Members of Teen Challenge Oklahoma share testimonies, raise awareness on drug use

By Patrick Nzabonimpa

Members of Teen Challenge Oklahoma, who are in Rwanda, continued their campaign in Kicukiro District, raising awareness on drug abuse and sharing testimonies on how God saved their lives. 

On September 10, they gathered at Gahoromani Market, Kabuga Sector where around 200 residents of different ages huddled to listen to them.

Brigham Perry, 17, one of the members, gave a testimony on how he started using drugs at a young age.

He shared how he was later arrested by police and got imprisoned provisionally for a day after which he was released. However, this wasn’t enough because he was taking too much alcohol. 

His mother then decided to send him to Teen Challenge Oklahoma’s centre because she believed he would be safe in a Christian-based setting, although she wasn’t a Christian.

Perry said that after she witnessed changes he had at the center, she started craving to know God.

He declared that even when he entered the centre, he still didn’t believe in Jesus, and was just pretending because he hadn’t done what a Christian had to do.

“I’ve been in this program for a year and a few months now, but I was still acting strange and I would smoke whenever I went back home. But a few months ago, I realised that those behaviours won’t help me, and that I had to take a new direction,” he continued.

Perry said that on September 9, when Teen Challenge Oklahoma was raising awareness in Kimisagara sector, Kigali City, praying for kids, he felt like he wasn’t the right person to do so and told Deborah (his leader) that he wanted to accept Jesus, which he did hence changing his life.

“I pray that you also change your life wherever it is; from anything such as drugs, sex, or pornography,” he said. “You need to know that Jesus died for our sins and went to heaven. You don’t need to be your saviour; you just need to ask God for forgiveness and He’ll change your life like He changed mine.” 

Espoir Ndahayo, 24, also shared his testimony regarding his ‘harsh’ journey in 2012.

He said he used to use cocaine, injecting himself with syringes, and printing fake money which later got him jailed.

Ndahayo also revealed how he later met God and got saved, particularly when he joined Teen Challenge Rwanda because he completely stopped using drugs. 

He witnessed that he is now a person grateful to God and testifies of His works.

Deborah, who leads Teen Challenge Oklahoma, told the gathering that “when you are thirsty of lust and alcohol, you can’t overcome it yourself, but God can do it for you.”

“When you submit your life to Him,” she continued, “He will help you. He’ll protect you from people around you, encourage you, help you and walk you through it.”

She added: “Today, I have come from the USA to tell you that God can set you free; that He can take away everything you are going through in your life and can help you to bring them down under His feet.” 

As the event was coming to a close, Pastor Willy Rumenera, CEO of Teen Challenge Rwanda and Regional Director of Teen Challenge for East Africa, prayed for those who accepted to receive Jesus as a King and Saviour. 

He then invited them to attend a Sunday congregation at Kabuga Restoration Church to get further help with their spiritual life, and how they can overcome whatever they are going through. 

Some Rwandan former drug addicts also performed rap songs portraying messages of how they quit taking drugs after being saved by Jesus through Teen Challenge Rwanda. 

As part of their campaign, members of Teen Challenge Oklahoma with Teen Challenge Rwanda took their event to Musanze on September 8, where around 400 people gathered.

On September 9, they continued to Kove in Kimisagara Sector, City of Kigali, where around 700 gathered to follow their campaign.

Teen Challenge Oklahoma is part of Teen Challenge Global, a movement which established many drug rehabilitation centres across the world with an aim of reaching out to young people entangled in the bondage of drugs and alcohol.