“I was born in Iran, though I grew up in Germany. When my parents left Iran to take us to Germany, it was in desperate times. There was a war going on and my parents did not want my sister and I growing up there. Growing up, my parents gave me everything I wanted. But, at a young age I was bored with life and depressed. I found myself questioning God, ‘Was this all there is to life?’
I decided to come to the United States. I thought moving would help, but I was wrong. I got here two months before 9/11, and after that happened, my dreams of making a new life in the United States were crushed. I dove deep into drugs, self-medicating, so as not to feel anything.
This lifestyle went on for a few years and got to a point that I no longer wanted to live. It was at this point, I met my wife Dionna. We were both using, both trying to run from our depression. Dionna and I ended up getting married and at first we stayed clean. We had our son Nico, but I was still unhappy. I thought that being clean, having a wife and a child, that it would bring me the happiness I was missing all these years. I was wrong again. Not long after having our son, we both got depressed and relapsed. We were homeless within a year and lucky we had not lost our son. My wife came to me and told me she was going to Teen Challenge. I decided to enroll in the program at the same time.
Since going into Teen Challenge my life has been dramatically changed. I realized that what was missing in my life was God. My life is not perfect, but since leaving Teen Challenge I have seen the miracles God has done in my life. He has brought me through depression, he has restored my marriage, he has restored the relationship I have with my stepchildren, and today I am gaining back the trust I lost with so many family members. Today, both my wife and I have been blessed with wonderful jobs in ministry and we have found a home church we are getting connected with. I am truly grateful to the Lord for giving us this chance to live our lives for Him, and to everyone who supported us through our time in Teen Challenge.”