I came to ECTLC in November of 2018 looking for shelter, desperate to stop a five-year addiction to meth and heroin and not to continue violating my probation. I did not come to ECTLC to seek God.
After the first 90 days in the program at the Men's Ranch, I learned that there's more to life than doing anything to get my next high. I was tired of being selfish and angry all the time. Each day at the Ranch, my faith grew by hearing and reading the Word of God. I learned that He loves me, and He was always with me, by my side from the beginning.
Two days before I left the Ranch, I was able to call my sister, and I told her where I was. I told her what I had been doing for three months and that I'm sorry for not calling sooner. I wanted to be on the right track before I talked to her. I told her I'm starting to believe in Jesus and that I'm forgiven for the things I've done.
She started to cry and said that she thought I was dead, and she was praying for me every day. When I heard that, it was confirmation that I was doing the right thing by trusting my life to Christ. Since I've been at ECTLC, I have been dismissed from felony probation. I have my driver's license back. I have reconnected with my family, and our bond is stronger than ever. I thank Jesus for allowing me to grow here in my spirit, and I am blessed to serve God and help grow God's kingdom here at ECTLC.
When I heard that, it was confirmation that I was doing the right thing by trusting my life to Christ. Since I've been at ECTLC, I have been dismissed from felony probation. I've received my driver's license back, I have reconnected with my family, and our bond is stronger than ever. I thank Jesus for allowing me to grow here in my spirit, and I am blessed to serve God and help grow God's kingdom here at ECTLC.
For Steven, those days turned out to be the answer to a prayer. Steven let the Spirit of the Lord into his life, and he was transformed. God totally changed his life and restored his dreams.
We often speak of things happening in God's time, and for Steven, those 67 days truly was the time the Lord chose to bring the Word into Steven's heart.
Steven had long been involved with the martial art of Jiu-Jitsu. His education in Jiu-Jitsu began in 1998, and his time at the Ranch helped him realize that he needed to pursue his passion and training.
Steven has added an important element to his training schedule; he now spends Tuesday evenings working with the children at ECTLC, training them in the art and the discipline that the martial art requires. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a martial art; it is also considered a sport. It is a way to promote physical fitness and character building in young people that helps them throughout their lives.
The ECTLC staff, parents, and children would like to express our gratitude for the time, talent, and kindness Steven shared with our kids. The lessons that the children are learning—discipline, hard work, and perseverance—will benefit all of us for years to come. For some of these children, their stay here may be brief, but they will never forget that Steven, a man who is unashamed to be led with the Holy Spirit, took the time to teach them a skill that they too may choose to make a passion.