Former Drug Addict Becomes Wounded Healer With Gospel-Centered Rehab Ministry

A former drug addict painted a wall with a sign saying "Not to Drugs"  at an unknown day.
A former drug addict painted a wall with a sign saying "Not to Drugs" at an unknown day.
By Steve Sun March 11th, 2022

Editor’s note: More than 20 years ago, two brothers in a family in Guangdong Province were addicted to drugs. Later, the elder brother died of a drug overdose. The younger brother continued to use drugs, plunging the family into a financial, credit, and reputation crisis. A pressed reed will not break, and a smoldering wick refuses to be quenched. After going through the eight rounds of rehabilitation through the gospel, he has been determined to help more addicts get out of addiction and lead a normal life. 

Below is the brother’s testimony in his own words: 

Being a drug addict for over 20 years, I’d been to different kinds of drug rehabilitation centers. Eventually, after I got involved with the Christian rehabilitation ministry, I got clean to start a new life on the eighth time of drug treatment. During that time, I experienced fellowship, acceptance, and caring. I went through gospel-centered rehabilitation programs for the eighth time in October 2013. Seven previous attempts of Christian drug rehabilitation seemed like a waste of time. But then, many church members tried to persuade me. Because I was too embarrassed to refuse that, I agreed to go.

At the eighth time, my mindset was completely different, as I realized that the end of man is the beginning of God. Because before I went there, I wondered who would want to accept someone like me. I knew no one would like me as I felt unlovable and had nothing to be proud of. At that time, I thought that I might even be inferior to a dog, feeling very bad about myself. I used to run a company with 200 people working for me, of which I was proud. But I couldn’t even afford to eat a bowl of noodles due to an addition to drugs, and I knew I went bankrupt. One female believer who served me bought clothes and shampoo for me. I held them in my hands with my eyes turning red. Now every time I washed my hair, I would cry when seeing this shampoo. I was finally looked at as a human.

It was the seventh day of the detox, all the people attended church services, with no one in the room. Alone in my room, I was looking for a Bible. I once joined church services in 1997, and I saw the parable of the prodigal son when I opened the Bible. My life changed when I read that the little son didn’t even have a pod for food. I still remember that I used to eat the leftovers of other people and that we had workers and fields at home... Why should I live such a humble life?

I suddenly felt that I had a choice for my life. I should rise up to draw near to God, so I knelt down and wept bitterly. And I said unto God, “I have sinned against heaven, and against thee.” Then I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, “Clean your hands and live godly.” I prayed to God, “I don’t want to go back to the life of drugs, please take away my memories of drugs.” I was sure my heart was healed. Before, I was insensitive to sin. From that day on, I understood that I wanted to be aboveboard.

On the 18th day of my eighth detox through the gospel principles, I told others I was going home. At that point, the idea of returning home was no longer about quitting rehab. At that time my body was in pain, with the trouble of sleeping and the feeling of dying. When I arrived at the bus station, I didn’t have to worry about where to find drugs like ever before. My whole mind was to find those people to whom I owed money and who had been cheated by me, to say that I was sorry. I wanted to tell them that I did not take drugs now and that I would return money to them after I found a job. I really want to express gratitude to those who helped me through my life.

That same day, I told my mother that I wanted to live a normal life. Being a drug addict for more than 20 years, I had not had a meal and a walk with my family for a long time, nor had I lived with my wife and daughter happily. Back home, on the third day, my mother went to a prayer meeting, and I was alone in the living room staring at the wall of the living room. I suddenly became very happy, then a voice came from my heart: “You will follow me. If you may lose your life for that, would you be afraid?” I said I was not afraid, saying to the Heavenly Father, “Please let me follow you, and heal me.” He replied to me, “Be obedient, and I will heal you if you do not sin.”

On the third day back home, a junkie called me to treat me with drugs. I suddenly felt that I must invite him to my home, telling my mother, “You have to trust me that this time we will not take drugs together, as God let me invite him here.” Having seen the change in my life (I previously could not sleep without the TV on, but I hadn’t turned on the TV once since I had come home this time), my mother began to trust me, agreeing to host this former drug friend. After he came to my house, I talked to him for over an hour about all the changes in my life these days.

He said he believed me. A sum of 100 yuan was enough to buy drugs that day, but I asked him to take the 100 yuan to his wife and tell her that he felt sorry for lying to her. After about half a month, he quit taking drugs. Later, he shared that his friend who was addicted to drugs was living on the street. I felt compassion for him, paying a visit to the friend. I laid my hands on him with prayers, inviting him to my house. “There is food for you, but my family had nothing left because of my drugs, as I sold the lights and even the wires on the second floor,” he said. 

When I first received these drug addicts, there were no other beds in my home. So he slept on the mats of the second floor of my house. After a week, there was a friend of his looking for him. He also wanted detoxification but had no place to go. So I said to him that his friend could stay there. a male believer who heard about this moved to visit us. He gave me lamps and beds, donating 500 yuan, which was a great encouragement to me. And I learned to keep track of expenses and distinguish between public and private. I started to try to live a frugal and peaceful life, with many addicts coming. Later, many people around the country began to find out that people could get clean here. Based on the experience of drug rehabilitation in various places, we have concluded our own unique mode of drug rehabilitation in China through our own life, study and exploration.

It is gospel-centered detoxification, which influences life by life and emphasizes the influence of service and example. Then, we start from various aspects of life. Those who came to my house must learn how to cook and buy food, how to save money, how to clean the house, and then there are examinations. After that, we help people get rid of their addiction through music lessons, such as playing guitar. Besides a guitar assessment, there is a supervision group to help with their lives. In the copying training course, they have to write the words down to the size of a sesame seed in the end. Such training let people improve their concentration, helping them get rid of addiction.

On the other hand, people who come here have their whole image and posture changed. They learn how to sit and how to communicate politely, as well as the principles and bottom line of being a person. These addicts usually stay here for about one year, with an overall assessment every 6-9 months. Those who pass are promoted to the team leader. They can use the telephone with a holiday. After they graduate by passing the final assessment, we give them a medal to encourage them and to witness their growth and change. I would lead them to take the garbage out of the public areas of our community, to help our neighbors with cleaning, and to repair some damaged roads, so our lives and services were recognized by the community.

Since 2013, the team I have led has helped a total of 96 addicts successfully return to society. Currently serving projects are to help people with drug addiction, gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, mental disorders, and to provide counseling for problematic youth and other special groups.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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