Dear Family Member:
Our lives become not our own, and we are able to live according to God’s plan. It is important for us to realize the value of our testimony. Not only do our testimonies represent us coming to Christ, but they can also continue to bring others to Him when we share them. Listen to graduate Lonny Shattuck’s testimony about the power of Jesus Christ:
In 1999 my journey to recovery and healing started after a confrontation from my mom about my drinking in her home, caused me to violently react by pushing her up against the wall, calling her every name in the book, landing my fist into the wall next to her head, and her looking into my eyes and saying, “Son, I see the devil in your eyes”. Instead of calling the police, my mom called my grandma who came over and told me I needed Jesus, that there was a Christian program I could go to in California.
After 20+ years of alcohol and drug abuse landing me in and out of treatment centers, rehabs, and jails, I decided to give Jesus a try. I had tried everything else but Him in dealing with childhood trauma from multiple molestations, anger and intense feelings of shame and unworthiness. I had ruined relationships, used people, lied, cheated, manipulated, and stole to get my needs meet. Life was about me, getting high or drunk or doing anything to change my mood. Nobody mattered unless I could get something from them.
After my probation officer granted permission for me to leave the state, I entered Drug Alternative Program. I still remember the first-time meeting Mr. Harris at the airport and him giving me the biggest, genuine welcoming hug I could remember. I did well in the program because it gave me the structure and consistency I had missed in my life. Mr. and Mrs. Harris showed me God’s love ‘with skin on it.’ I was given responsibilities and thrived under their leadership and love. I was given the House Manager position and I took pride in doing a good job and using my organizational skills.
In 2000, I graduated from the program. It was the first time I had been sober for that length of time since I was 12 years old, and it felt good. I eventually worked up to being the Assistant Program Director. I was trusted with the credit cards and other responsibilities. I met a Christian woman soon after my graduation. I didn’t listen to the advice from the Harris’ that it was too soon to be involved in a relationship. I didn’t know how to handle the stresses of marriage, so I turned to the only way I knew how to address it…popping pills. I had relapsed and when I had back surgery in 2004, I really had access to more pills.
My son was born premature, and I didn’t know if my wife would survive and that intensified my usage. Eventually my addiction and verbal abuse caused the ending of my marriage. I lost everything and used everything to get my fix. I lost my position as Assistant Program Director and that caused extreme shame and guilt. I lived on the streets of San Bernardino for a year and this time it took more to achieve the same high. I added methamphetamine to my drug use which took me down real fast. I was crazy, out of my head and ended up in four Psychiatric wards.
My old patterns of use and abuse returned but ten times worse. In 2007, as I was sitting in a jail cell, I knew I would die if I continued using drugs. I wrote the Harris’ a letter asking to return to DAP. They agreed. The second time around, I embraced the program on a heart level. I needed to address the sexual abuse I experienced. I needed to do the hard work of facing a painful past. As a client, I was promoted to Phase 5 of the program after 22 months!
In 2010, I graduated the second time. After some time living in the Transition House and using the skills I had learned, Loma Linda University hired me in the Landscaping Department.
After five years of being clean and sober, God, in His timing, chose my current wife for me. We married and I felt called to return to DAP to work. I worked at DAP until God moved us to Tennessee. I have been blessed the past 10 years with Linda who loves God and supports me spiritually and in my recovery. I was excited when DAP moved to Huntsville, AL, only two hours away from us so we can still be involved with our DAP family!
Just last week, I was nominated for the Head Deacon position in our church. From an addict that no one trusted, to a position of trust is a miracle. I am humbled.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says, “If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” He has done that for me. He has brought me healing and forgiven me.
As this is being typed, I just received this text from one of my clients: “Lonny, our property looks so nice. I just enjoy walking it since you were here. You do such a great job and I appreciate how you don’t overlook anything that needs mowing or trimming. Thank you.” DAP gave me the skills, knowledge, and the work ethic to be able to run my own Landscaping business and to be the man God wants me to be. Most of all, DAP introduced me to Jesus and showed me how to build a relationship with Him through Bible study, prayer and witnessing. Thank you, Jesus, and thank you DAP! I love you very much Mr. and Mrs. Harris! You are my black Mom and Dad! (😊)
Lonny’s story shows the power of Jesus Christ indeed. There are 100’s of Lonny’s who need rescuing as he was. We believe every life is worth saving. It’s because of you that we are able to rescue men from the ravages of drug addiction. Thanks is never enough to say!
Land partner, we thank you from the bottom of our heart for a total of $5,000 received this month for the expansion of the 10 acres of land. We praise God who is leading us step by step.
Next month, we hope to send you pictures and figures prepared by our Architects, Chapman Sisson. With this information, we will have a better idea of the funds needed for Phase I – the recovery home and transition home. We are excited to see how God will orchestrate this momentous task and we hope you are excited too! Thank you for your prayers and financial support in making God’s vision a reality.
In His service,