by Kittie Bengyak, Buffalo Adult & Teen Challenge
Buffalo Adult & Teen Challenge is a faith-based discipleship program that helps individuals who struggle with life-controlling issues such as drug addiction and alcoholism. We currently house up to 35 men, ages 17 and up. Many individuals enter our program out of desperation, looking for a way out of a life bound by sin. Those who encounter the love of Christ are then set free to pursue the call of God on their lives. Sam entered the program bound by a life of addiction. Throughout his time at Buffalo ATC he has been greatly impacted by the grace and forgiveness of God. This is his redemption story:
I had a difficult childhood. I was one of five kids, born to a single mother in the midst of her own troubles and addiction. I endured hardship at an early age. Living in an environment of uncertainty, constantly on the move with lots of people coming and going. It wasn’t a very hospitable environment. I was eventually adopted into a loving family and it seemed as though all my prayers had been answered. I finally felt peaceful and content, though these feelings would be shattered.
After the divorce of my adopted parents, all the negative emotions that I never learned to deal with rose up. Eventually these emotions led to bad friends, skipping school, and indulging in drugs and alcohol. At the age of 18, I started to dabble in cocaine, pills, heroin and alcohol, which led to my first conviction and stay in rehab. Despite the court’s best effort, I still was medicating with weed and other substances.
Shortly after this my life took a good turn when I believed I had found my calling. I completed culinary school in Florence, Italy, and I thought I had the world at my fingertips. But feelings of inadequacy and fear eventually rose up and I turned to alcohol as an escape.
Alcohol became the ruling aspect of my life and I couldn’t function without it. This brought me to Buffalo Adult & Teen challenge, where I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. The love that I have felt and come to know from God has given me a tremendous peace. God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness has had a huge impact on my life and allowed me to forgive myself and others.
While at Buffalo Adult & Teen Challenge, I committed my life to God. I can now walk in what God has called me to do. I plan to further my education in Bible college, and use what I’ve learned to share the gospel that saved my life.
It is the mission and vision of Buffalo Adult & Teen Challenge that all men who enter our program would experience the same freedom that Sam has found here and use it to spread the gospel to a lost and hurting generation.
Buffalo Adult & Teen Challenge is a nine to twelve-month faith-based discipleship program that helps individuals who struggle with life-controlling issues, catering especially to those who struggle with drug addictions and alcohol abuse.