When I was a young child, my life was good. My parents were both teachers and we moved to Brunei so they could get good jobs.
But everything changed when I turned 14. I had to come back to Singapore to renew my passport and the government forced me to stay. Every boy has to serve in the military here at the age of 18, and they were afraid I wouldn’t come back if they allowed me to go back to Brunei. The war in Vietnam was affecting everyone.
Because I couldn’t be with my parents, I lived in a bad neighborhood with my grandma in Singapore. That’s when I began smoking weed—and it didn’t stop there. Heroin slipped into our borders and Singapore legalized opium as a way to manage the influx of drugs. It was the party drug and once I tried it I was hooked.
I grew up and couldn’t maintain jobs or relationships because of this addiction and my alcoholism. I was married for 10 years and had a little girl. At 32 years old, my constant addiction to drugs and alcohol caused my wife to leave our marriage and take my daughter. That was my rock bottom.
I moved out of my house and into a neighborhood with many Christian families, one of whom encouraged me to go to Teen Challenge. That’s where I found freedom.
Today I am 5 years sober and have worked as a counselor for Teen Challenge for the past three.
So many people become hopeless because of their addictions and being on staff here I get to testify about what God has done in my life. I can sympathize. To the people who knew me—it’s a real testimony because they had given up hope on me a long time ago.