A Second Chance – Luiz’s Story

Luiz tucked his phone into his pocket as he walked into Adult and Teen Challenge, the bright screen fading to black. For years he was able to portray a faithful follower of God outwardly while leading a double life mired in vice.

Few knew the private demons Luiz faced since migrating from Portugal in pursuit of the American dream. Long work hours bled into late nights at the bar, each drink an attempt to numb the emptiness inside. The weekend became a chase for fleeting highs to override the shame and loneliness.

That façade finally shattered after a candid conversation with his sister and pastor. “I knew God, but was walking hand-in-hand with the devil,” Luiz reflected. “My first thought was ‘I am going to spend 15 months without my phone – I can’t do this.'” With trembling hands, Luiz surrendered his phone the day he entered Adult & Teen Challenge – a faith-based recovery program and his last hope for transformation.

But as the fog lifted, he found clarity: “I had to be here. This was the place God provided to redeem me.”

The structured days, counseling sessions, and new community provided revelation after revelation for Luiz. As he confronted the root wounds that had driven his addictions, Luiz uncovered incredible gifts waiting to be unearthed.

He progressed to become an Orientation Enrichment apprentice, guiding incoming residents through early acclimation. Each testimony of redemption watered the seeds of healing in Luiz’s soul. At 11 months sober, he shone brighter than he ever imagined possible.

Beyond delivering him from addiction’s grip, Luiz’s renewal through the program brought unexpected blessings. Reconciliation with his estranged brother after 10 years of no contact. Passing his high school equivalency exam. Enrolling in ESL classes to progress toward his career dreams.

Even Luiz’s tenuous immigration status has found a resolution. As he walks in God’s purpose, doors of provision continue to open.

“Praise God for the work He is doing!” Luiz proclaimed. “I have so much still to learn, but for the first time, my future shines bright with hope.”

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