A Life In Progress
A Colony of Mercy Testimony
Brian grew up in his parent’s church not much liking it or the people that went there. He came from a long line of solid believers. As Brian grew up, he realized his family was different from his friend’s families because his mom and dad were one of the few couples still married. Most of his friends came from broken homes, and he envied them because from his perspective, his friends had it much better because they could do just about anything they wanted to, and he wanted that kind of freedom.
By the age of 13, Brian started smoking and by 15 was using marijuana. Most of his friends came from alcoholic homes and themselves became addicted, though from his own perspective he was the worst among them. By the age of 24 he quit marijuana and picked up cocaine. He was hooked the first time he used it. He liked the sense of popularity that went along with his drug and alcohol use. He said, “I thought drugs and alcohol made me funny, the life of the party.”
After years of living the party life, a wealthy alcoholic friend came to him and told him he needed help and that he was willing to pay his way to go to rehab.
A few days later, when he got out of detox, Brian’s dad and pastor brought him to America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy. As he sat in MaryAnn’s office discussing his application she told him there was a 16 week wait for a bed. So Brian “fake pleaded” with MaryAnn for a bed. He wanted his father and pastor to think he was desperate. Soon after leaving the Colony that day, Brian’s dad and pastor got on their knees and prayed for God to intervene on Brian’s behalf. When his father got up from his knees he told Brian “She’s going to call tomorrow with a bed” and indeed that is exactly what happened. The next day Mary Ann called Brian with an open bed. That was the first prayer Brian felt God had ever answered like that on his behalf.
After being in the Colony about a week, Brian wanted to leave and was sneaking calls to his old buddies to come get him, but none responded. When Chaplain Jim found out what he was doing, he called Brian into his office. Brian had called his sister but she lovingly refused to come get him. He said if his sister wouldn’t come get him he’d call his drug buddies. Jim handed him the phone and offered to dial the number for him. After a moment’s hesitation, Brian’s head dropped. He knew he couldn’t leave. Even though he knew he needed to stay, it didn’t make him want to be here. He said, “It was the best miserable time of my life.” Every day he reminded himself that even though he didn’t want to be here, he needed to be here.
Once Brian graduated he couldn’t wait to tell everybody about Jesus Christ and how He transformed his life through the Colony… everybody that is, except his prior drug dealer Robert. In the meantime Robert had heard of Brian’s new life and started seeking him out but Brian didn’t return his calls. Little did he know how God wanted to use him in Robert’s life. Finally, Brian and Robert connected and Robert told Brian, “You used to come to me for what you needed; now I’m coming to you for what you have.” In the spring of 2010, Brian brought Robert to the Colony of Mercy. When Robert graduated August 22, 2010, Brian had the honor of giving him his graduation Bible.
When the church Brian had been attending asked if he would start a recovery ministry, he jumped at the opportunity. He knew from experience that people “like him” do not usually feel welcome or comfortable in church. He wanted to change that. Thus, Second Chance Ministries was started to introduce people to their church.
The cost of Brian’s stay in the Colony was $7,800 but what price can be put on a life transformed for the glory of God? How can a dollar amount be put on the ripple effect Brian’s life has already had on Robert, his family, his church and others now involved in Second Chance ministries? That is priceless.