I’m writing this blog post today because I am working for the next three weeks at Phoenix Teen Challenge, therefore I will miss my blog time with my friends tomorrow, Wednesday. We meet every Wednesday morning at Crossroads Books and Coffee where we blog, drink lattes and espressos, and chat.
I worked at Teen Challenge from 1992 until 2011. It was some of the most fulfilling, exciting times in my life. Last year I filled in for a month for director’s wife while they went on vacation. I am doing it again right now.
I love this ministry. Most people think of Teen Challenge only in the terms of a Christian drug and alcohol rehab, but it’s so much more than that. At least it is in Phoenix. Just this past weekend, they did a Back-to-School Bash outreach where they served meals to 1,900 people and gave out over 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids.
Churches, individuals, and organizations donated the backpacks and supplies. A local fire department donated hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Not only did they donate the food, they were there to grill the hot dogs. Teen Challenge does many other outreaches to the community, plus house up to fifty men in the residential rehab.
I’m happy to be back there if only for a few weeks for reasons other than I just love this ministry. I recently started writing my memoir of the time I spent working there. Actually, I began writing this to enter a non-fiction contest. I typically don’t enjoy writing non-fiction, but I am enjoying this. Ah, the memories.
It was fun, it was exciting, it was heart breaking, it was sad, and overall, it was a tremendous blessing. If you think about it, please whisper a prayer that I can do this justice.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t want to go back to work there on a permanent basis. I miss the people and the ministry, but I don’t miss working every day.