Testimony Tuesday: George Wood Intake pic - 07/27/2020 Current pic - 01/18/2021 "Hey, my name is George Wood. I was born in Columbia, TN on June 6th, 1996. I grew up in a family of 6. I was the youngest of the 6. So, I have a lot of people to look up to. I grew up as a confused kid as my mother had several husbands. When I was about seven my mother married an addict that drank and smoked weed. So, I became curious about what he was doing. My brothers started doing it with him because they were older than me. Until one day, I was 8 years old and my brothers had some weed and I smoked with them. That is when it all started and by the age of 13, I was a full-blown smoker and was getting high every day. Then I started partying and drinking all the time, not caring for years. By the age of 17, I got a girl pregnant with my first child. I quit high school and started working and partying on the weekends. Then one day, I was at a friend’s house that did all drugs, and I was out of weed and he had meth. I told myself, no you are not going to do that. But after a while I gave in and said yes to it. That is when my life really went downhill. I quit my job and started selling drugs to support my habit. I started hanging out with all the wrong people. I was 19 and I was driving friends and got pulled over and had drugs in the car and went to jail. I went to jail for a meth charge and bonded out. Because of the hold the drugs had on me I went right back to getting high and selling drugs again. I walked out on all my kids for drugs for years. By the age of 24, I had been to jail 4 times doing a total of 18 months. I got out the last time and started a program called Drug Court and I was doing good in 2020. Then one day I started drinking again and started falling down the same path. So, Drug Court sent me to Safe Harbor of Erin on July 27th, 2020. At first, I did not want to come. I hated myself for messing up again. But now I look at it as a blessing in my life. This was truly Gods plan for me. I just recently graduated the program on January 17th, 2021 (two days ago). I have such a new outlook on life now and I am more ready then ever to be a good father and a great sober person. Thanks to this program that Safe Harbor has offered. I am ready to be the person I was born to be. 2021 will be my year to focus and become everything I was meant to be. Thanks for reading my story and God bless all the suffering addicts. I hope your story ends like mine, with freedom from active addiction."
Testimony Tuesday: Donald Kyle Verble Intake pic - 10/19/2020 Current pic - 12/08/2020 "I was born November 5th, 1986 to a single mother. She suffered from postpartum depression and felt guilty for having me by herself. So, she dropped me off at my grandparents house when I was 3 months old. My grandparents raised me for the next 3 years in a loving home. I was brought up in church, The First Baptist Church in Anna, Illinois. My mother came back for me when I was 3 and had found a man, I would call my dad. My stepfather was a really good man to me and my mother. Besides the constant drinking and partying. My mother became an addict or had been one for some time. I would be left in my room for hours while they partied, so I would not be in the way. My stepfather would come get me every night after my mom would fall asleep and we would watch sports/ Nascar. My childhood was good for the most part. I did not really know the difference. I was abused by an older neighbor boy and so I asked my mother to put me in Karate and she did. My mother and stepfather divorced when I was 10 and my mother went to Cumberland Heights Treatment Center. When she came home, I met my true and sober mother and she loved me like no other and showed me that love. We were happy. When I was 13 around 2AM on a cold October night, I woke to her screaming. Her stomach was swelled up like she was 7 months pregnant. So, I called 911. She was suffering from a chronic pancreas attack. My mother had to go through 19 surgeries over 4-5 years and because of the pain medication she was back being dependent on a substance and was not the same person. I had to grow up fast, so I could take care of her. I learned to cook and took mowing jobs to help out when it came to money. My grandparents helped out tremendously. At this point I started using drugs also to mask the pain of the mother I finally had and her not being the old her. We used together. I did anything, any substance that was in front of me or whatever I could get to make me feel something other than the way I was feeling. When I was 20 years old, I met my first wife. I was married at 21 and my first son was born November 28th, 2010. His name is Spencer. I instantly fell in love with this beautiful baby boy. True love for another human being. I stayed using all the way until my second son Brently was born January 13th, 2013. I stopped using drugs at this point. I had my family. My mother was getting sicker and decided to stop taking the pills and went back to church. March 6th, 2013 was the best day, me and my mother had together. We went to see a movie, out to eat, and we went shopping. It was a great day. My mother died 2 days later, and God called her home. I was broken again. My wife and I were using again. Two weeks after my mom passed, my wife went to the wick office and her dope and needle fell out the diaper bag. My two beautiful boys were taken into DCFS custody. I lost it and instead of getting clean I fueled my addiction more and more. Our rights were taken, and they were adopted. We divorced. I went to treatment to get clean, but it was too late to get my boys back. So, I did it for me. After, 1 year clean I moved to Tennessee with my cousin. I met the most beautiful woman named Tanya. She has two beautiful kids. I stayed clean and fell in love with them. Tanya allowed me to call them my own kids. So, God blessed me with a second chance at a family. They call me dad. Being an addict, that I am I know alcohol is a drug, but I thought I was the exception. So, I started drinking. I had a great job as a foreman for a gutter company in Clarksville, TN. I was drunk and thought or I did not think is what I should say, and I got some dope and began the destruction of what God has given me once again. I lost my job, house, and my family. I was homeless and had lost/ pushed away the love of my life and let my new family down. All I had was the clothes on my back and my phone in my pocket that only worked on Wi-Fi. I turned on my YouTube and at the top of my YouTube homepage was a song by King and Country (Only God Knows). God was speaking to me through music. He knew how to reach me. I made a post on Facebook on the Clarksville chat asking about churches. Churches that you can feel God speaking through the pastor. The pastor and a couple members from a small church called Freedom Church in Clarksville on Ft Campbell Blvd had reached out to me. October 18th, 2020 I was dropped off by Tanya and I thought I would never see her or those beautiful kids again. It was raining and I dropped to my knees and cried out to God. I am yours do with me what you will. He said stand up and walk into the church. So I did, and the pastor was on fire for God and I felt him not only there but within inside me. All the pain, worry, resentment, guilt washed away. I felt a sense of peace. A peace that cannot be explained but felt. After the service, a man and woman came to me. The man, Ryan and his wife Dawn. They gave me a number to a lovely lady that is the admission coordinator at Safe Harbor Erin, TN. Now I have a spot and a bed waiting on me in a faith-based program. The next morning, I went to Burger King on Riverside in Clarksville waiting on Ryan and Dawn to pick me up to take me to Safe Harbor. As I am waiting God speaks to me and tells me that a man with a backpack is going to walk around the corner and God said for me to ask him how he’s doing because he’s needing help and will go with me. One-minute later, a man named Preston walked around the corner with a backpack. I felt in my heart what I had to say to this man. God gave me the words. I asked him to call the Admission Coordinator at Safe Harbor of Erin. He called and he was accepted the same as I was. Preston and I are still here after 2 months both working, have food, comfortable beds, and great God loving staff and great peers. My journey is not over. It has only begun. My fiancé and kids are back in my life again supporting my recovery. But the better thing is she has found God and asked him into her life because she sees what he is doing for me. No matter what I’ve been through or will go through, I know God is with me and I can make it through anything. I am in the perfect place to build my foundation for Christ and become the man he has made me to be. Watch out world great things are yet to come and all things through God are a blessing."
Testimony Tuesday: Steven Nelson Intake pic - 04/14/2020 Current pic - 07/20/2020 “My name is Steven Anthony Nelson. I am from Grundy County, Tennessee. I came to Safe Harbor Erin, a broken man. Around Feb. 2nd, on the anniversary of my fathers’ death of Mesothelioma. I found myself at the end of a long journey of addiction. I was wanted for violation of community corrections of 4 years. Four years is how long I ran from this. I never reported the first time. I was in a bad relationship for the 3rd consecutive year, with the same woman. I was lost in addiction to meth and just wanted to end my life overdosing 5 times in a week. I struggled to even remember the woman’s name I had been with for the 3 years. I was sick of hurting her and seeing her cry due to me (cheating and not coming home). I left my home in Tracy City, at 5 AM to rent a motel with another chick and stayed gone a week. The time flew and I never slept the whole time. Doing “X” amount of dope as an IV user the thrill went away fast. I found myself on the phone with my ex. At that time, I was wanting to go home and arguing with the new girl. It was cold outside with snow on the ground. I walked out on the balcony and waived a hundred-dollar bill to a stranger. For a ride 11 miles to my house. When I got there, I found an empty home. The only other home on the road was where she must have been. I called the guy and stated, “Send my girl home or else I’m coming there to take her and to deal with you.” This person said she was not there. I knew better, so I headed that way. When I got there, I kicked the door in and hurt him really bad as she was running out. I walked towards my house and seen blue lights coming down my road. I ran into my house, pushed things up to the door, ran to my bedroom and then decided to end my life. As police officers beat on my door, I put a lethal amount of meth in a bowl of water and pulled up 4 shots that should have ended my life and it did not. The cops begging me through the door to stop. As they are shooting holes in the door, they could see me injecting myself in the neck countless times. I faded to black and regained consciousness a week later in Grundy County jail. Where I had been in a coma. COVID-19 hits soon after and all court dates stopped. The district attorney asks me if I will plea to come to Safe Harbor Erin. I take the deal and a week later I find myself here. I’m out of sorts and out of place. I hate it here. All the rules, stress, jobs and people telling me what to do and how to do it. My life is over. “Where the hell is this God they speak of?” I figured at the end of each day, just when and how I will leave and take back what I feel is mine. My girlfriend, life, home, and my possessions of 30+ years and to run and go get high as a bird. Then before I knew it, a month had passed, and my ex contacted me. We talked about getting married. To the point I went to the courthouse to get the certificates. A day before I am to pick them up, I talk to her and she is high and doing just as she did before. This completely destroyed me! As I am lost again, I find out that my mother had been writing, cashing, and forging checks on me. So, I lose her too. I struggle through all this. I really hate my life being that I lost my girlfriend, my mother, everything my father had left me, and my children will not even talk to me. They said that they hated me. I am completely broken. I pray to God to end this and to just let me die or change my life. To take out everything in me and my life that I do not need…. “EVERYTHING”. There are very few staff here that have the time or the ability to talk to me. I need counsel. I have respect for Mr. Short. I have respect for George. I do not feel comfortable talking to them about these personal things. Then out of the blue we get a new staff member. Someone that I can relate to and I get this gut feeling about him. This man is real and takes the time to have brief talks. He gains my respect and I give him respect because he earns it. Not demanding it and not throwing his authority around and just the way he carries himself. He cares, he helps, and he asks how everyone is doing daily. I can open up to him. His name is Chris. Over a month or so, I find that my life has changed. I have worked myself into being brought to a position at work where I will be hired on. I have found people who want me around. I belong somewhere besides the dope house. Through all the things that have happened here at Erin, Tennessee: A job, finding a different Steven, regaining a sober life after 32 years of addiction, letting God do what I prayed for and taking the trash out of my life, I have met my future, let go of past addictions and past relationships, left the dope game, found gainful employment, built trust and through having met Chris I have learned God is real and has always had my back. I have built a nest egg. My employer wants me to hire in with them. I have found a new relationship with a new girl with God and with a few choice people I can really call my friends. My life has come a full 180-degree change. When just a few months ago I died 3,4,5 times. I will never go back to the thing I was and will always strive to be a better man daily. Due to this program and a few choice people. I have a life changing story. If I can do these things anyone can because my lowest point was death daily and my highest point is regaining a sober life. Free of my addictions and afflictions. Through Safe Harbor of Erin, Tennessee. I thank God, staff here and pray daily that my testimony will one day change someone’s life. If all of my years of hell is what it took to find myself maybe someone can change their life before having one through all that I have. Changed man forever due to the grace and mercy of God and the patience and staff at Safe Harbor Erin. - Steven Anthony Nelson”
Testimony Tuesday: Denver Martin Intake pic - 03/06/2020 Current pic - 07/13/2020
"My name is Denver Martin. I am 43 years old. I started abusing methamphetamine two weeks from my 13th birthday. Immediately turned into daily use. I started shooting the drug at 15 years old. From 1989 to 2010 I was high nonstop. I spent a year in the Penal Farm in Memphis, TN for charges for possession of a precursor used to manufacture. I read the Bible nonstop and felt good and just knew I was ready for a clean life and was strong enough to carry that out. The pastor there told me, “Martin, you have to take The Lord out of here with you, or you will fail.” I thought I had it. I thought I was ready. But I didn’t even last a week and I was back at it nonstop. I didn’t even make it to church. My whole life was wrapped up in everything to do with the drug. I lost so many people to the drug trade family and friends. A lot of my family members including my Daddy to cancer. Him only knowing me sober as an adolescent. My six kids never knowing their Dad sober at all. In 2020, I got busted again in my Mom’s car that she bought with the life insurance money from my Dad’s death. The D.T.F. seized my Mom’s car and I went to jail. I returned to The Lord and prayed and prayed. I was in county for 11 months and 13 days. 40 days before I came to Safe Harbor. A man by the name of Mark Sharpe, came to the jail telling us about this wonderful place full of opportunity for us to have a future. A real life. If we would just trust Jesus and believe in him and what he did for us on the cross. You see with God that which is impossible with man is possible with Christ. That is scripture if you want to know what book and what verse I encourage you to seek, if you do, you shall find. So he gave me his number. I gave it to my Momma. She called him and he gave her, Mr. Kenny Lane’s number. She called him and he started researching me. Mr. Lane worked HARD to get me here. But even after the court agreeing for me to go. I still got sent to prison. Now this is where God stepped in. I know now that Jesus wanted me to see just what it was. He and these two men were saving me from and most of all saving me from myself. I was in T.D.O.C custody for 7 days, when they sent for me and put me on the bus back to Tipton County, TN. Mr. Lane was there and I walked right out the door in Mr. Lane’s custody. What a feeling but only a drop in the bucket of the good that was to come. I got here in Erin, TN on August 6th. They gave me a REAL JOB and I filled out a W-2. The first one I have ever filled out. They helped me every step of the way and I went to work. It was HARD at first but then I started feeling good really good. You pay rent here and you see a lot of this is teaching you how to function as a person with lawful employment. They help you save money. Which is amazing because when you graduate you have a head start. What a wonderful place this is. All glory to Christ and so much and so much thanks to Mr. Lane. My kids are grown and my youngest just told me the other night while I was in my feelings and missing them all. He said, “Dad I miss you very much, but I am ok with you being gone because I feel like I have a Dad now.” To anyone reading this that’s crawling through the flames thinking it’s hopeless. It’s NOT. Now I’m in line for permanent employment at TN Bun. My life has changed drastically. I get my strength from God. Phil- 4:13 I can do all things through Christ. Who strengthens me. To all you men reading this in active addiction. Just decide to call Mr. Lane or Mr. Sharpe. Get here and stay focused, trust the process. God is here and you can do it. I’m going to close with the word. 2 Corinthians 5:17- Anyone who is in Christ Jesus is a new creation. Old things have come to pass. Behold the New come Forth. The last five words is what’s going on my graduation Plaque. If Christ can love me enough to do this for me despite of all I’ve done and all I didn’t do. He will do it for you too. We are all his children. It’s not going to be easy. Nothing worth having is easy to get or easy to keep. I want to thank my family, the staff, Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Lane, and Miss Margy AND my recovery brothers. I love you guys. I’m proud of my fellow recovery brothers. They are a real special bunch of guys. AND to the most high our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. Thank you for what you did at Calvary for all of us. I love you Jesus."
Testimony Tuesday: Joshua Etherton Intake pic- 02/04/2019 Current pic- 07/25/2019 “Have you ever bought a toy for your child or a piece of furniture that didn't have the instructions inside of it? And try to put it together anyway. What we end up with is extra pieces leftover. And those extra pieces get lost or thrown away. And because we didn't put the thing together the way the manufacturer designed it to be. It always fell apart. That's the way my life has always been. Put together without any instructions. My name is Joshua Etherton and all my life I've striven to be something good. But because I was not given any instructions, everything I tried to do fell apart. I finally decided at the age of 26 to join the United States Army. After returning from my deployment in Iraq I became highly addicted to opioids. Because of my addiction I have lost the only job that gave me purpose. And ended up doing 10 years in federal prison. Even after doing all that time in prison. I was still motivated to get my life back on track. But I knew I couldn't do it alone. God placed in my life a loving, caring and beautiful wife, Jessica Duffy. And because she loved me so much, with the help of Randy Roberts, I found Safe Harbor and he helped me get in. When I came to Safe Harbor I felt a sense of belonging. Like I was more than just a broken man who spent a decade of his life in prison. Safe Harbor put the pieces I was missing back in my life. They gave me the tools and instructions I needed. And most importantly they placed God in my life. I can never repay what Safe Harbor has done for me and my family. I can only thank God for making a place like Safe Harbor. And because of the love and respect they have given me. I felt motivated to seek full time employment with Safe Harbor after I graduate the program, where maybe I can make a difference in someone else's life.”
** Joshua is also full-time upon graduation in a few weeks. He has been a van driver for several months now, and will become our new maintenance man in a few weeks. We are so proud of him! **
Testimony Tuesday: Joseph Messer Intake Pic - 10/12/2018 Current Pic - 07/18/2019 "As I'm writing this, my heart and mind are overwhelmed with so many emotions. I'm finding that I haven't allowed myself to just sit and reflect on my journey enough and what God has actually brought me out of, or what I've actually been set free. I haven't allowed myself to sit and think about how broken I really was when I came to Safe Harbor. Broken and lost are probably the most accurate words to describe myself when coming to Safe Harbor. I came in the program after a heroin overdose. I dealt with an opiate addiction for several years; however, thinking back the drug addiction was not my problem. I was my problem. I was dealing with so many significant issues. With the death of my mother, being recently divorced, losing everything I've worked for at my young age. I walked around with a broken heart. I walked around feeling depressed, anxious and abandoned. Drugs along with my other poor choices was just a temporary fulfillment to feel something other than what i was feeling. What started out to be a temporary fulfillment, shortly turned into a stronghold, something that i let identify myself for years. It almost destroyed me. I remember walking through the doors of Safe Harbor. All the clients and staff were welcoming from the beginning. I have had great mentors along the way. Pastor Kenney, Jason Butts, Mr. Short and George all played a significant role in my spiritual development. I've learned so much from each one of these men. The most important thing I learned from these men is complete 100% surrender to Jesus. For months I walked around depressed, anxious and broken. I found myself just going through the motions and every day routine of the program. Dealing with me, and my issues, lead me to a place of exhaustion and brokenness. It also lead me to a place of complete surrender to Christ, and it wasn't until that moment i saw change. It was a moment of desperation to have something more than what I had. It was an encounter with God that would change my life forever. It was just me and him in my room sharing a moment that would transform me into the very thing he created me to be all along. From that moment I was set free from me. From my depression, my anxiety, from everything that had me broken. I no longer identify myself by my issues. I'm no longer an addict, my past issues with addiction do not define me. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. I'm no longer an addict, God calls me a Son, I am a new creation, the old man has passed away, ALL things have been made new. Every day since then, I have focused on knowing him more, seeking the purpose he has for my life. He has continued to move in my life in so many ways, I deny myself- all of me, all my selfish desires daily. In return, He continues to reveal Himself to me, develop me, renew my mind daily. I now have the pleasure to be a part of a ministry where God's Spirit is moving and not just changing men's lives but changing their hearts, their minds, and their spirits. This ministry is about so much more than a man's recovery. This ministry is about seeing a man give up being something they were never created to be, so God can come in and make them whole, make them new and most importantly set them free. I want to thank Safe Harbor for being obedient to God's word and allowing Him to move in my life and the lives of so many others. Today I am blessed and grateful to be a part of this ministry. If there's anything you take from this part of my story, it doesn't matter who you are today, it doesn't matter what issues you're dealing with, how big, how small. God has the ability to make all things new. Heaven went bankrupt to redeem our value with all that was given on that cross. Don't sell cheap when you've been bought with such a price. Revelation 12:11" ** We would love to announce that Joseph is now a Program Coordinator with Safe Harbor of Erin. Welcome to the team! **
Testimony Tuesday: Wyly Keith Hampton Intake pic - Feb 12, 2019 Current pic - July 12, 2019 "My name is Wyly Keith Hampton. I was born in Martin, in West Tennessee in 1971. My parents Wyly Claude Hampton, CaroleAnn Badne, and my sister Tammy Ann Hampton. My parents divorced when I was 12 and I started drinking. My drinking progressed through my teen years. I was introduced to meth when I was 22. At age 29 I was found guilty of manufacturing meth 6 yrs sentence. I’ve had 4 DUI’s, several drinking charges. I’ve been arrested at last count 36 times. I have done 15 years of my life behind bars. I have lost everything in my life. In September of 2016, two guys broke in on me and beat me almost to death while I was passed out drunk. I was in a coma for 2 months. While in a coma, my dad that has passed away came to me and told me that this was my last chance. When I woke up, I was determined to change my life. I struggled. I found myself homeless and alone! I was unable to hold a job because my drug use was more important. I knew I was slowly killing myself. So, at 47 I finally hit rock bottom. I had nothing left so I turned to a good friend Brian Gallimore, who contacted Brannon Powell. He told me about a place called Safe Harbor. At first, I thought 6 months that sounds like a long time, but I had nothing left! February 12, I came to Safe Harbor Erin. Since coming to Safe Harbor, I have not only got sobriety, I have become a better man. I have learned to become a productive citizen at work and been taught skills that will help me stay sober. I have learned that there is another way to live than drugs and alcohol. I have changed my way of thinking and it has brought me closer to my family and friends. I have become responsible and can now hold my head up high! I have become closer to God and read and pray on a daily basis. I know now through Jesus Christ all things are possible. Safe Harbor has helped me build a solid foundation that I can build the rest of my life and clean and sober." - Wyly Keith Hampton
"My experience at Safe Harbor is wonderful. You’re not just a client, everyone treats you like family and when you walk through the door they don’t look at you as just a client, they welcome you as family. All the staff are just as sweet as they can be and treat you like family. Safe Harbor also helps prepare you to get back in society in addition to recovering from your addiction. They don’t only give you one chance, when you mess up or walk out, they give you multiple chances. This is the best recovery center I have been in. They help you save your money and they find you a full time job. They transport you to work and from work. You get to go to the store once a week and do your shopping. I would not be in any other facility than Safe Harbor. I would recommend them to anyone." - Christopher Bryant
“Before coming to Safe Harbor I had become unemployed, and ultimately homeless and hungry. The life long battle I had fought with addiction had taken its toll on me. I had given up on life, and my family had given up on me. I had reached an all time low and I saw my rock bottom. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I had to do something. By the grace of God I found Safe Harbor through a lady named Diane at the Life Line Peer Project. She did for me what I couldn't do for myself at the time. She made the phone calls necessary to get me here. When I was told they had a bed I went from hopeless to full of hope that minute. Since arriving at Safe Harbor my life has changed dramatically. The atmosphere and staff made me feel so comfortable, and made me feel like I fit in here. I was able to participate and open up in class, and was able to sort through what was going on in my head & life. I also gave my life to Christ while being here, and knew right away that was what was missing in my life all along. So today I feel complete and walk around with my head up and a smile on my face. Today I have a job, and it's a good one. I have a peace of mind and a purpose in life. Today I can be the father, friend & brother that God intended me to be. I want to say thank you to Safe Harbor and all the staff here in Erin, TN.” - Josh Stricklin