

GIVE ME $10.

AND INSIDE OF IT IS THE FULL

BOOK OF PROVERBS, PULLED OUT

OF THE MINIATURE LITTLE

TESTAMENTS.

AND I TOOK THAT BOOK OF

PROVERBS WITH ME THAT

NIGHT.

AND I READ THAT NIGHT ABOUT

WISDOM.

Reporter: MATTHEW SAID

THAT EVENING WAS A TURNING

POINT IN HIS LIFE.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY

LIFE, I REMEMBER THINKING

THAT THERE IS A GOD AND HE

IS PRESENT IN MY LIFE.

I THOUGHT HE HAD A WARPED

SENSE OF HUMOR, YOU KNOW.

I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED A

REAL $10 BILL, BUT THIS IS

ONE POINT WHERE IT WAS

EVIDENT, YOU KNOW, THAT THE

HAND OF GOD WAS WORKING IN

THIS SITUATION.

AND I FELT THE LORD SAYING

THAT I'M ALWAYS WITH YOU.

I'M NEVER GOING TO ABANDON

YOU.

I'M NEVER GOING TO REJECT

YOU.

Reporter: HE STARTED

GOING TO CHURCH AND STUDYING

THE BIBLE, AND LATER WENT

THROUGH A SUCCESSFUL

RECOVERY PROGRAM.

SOON AFTERWARD HE MET AND

MARRIED JENNIFER.

TODAY MATTHEW HELPS JENNIFER

RUN THE FACILITY IN TUCSON

FOR RECOVERING WOMEN.

IT IS ONE OF THE MOST

POWERFUL THINGS ABOUT BEING

A BELIEVER IN CHRIST, ABOUT

BEING A CHRISTIAN.

WE'RE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY

TO REACH OUT INTO THE

DARKNESS AND OFFER PEOPLE

LIFE.

WE'RE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY

TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE WHO

ARE INCAPABLE OF LOVING

THEMSELVES.

AND OFFERING THEM AN

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE THAT IS

SO GREAT

THAT IT

CAN'T

BE

DENIED.

Reporter: MATTHEW SAYS

HIS PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO

USE HIS EXPERIENCES TO SHARE

CHRIST WITH OTHER ADDICTS.

I KNOW THE CREATOR OF

HEAVEN AND EARTH, I KNOW THE

GOD WHO HUNG THE STARS IN

THE SKY, WHO KNOWS THE

NUMBER OF HAIRS ON MY HEAD.

WHAT GREATER STATEMENT CAN

BE MADE?

IF WE TRULY BELIEVE THAT

THIS IS THE GOD THAT WE

WORSHIP, HOW CAN WE EVER

DOUBT THAT HE IS NOT GOING

TO WORK IN OUR LIFE?

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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