Nick W - Aloha, OR
Hi!  My name is Nicholas.  I am twenty-six years old.  I grew up in Aloha, Oregon, the youngest of three brothers (one being a foster brother from Vietnam).  I was raised in a morally sound and structured home life.  However, Jesus was never a major part of my life and I remember only going to church a few times.  I was more or less taught that if you were a good person then you were going to heaven.

Looking back I can see that I was raised in a good family, fully surrounded with love, but by the age of sixteen I started to rebel.  I wanted to experience the sinful pleasures of the world so I began my plunge into spiritual darkness, pursuing the fleshly pleasures of this world.  I started smoking cigarettes and within months that escalated to marijuana.  By eighteen I was kicked out of my home, with my folks declaring that enough is enough.  I spent almost two years homeless on the streets of Portland.  Living on the streets, doing various drugs and selling dope all quickly landed me in jail.  By the ripe age of nineteen, I had become a felon.

When I was twenty I got married.  That was quite unfortunate as unbeknownst to me...she was addicted to methamphetamines.  We were married for less than a year when we met this guy who came to Tillamook and began selling meth around town. We began smoking marijuana together. One night, although I had told myself I never would... I smoked some meth for the first time.  Instantly it was like Satan just grabbed a hold of me and I lost all control.  I felt devoid of all reasoning and suddenly all I wanted to know was, "Where's some more?!"  I began to spend all of our money doing meth with my wife.  We were together, but meth just seemed to rule our lives.  Our relationship was suffering because of it and we had our brand new baby boy as well as her two other children in the family home.  It was not good for anyone.

Due to my irresponsibility and because of the choices I made, my children were (by the grace of God) taken from us and away from that situation.  That day was burned into my memory.  As usual, I was loaded when there was this heavy knock on the door.  The police had come and one of them had a sledgehammer, obviously ready to break down the door, if we resisted. I just panicked...and in an instant was out the window.  You see when you're on meth Satan has such a dark hold on you that you really can't seem to discern or distinguish what is right from wrong.  As I was slowly walking away, struggling with paranoia; I heard a cop's voice that I recognized all too well, as he called my name.  I was caught...he handcuffed me, sat me down and proceeded to tell me the reality that I was not ready for.  He shared that people have been watching this house and knew of all the drug activity that has been going on and he was here to take my kids.  Although I was high and almost in a trance, still somewhere deep down within, my heart was heaving in pain.  I kept thinking, :"Lord, what have I done?"  I was arrested and put in jail.  That night was a nightmare.  In the holding cell I was coughing up blood from all the meth that I had been smoking.  Later the judge informed me that I would be spending the next three months in jail.  As I came down, regaining some normal composure and reality began to settle in I realized that by state law, I couldn't have or even see my children any more.  Not long after, I signed adoption papers, giving our children over to a family who currently lives here in Oregon.  This family has provided them with a good home, a home that I know I could never have provided for them.  My addiction to meth had destroyed my ability to be a provider, a husband or a decent dad. In spite of  my regrets within, I truthfully thank God for that night...for their sake.  I receive random pictures of them now and then and I see the smiles on their faces; that gives me a bit of joy.  My joy was multiplied when I understood that the adoptive couple could not have children of their own. God truly works in mysterious ways.

In the years following the arrest and adoption process I fell deeper into the abyss of severe drug and alcohol addiction.  I became such a sad and lonely person, hurting those around me that I loved and yet crying out inside enduring the sadness I constantly felt.  One night last year I attended a faith-based, twelve-step recovery program called Celebrate Recovery at the Nazarene Church in town.  I went home and got drunk after the meeting.

Pondering my life with vivid thoughts of the past, the horror of all the insanity and loss flashed through my mind.  Getting high had ruined a big part of my life and sadly, it also tore into all the people which I hurt along the way.  How many had I hurt in my selfish journey with addiction?  It was the 22nd of December and I tried to take my own life.  I punched this glass picture frame in my range and agony.  As I sat there, deeply cut, I just wept, feeling totally broken within.  Watching the blood run from my body I knew that I just didn't care anymore.  I was shattered with the feelings that my life was a worthless-nothing.  But Praise God, He had other thoughts about me.  My Lord seemed to speak to me that night in that moment and it echoes in my mind to this day.  He said, "I love you; it's going to be alright."  With those words bringing stability, I determined to put all my old selfish ways behind me...I would begin to seek the Lord with my entire mind, body, soul and strength.  Something great happened next, as the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely broke the chains of addiction in my life!  By the grace of God I have found freedom from the mind crippling influences of drugs and alcohol.  I no longer crave getting loaded.  All the energy I now have is fully devoted to seeking the Lord and serving His kingdom.

I had heard of Freedom House Ministries from a pastoral friend named John Begin.  He had taken a real interest in helping me.  He was the one responsible for the Celebrate Recovery program I had attended. He introduced me to Jim Cottrell and one of this students from Tillamook, Terry Noble.  Terry as the first graduate from Freedom House and that made me think about possibly finding real help and support there.  The day I came to Freedom House, I knew I was home.  I knew this is where God wanted me.  Choosing to make the one-year commitment here means a real chance to dramatically change my life through the healing power of the Lord.  I am growing in my relationship with Jesus daily and His Holy Spirit is leading me as He works to transform my heart, my thoughts and my emotions.  I truly feel safe and secure enough in my faith to open up my heart to my Lord and the brothers here at Freedom House.  He is helping me to let go of the hurts and the things that bothered me for so many troubled years.  Along the way I am learning to appreciate the true meaning of peace.  When I compete this year and graduate I hope to discover a way to serve others in some way and thereby give something back.  I would be blessed if I too could be a part of helping people who are addicted, hurting, bruised, and battered, like I used to be.  I want to share the love of Jesus Christ and the hope that He has given me.  As I close I want to take a moment to express how grateful I am that my folks cared enough to use tough love to try to help get my attention.  They did it because they loved me too much to help  me destroy myself.  I want to thank Carol Mackey, and the church body in Tillamook who came alongside to stand with me and help me to get to Freedom House.  I am certain that their prayers and support have been holding me up as I continue to mature in my walk with the Lord.  I wouldn't want to be in any other place than here, this place is amazing.  I am humbled to think that there are many who support this ministry monthly just so people like myself can come to real faith in Christ.  I am indebted to you, God bless you.  Most of all I am eternally thankful for my Lord Jesus Christ...because without Him I wouldn't be here today.  Thank you Jesus.  I love you.
Living Free,  Nick W
Nick successfully completed his one-year commitment to the
Freedom House Ministries Program
 on February 29, 2008 becoming Graduate #6




Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed
away; behold, all things have become new. - 2 Corinthians 5:17