Hello, my name is Jeff. On April 26th, 2015, I entered Teen Challenge in Lansing, MI as my world that I built based on lies and deception was falling apart, due to poor life-style choices I had made and due to living a life apart from God. I was severely addicted to gambling and drank heavily to numb the pain of it. I had lost a relationship with my 7 month pregnant fiancé just two days before our wedding. Thinking that I was going to totally lose Holly, Endyra (Holly’s then 4-year-old daughter whom I considered to be my own daughter) and, of course, the yet to be born baby Greyson, I was at my lowest and was looking for a gun to take my life. Thankfully, the Lord had control over the situation and my parents brought me into Teen Challenge.
A few days later, on a dirty cafeteria floor in Lansing Teen Challenge, I turned my heart and life over to Christ. God blessed this early effort and surrender by opening an opportunity to come to Teen Challenge Cincinnati Men’s Ranch on June 17th, 2015 just 10 days before my son was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I remained focused on God’s plan for my life and the promises that God would restore my family. During my time at the Men’s Ranch, I was able to both mature spiritually and practice those new disciplines in my daily walk.
At no other time in my life have I been able to press into God the way that you can at the Ranch, and through remaining faithful to God and standing on His Word my family is being restored to me – in God’s perfect timing. I am thrilled to announce that Holly and I will be getting married on September 17, 2016! Endyra once again calls me Daddy. My son Greyson, is a healthy, very busy 14 month old boy. He is just starting to talk, and by God’s grace his 2nd word was dada.
My stronger relationship with Holly, Endyra and Greyson is possible from the foundation laid through the discipleship at the Ranch. My patience for my children and being a Godly father is a testimony to the work of God in my life, as so will be my ability to be a faithful, loving husband. I am eternally grateful to the relational discipleship and counseling afforded me at the Ranch.
Before Teen Challenge Cincinnati I was a son who had no real relationship with his parents but desired to have one. Today I get along better with my mom and dad than ever! Finally I can be the man of God that my loving family deserves!
Freedom for my life was (and is) only found through Christ! Thank you again to all the wonderful staff, volunteers and those who support this ministry financially. Without God working through you all, I wouldn’t be able to write this today.
Hello. My name is Andrew Scott Blankenship. I am 32 years old and was raised in the Amelia/ Eastgate area of Clermont County. It took 16 months since I first entered Teen Challenge to obtain my Gradation certificate. Which, to me, is a testimony of perseverance in the journey of God breaking a young man of everything that he once was: from alcohol to heroin, from the crack pipe to the syringe and from petty theft to aggravated robbery. I was focused solely on myself and what I wanted. That was a battle fought with many failures but with the Lord’s ever present touch these failures have been transformed into mighty victories that have led me to becoming the man of submission and compassion that I am today.
I arrived at the Ranch right out of jail on January 22, 2007. The Lord delivered me out of a 10 year prison sentence which was the result of being convicted of 9 felonies. Not a small deliverance!!
I was here on a Monday and that Wednesday we went to church. I was broke, busted, and disgusted of who I was and what I had become. That place of brokenness is where the Lord needed me to be and I invited Christ into my life and afterwards I began to be molded into the man God wanted me to be. However, not fully submitting and being afraid of complete surrender, I allowed seeds of rebellion to re-enter my life … just like tares being sown in with the wheat.
After 7 months of being here, I decided to go to the bar and drink. God loved me so much that He allowed this act to be brought to the attention of the staff. I was released from the program and went back to jail for 30 days. Realizing I was back in the same place I had always been (jail), I cried out to God and once again He delivered me and gave me another (or 1000th) opportunity and I was allowed to come back to the Ranch, broken and knowing 100% surrender and commitment to Christ was and is the only way to make a change and become the new man that God wants me to be. I simply let go and looked to God.
Unfortunately, about a year after graduation, I turned my back on God and what I had learned. I was just like the man in the mirror mentioned in the book of James. Being around “lifers” in prison gave me the perspective I needed. It was like God hit me on the side of my head with an anvil. I was determined to turn my life around. I was watching the Kavanaugh hearings and saw sin and deception in a different light. The seeds of my education at the Ranch were now in good ground and finding root.
My house (spiritually and literally) is now in order. Practicing or tolerating sin is no longer part of my life. I have a wonderful lovely wife who I am faithful and dedicated to. We are participating in the American dream and better yet, living the relational lifestyle. I give back to the Ranch on Saturdays picking up food donations.
Relationship does follow repentance (think the story of the Prodigal Son). No longer looking over my shoulder, I am now truly enjoying life.
My name is Terrance Turner, I am 30 years old and I am honored to be a husband to Lauren Turner and the privilege to be the father of two awesome boys – Jermaine Roderick Turner (9 yrs) and Canaan Maxwell Turner (9 months).
I came to Teen Challenge Cincinnati on September 21, 2016, because of my drug addiction. I was full of hate, unforgiveness, self-hatred and had a victim mentality. My relationships were broken. I isolated myself. I was at a place where I couldn’t help myself and least of all my family. I couldn’t go on any longer with my addiction as I was losing my will to live. So my wife and I spoke with my pastor about me coming to Teen Challenge Cincinnati.
Being at the Men’s Ranch was most difficult when it came to changing the way I was thinking. My first hurdle was that I had to make the decision that I could no longer run from my problems – I would not run. Then the rest fell into place. The regimen was not that hard and I enjoyed the sense of building self-discipline in my life. The class work was good but what was most helpful was the one-on-one conversations I had with George and the other staff. Sitting up ‘til midnight talking with the night staff person was precious to me. I think it was getting counsel and perspective from those who were being successful in their own lives (family) that helped the most. They have all become great influencers in my life.
I look forward to being such an influencer to other young men. In letting go of my old way of thinking and habits I encountered a God who wanted nothing more than to redeem my life and my relationships and to equip me in my role as both father and husband of my home. I walked out of the Ranch a different man.
I am now employed as a Counseling Supervisor at The Buckeye Ranch.
I want to express that life is not certainly easy – but it is good. I am applying the truths taught to me and it is paying off. Thank you Teen Challenge Cincinnati for the car donation and especially showing me how to be habitually selfless.
I entered Teen Challenge Nov. 14, 2012. I’ll never forget that day as I began a new direction in my life… a direction that I have not deviated from that has altered me forever.
Life before Teen Challenge was almost not worth living. I welcomed death, I even hoped for it. In my eyes I was not worth saving. I thought I was on my own and had to do it on my own. I used whatever I could and whomever I could. I was always masking the problems and never facing them. George and his staff took away all my masks, all my patch jobs and exposed my problems. They showed me what a life with Christ was by living it themselves. They forced me to come face to face with my issues. I learned that recovery is never faster than healing and true value comes from love.
God has picked me up out of the lifestyle of death I had created for myself and placed me on a path of wholeness and life. Teen Challenge has given me my family back. I now get to see the upbringing of my three-year-old little brother. I’ve been able to reconnect with my little brother and younger sister just in time to see them off to their next chapter in life. My relationship with my father has grown in ways I never thought possible. Life for me now is an adventure! I wake up each morning excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!
I continue to experience and find new ways TCC prepared me for what’s to come, not just to be prepared but to overcome situations with confidence. Through the discipleship and mentoring at the Ranch, I received skills, knowledge, maturity, work ethic, discipline and wisdom. They broke each character trait down to its core allowing each lesson to be applicable in any situation. They didn’t just teach me how to talk it – but to walk it…with understanding. This has prepared me for every situation I have encountered. Anyone can memorize what keys to hit on a piano to play a song but you’re limited to just that song. Those who understand music at its core and how it is created can apply that knowledge to the comprehension of any song no matter its difficulty. Discovering my identity in Christ and learning how to follow Him has radically changed my life.
Little did I know, life at the Men’s Ranch prepared me for what has been the most dramatic experience of my life. Ten months ago, I found out my girlfriend and I were going to have a baby. One choice, one moment of weakness can change your life forever. Soon I was faced with holding myself to the standards of my faith and including my girlfriend in all our new decisions – how we carried ourselves and how we faced this task together. We chose to keep the child, get married and move to Texas to follow her dream of working with youth. We have faced many trials together and are better for it. I am glad to say we are now the proud parents of a baby girl – Bridget Ann Barnes, born, 7lbs 2oz. We will be married by the end of the year. I have begun my training in Diesel Mechanics and am considering becoming a certified welder.
I also see how Teen Challenge taught me how to be a father. Despite the fact I have a lot to learn, I’m confident by understanding of the underlying basics I will be more than able to learn as I go. Words cannot express how thankful I am for George and his staff at the Ranch. I often find myself using parts of teachings and the many sayings engrained in me. They have saved my life and will impact the countless lives I will come into contact with.
My name is Tyler Schrieiber and I am from Springdale, Ohio. I grew up in a good home with a hard-working dad. I spent most of my childhood playing sports. When I got older, I found my identity in athletics and doing/selling drugs.
When I was nineteen, I was in a car wreck that led to a surgery on my right femur. Two months later, I was fully addicted to pain pills. The prescription stopped but the addiction did not. I sought help and came to the Men’s Ranch in the summer of 2014. I was at TCC for about 6 months, but never truly surrendered.
I was suspended 30 days for recurring tobacco use. I left in February of 2015 without graduating. I stayed clean from opiates but continued to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana for the next year and a half. One year later, I was living in Georgia and began attending church.
The relational way of life I experienced at the Ranch was always on my mind. I couldn’t shake it. Not happy with the way things were going in Georgia and wanting to pursue a relationship, I moved back to Cincinnati.
Unfortunately, I was between jobs and I relapsed. I knew I had to get reconnected to TCC. I came to a Monday night Alumni meeting. Mr. Martin was leading it. He couldn’t remember if I had graduated or not and asked me about it. He asked if I wanted to come back and complete the program. I was blown away and responded, “Yes!”.
Through Teen Challenge Cincinnati I learned what it really means to deny myself and live as a servant leader. Through TCC, I have obtained a job as an Account’s Receivables Specialist with huge opportunity at a large healthcare organization.. I plan on getting married soon. My fiancé and I are getting pre-marriage counseling from Pastor Rick at the Ranch. I am excited to be able to give back and be a blessing to others.
Hi, my name is Jimmy Alexander.
I graduated from the Ranch June of 2014. Before coming to the Ranch, at the age of 21, I was in an extremely dark place in my life. I was numb, callous, tormented and suicidal. I knew for some time I needed help but was bound in my own cocoon of addiction. Thankfully my parents gave me the option of the street or the Ranch.
The path that led me down this terrible path was believing and living out the lies of my culture and desires. Even as a believing Christian, I felt like I could find fulfillment as a pleasure seeker.
When I showed up to the Ranch, I thought to myself, “If this doesn’t work, there is no hope for me.”
After about the first week, one evening, I went into the prayer room and that is where God truly moved upon me. Encompassing God’s love and forgiveness recentered my life.
After that, life finally made sense to me and I was able to apply the studies and counseling to my benefit. My most difficult impediment to personal growth was my own self forgiveness.
Some of my fondest memories include the relational aspect of Christian brotherhood and a much needed disciplined schedule and work ethic I sorely needed in my life.
I am abundantly blessed to be married these past four years with one child and one on the way. I have been making a living as a carpenter and have founded
Lazarus Life Ministries, an adult residential recovery house located in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
My name is Shane Lambert and I came to Teen Challenge Cincinnati from Sidney, Ohio. When I arrived, I was self-serving and had issues of self-control.
My inwardly fixated life led me to a reckless lifestyle of drug use, lack of discipline
and self-awareness. The Men’s Ranch gave me the chance to evaluate my life
and gain new perspective of my identity. Moreover, it changed my life’s trajectory.
Funny how life’s events can make or break a person. I was working in the shop by
myself on a weed trimmer and noticed a bird trapped in the eaves.
I climbed up there to get the bird out to safety, later realizing what I had done was not just reckless but dangerous. “That’s when I had the revelation that moved my internal
compass – God’s love is reckless.”
Learning and practicing self-control was much more than staying clean. It is in
every way being obedient to God and His will for my life. I traded a lack of discipline for the discipline of prayer, Bible study and serving others. Consistently applying self-control and other great tools I learned at Teen Challenge Cincinnati was necessary for the success of my future.
For me it involved going back to work right away, saving and climbing out of debt while continuing to look for ways to serve others.
I’m back in Sidney, working and in the process of getting my real estate license. My beautiful bride, Audrey, works as an educator at St. Mary’s High School. I will always be connected to the community at the Men’s Ranch and the staff and mentors that helped change my life. I will endeavor to carry it forward.