I abused more drugs than I could probably name and I was proud of it. In the last few years of this chaos that I was calling life I was using a needle full of heroin to get me through the day and chasing it with a bowl of meth to have fun.
Through all of this I stayed very close to my brother Josh and his girlfriend (now wife) Tina. God let us stick together through it all. It was through a chain of events that only God could make happen that Tina entered Spokane Dream Center Womenís Discipleship, followed shortly by Josh to the Menís Discipleship. I was heading to Alaska to fish for the summer and decided to visit them before I left. When I saw them, I realized that they were both different people from the last time I had seen them. I didnít know what it was but I sure did want it!
My parents and I attended the Sunday service at Dream Center. The Holy Spirit moved me more than I had ever been moved before and I just knew that I was where I needed to be, but didnít stay. I was heading to Alaska to make money, but it turned out to be the worst fishing season theyíd had in a long time! It was the longest four months of my life. Coming home, I quickly returned to my old habits. Within the first week, I was already putting a needle into my arm. I went back to my old job, my old friends and returned to the same destructive spiral I had left behind.
Shortly after returning home we visited Josh and Tina again. During the Sunday service the Holy Spirit really moved on me. I responded to the altar call and prayed with Pastor Dave to rededicate my life to Jesus. I tried going back to doing drugs when I got home, but the Holy Spirit was convicting me and I realized that I could not live this way anymore.
I entered the Menís Discipleship Program on Nov. 11th, 2011. I am a completely different person than I was before. The Lord has totally delivered me from every addiction. Instead of seeking the next fix to make me happy, I seek Jesus because He has helped me realize that the life He has for me is a life of joy and freedom that only He can provide.
Thank you Jesus for bringing me here to the Dream Center, and for opening my eyes and releasing me from the bondage that was destroying me. Thank you for completely restoring my family and giving me the new family that I am now surrounded with. Thank you for giving me hope when I was totally hopeless. All the glory goes to You for the changed life that you have given me and the changed lives of those that I love. I am truly blessed. Amen.
Note: After Joel completed his program, he interned for one year. He is now on staff at the Men's Discipleship.
I dropped out of school and continued on the path of destruction. I decided to quit doing coke but instead of looking to Jesus to help me I turned to alcohol. After about nine months of drinking until I pretty much blacked out every night God decided to intervene. My cousins in Oregon invited me to come and live with them and attend their church. I went, and it started off great! I was having good clean fun, got involved with the youth group, but I wasnít ready to fully submit to the Lord. The temptations of the world got the best of me and I ended up going back home.
Testimony - Joel Maltsberger
Growing up I was part of a very close, God loving family. Looking back now I see that I was surrounded by what I was looking for the whole time. I just chose to look elsewhere.
I started experimenting with cigarettes and marijuana at the age of twelve and gradually rebelled more and more against God and the awesome family that He blessed me with. Even though I had turned my back on Him, He was still looking after me.
At the beginning of my sophomore year I decided that I wanted to try cocaine. Very quickly it turned into at least a gram a day habit. I was a full blown cokehead by the age of 15. My paychecks would be gone the first night and then I would get money however I could and didnít care who I was affecting. The only time I would ever talk to my Savior was to ask him to save me from the messes that I got into. He would always come through and by the next day I would be right back at it.