My name is David Harper. Until coming to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, my whole adult life has been controlled by heroin addiction. I had come to a point in my life what I never thought possible; I was a homeless drug addict. It says in Psalm 119v71, “It was good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your decrees” – this has been my story. It was good for me to fall so badly that I might learn about God and how much I am loved by him. Drugs for me started when I joined High School. At first it was cigarettes and alcohol and then cannabis. I thought it was great fun taking drugs with my friends; I assumed it was what all teenagers did. We then included drugs like acid, speed and ecstasy and went to parties and met girls. During my last year at High School I was introduced to heroin. I did not enjoy it at first but continued to take it in order to be accepted into the group. This was becoming my identity. For many months I managed to conceal my heroin addiction but then my family noticed my weight loss and also my lack of concern for my appearance. I started to steal from my family to feed my addiction. These habits went on for 16 years.
So here I was with no life and no hope. I started going on to the Teen Challenge ‘coffee bar’ bus which parked each Monday evening outside the homeless centre in Greenock. The workers on the bus arranged for me to have an interview at The Haven Kilmacolm and I was accepted on to their programme in September 2009. During my time here I have come to know that there is a God who loves me and wants only the best for me in life. God has restored my health to me and relationships with family but most importantly He has given me a hope for the future. I have just completed the first 44 week stage of the programme and have now moved onto stage 2 at The Bothy. Next month I will continue stage 2 at Teen Challenge near Swansea – I will be enrolling in their School of Ministry for their 12 month course – the first 6 months gives training skills to be able to work with people with addiction problems and the rest of the year involves gaining practical experience by working in one of the Teen Challenge residential centers.
The bible tells us about a naked man who was possessed by many demons (Mark chapter 5). Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man and they did leave. When the local people came to see, they found the man sitting fully clothed and in his right mind. I can identify with this man because without Jesus I would still be running about as a drug addict. But because of Jesus I am sitting clothed and in my right mind. I thank Jesus every day for setting me free!
David currently works with Glasgow City Mission and is married and has two children.