‘The truth I had never heard before’

I started smoking at the tender age of 16. During school holidays I also started drinking beer. The habits progressed rapidly until I became addicted to both alcohol and cigarettes.

Although I participated in church work at a local Catholic church, I was not growing spiritually. I became a rebel, developed a violent character, and soon engaged in fights with other boys in the neighborhood. The fights were always sparked by excessive intake of alcohol. I considered myself a God-fearing young man, but I deserted the church soon after completing high school.

That was the beginning of a wild life, characterized by partying and violence. My drinking worsened later, after my wife and I divorced. As I looked back at the disaster I had brought on myself, I developed anxiety, smoked heavily, and slept very late. I felt I did not know how to commune with God except maybe to feel guilty and say, “Oh my God, oh my God,” and hold back tears. I realized that I had committed many sins, but I didn’t know how to repent. For almost a decade my life was miserable. I consulted traditional healers (witch doctors) as well as false prophets, but the problems escalated. Money became very tight, and I lost all the friends I used to know.

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Safe in the storm
February 8, 2016

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