Testimonies > > Joel LeeLeaders & Staff Testimonies
I grew up in an ordinary family. My childhood was spent in a rather complex village environment. I did not complete my primary education. The 70s were a period of rampaging drug abuse. As a naïve and curious 13-year old and influenced by friends I took my first puff of narcotics - cannabis. This was followed with LSD and heroin. Gradually, I became a drug abuser.
To satisfy my craving I resorted to criminal acts including drug trafficking and robbery, until the law caught up with me. Thereafter, I was a frequent inmate of reform centers and prisons. Each time I was released I would vow to turn over a new leaf and lead a law-abiding life, and I tried many ways to change but they all failed invariably. I could not understand why and yet I was not able to do anything for myself. I often wondered why others were able to live their life with self-respect while I chose to abandon my life to vice. The journey had been tortuous, and my life seemed to be trapped in a dark, deep valley - meaningless and without hope. My drug abuse also affected the people around me; my parents were hurt, bitter and deeply disappointed.
In 1990 when I was released from the reformation center God arranged for a long-lost cousin to invite me to a church Sunday worship service, which I accepted without hesitation. It was my first ever visit to a church and God’s grace soon came upon me. I got to know a group of brothers and sisters who showed me much care and concern. I experienced the incomparable love of God from what they did. I finally opened my heart to receive Jesus as my savior and I felt a deep sense of the peace and joy of sins forgiven.
However, I stumbled and strayed away from God after that. I was lost and weak and did not cherish His grace for me. Yet while I was in this state of struggle and pain, the Lord showed His compassion and I was rescued once again from my woes and given a second chance to have my life molded and changed.
Praise God for the opportunity to start all over again. I was led to Breakthrough Missions in 2000 for life nurturing and training. Here I gained much in learning and I had a deeper experience of God’s abundant grace. I experienced His amazing work on me, which was beyond understanding - in equipping me in truth, in practical living out His word, and in the continuous renewal of the mind and transformation of my life. No longer do I lead a befuddled life propped up by drugs. My family members have received me back with joy over my changed life, and our relationships are restored. I am particularly thankful that both my parents also received Jesus Christ as their savior. In addition to all this grace, God also gave me a loving and supportive wife who is willing to accompany me on this heavenly journey, and two sons. The joy and contentment I feel is beyond expression.
The Bible tells us, “When you turn back, strengthen your brothers.” These words are a constant reminder that we are to be grateful for the grace received, and to repay all we can. I thank God that I can be part of the Breakthrough ministry in helping fellow ex-drug abusers. I often visit prisons and reformation centers to conduct lessons and counselling for the inmates. I am grateful for all these opportunities. May the Lord continue to use me as a blessing for all.