By Barbara Bennett and the Westside Christian Center Assembly of God

A Christian-based help center focuses to provide adults and families with a proven effective and comprehensive solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society.

Teen Challenge began in 1958, when the Rev. David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade, went to New York to reach teenage gangs and bring God’s love. There in the heart of the bug city slums, Teen Challenge was born.

Now a headquarters located in Waimea and established locations on the Big Island and O‘ahu. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. supports Teen Challenge and their work along with U-Turn For Christ Kaua‘i in Anahola.

There are more than 200 Adult and Teen Challenge USA residential programs throughout the United States. This center on Kaua‘i is much needed to continue the work of drug and alcohol addiction. A healthy society helps to make communities, neighborhoods and families live productive lives.

For those already addicted to drugs and alcohol, Teen Challenge is an effective solution. To ensure success for each individual, Teen Challenge utilizes the faith-based proven recovery methods developed over the past 50 years. Teen Challenge aspires to enable each student to function in society as a restored and responsible individual.

Under the leadership of the Rev. Keith Jackson, Teen Challenge has recently opened an Outreach Home in Waimea Kaua‘i. In addition, they have a crisis counseling office on O‘ahu and Men’s and Women’s Homes on the Big island.

The benefits of Teen Challenge’s long-term residential recovery program are many, beginning with how they identify those who participate. They do not call them clients or residents. They refer to them as students, because they learn a new way of living. Our alternative Christian recovery centers’ students are given the following opportunities when they enter our programs:

  • They are able to separate themselves from the environment and relationships that have contributed to their life-controlling problems.
  • They come into a controlled environment which helps them to avoid the substances and behaviors that have contributed to their self-destruction.
  • They enter into a loving and supportive Christian community.
  • They are mentored by others who have walked the same path to freedom and understand the process they are going through as they grow.
  • They are positioned to confront the destructive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that led to their life-controlling problems.
  • Chapel services, Christian growth classes, church attendance, and Christian mentoring facilitate their spiritual journey to discover God’s truth for themselves.
  • Barbara Bennett

    They are given the opportunity to cultivate the life practice of personal prayer and daily devotions.

  • They participate in work programs designed to teach a positive work ethic, responsibility, and pride in a job well-done, regardless of the tasks they are assigned to complete. Because many work programs generate funding for Teen Challenge programs, students are given the opportunity to contribute to their own recovery through their work, which gives them a sense of productivity and dignity.

We are happy you are here on Kaua‘i. Our community will support your work. The times of today for our youth and adults are very challenging and Teen Challenge is another organization that can contribute to healthy families, the community and our island.

For more information, contact Kaua‘i Director Ron Takeyama at )808) 212-1490.