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RESTORATION END TIMES MINISTRIES

The End Times Jesus Christ warned about are here now....

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DANIEL D TESTIMONY

Daniel was with our fellowship in Larnaca for over a year and currently lives in Limassol, Cyprus.

He is an excellent counselor for Alcoholism and Drug addiction...we welcome him as a part of our team. Here is his harrowing story......

My Name is Daniel.D.

And I am a gratefully recovering Alcoholic and Drug addict.

I have been clean and sober since February.9th.2010.

My story is not dissimilar to others like myself as although our circumstances may be different; addiction invariably leads alcoholics and addicts to the same destination.

Pitiful incomprehensible demoralization

Initially however I seemed to win at the game of life. Using nothing but my own Witt and effort, I managed to secure myself a comfortable Ex-Pat job in Asia. Outwardly it appeared too many that I was enjoying all that life could offer.

The reality for me however was that no matter how good I looked on the outside I could not escape an uneasy feeling of discontent. Something in me seemed to be always missing, wrong, defective and unlovable. I felt a fraud amongst my peers and fear dogged my every step, as if someone, someday would discover that I was not who I claimed to be.

Peace eluded me and a general sense of restlessness and discontent was my daily reality. This situation was eased somewhat by a large consumption of alcohol and drugs which at the time was acceptable to those around me, as long as the money kept coming in.

Eventually at the age of thirty six my drinking and drugging spiraled out of control and within a two year period I had lost what capital I had accumulated, my job, my girlfriend and the respect of my friends family and business partners.

The final "straw that broke the camels back", was waking up in a hotel room, in what I believed at the time to be Bangkok, with an exceptionally pretty lady boy and no memory of the night before. After she/he stole my phone I discovered I was in fact in the Philippines and in the absence of any other shrewd and cunning plan, stayed for three months; and never drew a sober breath.

I had tried rehabilitation in Australia where I was arrested for drunk driving after checking out after a week. With the money and chances of recovery diminishing by the day, I spent a month in a Thai government rehab up in the "Golden Triangle" with the "Yah Ba" mafia boys from Burma. At $200 for the month; board, accommodation and medication included; you certainly got what you paid for.

A taxi from here to the first bar I could find, confirmed that I might be in more trouble than even I had thought possible. Alcoholics Anonymous and a host of other remedies had not worked and I continually came up short. Nothing was working, and by this time I had to drink 24/7 so as to not to get sick from withdrawal.

Four bad motorbike accidents involving whisky in as many weeks confirmed to me that the end was near. A broken collar bone, three broken and two bruised ribs; together with a host of other injuries could be called unlucky; but getting rescued three miles out in the Andaman sea, (still clutching a small bottle of whisky), by a Burmese fishing boat suggested even to me that it was time to get serious about my predicament.

Beaten and bloodied I arrived at the gates of S.C.R.C. thinking my life was over and that this would be one last stop on the way to the grave.

Fortunately however this was not to be the case.

Through a combination of stick and carrot; (sometimes more stick than carrot) S.C.R.C. deconstructed me and put me back together. I left over a year later bright eyed and bushy tailed intent on regaining my place in society.

This however was to be my downfall. I wanted my old life returned to me replete with money, women and power; just without the drinking and the ensuing consequences. With this in mind, I found myself one day back on the streets of Bangkok; and clever as I am, I concocted a plan. Since I was a chronic alcoholic and not a drug addict it seemed logical to me that I should be able to use Meta-Amphetamines perfectly well so long as I was careful. I embarked on my new project with a few female companions and a diligence that surprised even me.

Six weeks later I woke up in the same bunk bed in S.C.R.C that I had been so grateful to leave only the year before. I do not believe I have ever been more broken and devoid of hope and had it not been for the rehab dog, that fortunately still remembered me, I do not think I would have pulled through.

Six months later I again returned to the world. However I was now 42 years old, and had spent 8 years floundering at the wrong end of addiction. I still felt I was just holding my breath until the next drink or drug and was not confident about my chances of survival. I had however had a bit of luck on some land I bought in Thailand, that I had failed to drink away. This gave me some funds at least and again I formulated a plan to regain my place in the word.

I resolved to fulfill a lifelong dream of completing a Solo Trans-Africa expedition from London to Cape Town down the west coast of Africa. I was supported in this endeavor by the rehab dog and Mr. Cooper the director of S.C.R.C. everyone else thought I was nuts and would be drunk in Casablanca within a month. On my part I reasoned my chances of recovery slim, given my history and that one of three outcomes was assured.

I would either die in a bar in the Congo from alcohol poisoning. Be shot in Nigeria by a drunken soldier with an AK47; or I would reach S.C.R.C. clean and sober and therefore be cured of my addiction. This increased my chances immeasurably from a miserable 1/100 to a more manageable 3/1 shot.

I set off on the 1st of February 2011, with a foggy British morning and much trepidation for company. Fortunately I possessed a 1994; 4.2 Turbo Diesel Land-cruiser "80 series", with three diff locks, long range fuel tank, Australian suspension, roof tent and a Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

What could possibly go wrong?

By Casablanca my addiction was all over me! I was alone, away from support and my liking for cheap women was being tested daily. I was saved by long stretches of time in the Sahara Desert in which I found few pubs and a certain amount of peace. But I was not "right".  I feared going further least I relapse in more hostile territory. But a man cannot tell his mates he is driving to Cape Town and then come back after a couple of months in Morocco. In life it seems you are always either a "has been" or a "never ran".

So I set the G.P.S. South and crossed the border into Mauritania. I eventually limped into Nouakchott, the dusty capital, with a broken radiator and leaking gear box where I ended up spending three weeks fixing the truck and trying to get strong enough for the next leg with a Haynes manual and advice from half the town.

This was a pattern that did not stop. Fix the truck, get strong enough to move on, fix the truck get strong enough to move on, was what I did for two years. It was in this inauspicious capital however that my long journey with addiction was finally to turn a corner. There was a girl in Nouakchott; and no doubt she is there still called Adisha.

To her I shall be eternally grateful. She looked to me as the rain must look to the desert. She was the personification of beauty. This was where Arab North Africa merges into the Sub-Sahara. To my great shame, my long abstinence coupled with my unresolved sex addiction found me once again paying for company to ease my loneliness.

The following morning I pulled out of town and again headed south to Senegal. Although the truck was running well my heart was troubled. For the first time in my life I felt bad about sleeping with a girl. For the first time in my life I could see that what I had done to Adisha had disrespected her and had disrespected myself.

It was wrong. I was wrong. There was right and there was wrong and for all my life I had been coming up short. From that realization was at last able to see how all of my past sins had mounted in my heart over the years in an unrepentant, self-glorification and love of iniquity. In the desert, on that road from Nouakchott to Senegal, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and I repented. I finally could see who I was, what I had become and knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that in and of myself I was doomed for eternity.

Every gift that I had ever been given in life, I had used to further my own ends, and to satisfy my own distorted needs. If I was to die there in that hot and dusty sand at the side of the road, I would have absolutely nothing to show to my God but a life spent in futility. I knelt down and asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned my back on my past life forever.

A day later I found myself driving into Dakar at night, lost, alone, on the wrong side of town with no French language, no GPS mapping for Africa and feeling particularly freaked out by the enormous metropolis of seething bodies, cars and trucks. The feeling of helplessness was heightened by my four months of solitude in the Sahara desert. I did then; what I found to be the single greatest benefit to my recovery. I prayed to Jesus Christ and said I could not deal with the situation as I had no idea where I was and that I was sure to be mugged at any second.

I stopped trying to run the show myself and I left it up to him. In fairness, he could have been quicker! But three hours later and a lot of shouting, I pulled into an idyllic little hotel by the beach with a pelican for company as like a ‘guard dog’. It was a revelation. I no longer had to depend on my own strength to live my life. I had found a power greater than myself that was better at managing my life than I was.

The fear subsided. I knew that no matter what my situation was that if I rightly aligned myself with Jesus Christ, I would be taken care of. It was ‘Let go and let God’ it seemed he had a practical application for exceeding what I had thought possible.

It was this new system of living that I employed for the next year and a half through Africa. It grew stronger as I repeatedly placed myself in situations that where so far out of my control as to be ridiculous. "I can't do this one, can you help me out here Jesus", was to become my daily mantra. Invariably I was never let down.

When I did fail, or falter it was only to see a few days later that what I first perceived as a disaster was in fact a blessing and this at last taught me faith. To not trust my own judgment but rather to rely on Jesus Christ and “Not my own strength Daniel, but through my mind and spirit came that still small voice". 

I continued on, sleeping under the stars through Gambia, the troubles in Mali,Timbuktu and the poverty of Burkina Faso. Jesus drove with me into Accra at night and took me through Togo and Benin. At the myriad of military check points in Nigeria with drunken soldiers he never let me down and even through Cameroon.

The Jungles and mud where slow and harrowing. I completely misjudged the reality of the rainy season in Central Africa but miraculously I made it through with the help of the greatest, off-road vehicle ever commercially built. The Congo was a test I had long dreaded and indeed it turned out to be a country too far.

Having been robbed twice, gotten terribly sick and spent an inordinate amount of time attempting to and failing to secure a visa for Angola; coupled with failing to get up river to Lake Tele, I eventually admitted defeat.  After six weeks I struggled into the port of Pointe Noire on the coast. My suspension was finished, front and back. I had only half an exhaust pipe, there where fuel blockages in both fuel tanks, my front wheel hubs and stub Axel had been destroyed on the Gabon/Congo boarder.

The gear box radiator still leaked badly from Morocco and could be welded no more; whilst my front right tire had burst into flames and melted when the stub axel gave out. I had no hand break and the front breaks overheated to the point of melting the disc's after only minimal use.

I was robbed for a third time in Pointe Noire but fortunately was able to pay the army $45 to find the culprits, which they promptly did. Stripping them naked, beating them within an inch of their lives and then somehow squeezing them both into an empty barrel of oil and filling it with water whilst all the time beating on it with sticks. It was perhaps swifter and greater justice than can be found in my home country, where they would have locked them up at £33,000 a year and then let them go with self-esteem classes and a new flat in Islington.

Reluctantly I put my beloved truck on a ship to Cape Town and flew out of the Congo knowing that I had failed to achieve my Trans-African dream. I did however achieve my second objective which was to cruise up the driveway of S.C.R.C. clean and sober.

It had been the one objective in the front of my mind for the past year. I had not died in a bar in the Congo or at the end of a gun and for the first time in my life I had some peace and felt at last I was not holding my breath in regards to my addiction. It was a pleasure to be greeted by my old friend the Dog and an even greater pleasure to shake Mr Cooper by the hand knowing that I would not have to write a check out to him, or sleep in a room of four and start the morning on step one.

After a brief business trip to Thailand and a few months rest in the Drakensberg paragliding with old friends I resolved to make the return journey up the East coast to London, intent on completing a Trans-Africa over the Sani Pass and through Losutu; on past my old home of Springbok and into Namibia.

Six weeks in the moonscapes of that special Land,with the Himba tribes people of the Northwest. A wilder landscape you could not wish for. Kudum National park where I was the only visitor for a week and you could hear the lions roar at night. The Caprivi Strip, Victoria falls, Lake Kariba, Luangwa all slipped by on the way up to Malawi and a few weeks of R and R by the freshwater lake that should have been a sea.

Tanzania and Kenya where relatively straight forward. In Tanzania the Ngoro-Goro crater did not disappoint and in Kenya I fulfilled a long held dream of watching the migration of the wildebeest south to their winter grazing Grounds. The little travelled Northern stretch of Kenya up to the Ethiopian boarder was a challenge, even for an 80 series Land Cruiser.

Africa here gets wild again, but perhaps not as wild as some of the Ethiopians themselves. Running the gauntlet of stone throwing locals to the rock hewn churches of Lalibela and Gondar, built by the knights Templar to house the Arc of the covenant threw me back in time  two thousand years and despite much hostility was perhaps the most scenic of all the African countries I visited. 

I finally crossed into Sudan with some trepidation given the current security situation, but was amazed to find the people probably the most hospitable on the whole of the African continent. There was a lot of tension and suspicion of foreigners but once past that, the people could not have been nicer. It was 45 degrees most days and nights and when Egypt rejected my Carnet wanting $4,500 in "tea money" just to get in, I made a break for Port Sudan, past the lost pyramids of Nubia, half buried in a thousand years of sand and onto a ship bound for Saudi Arabia.

In good time I feel; as 3 days later the Israeli's bombed the munitions factory in Khartoum. I had four days in Saudi customs sleeping on the floor to think about failing for a second time to achieve a Trans-Africa. Indeed I had failed again, but some dreams perhaps need left undoing; so as to give a desire for another go.

It was the time of the "Hadj", which made things no easier but I did read all four Gospels again under the shade of a tree in a Mosque, just to make a point.  Saudi it seems does not allow right hand drive vehicles, along with a host of other things and so I put the truck on a flatbed pickup and crossed the 1500 km of desert to Jordan. Idyllic rocky desert bush camps, gave way to refugee camps, as the road to Israel skirts along the Syrian border.

The faces of the dispossessed seemed to speak ominously of the age we live in and the shape of things to come. In Israel I was greeted by a country geared for war on a far more serious level than any African country I had visited. Seven hours of military interrogation and ex-rays in customs, saw me safely through to Tiberias on the sea of Galilee, where I stayed at Kibitz Masada. I had worked as a banana picker here 25 years previously and it was interesting to reflect on the road I had taken in life.

I was back in civilisation again and not liking it at all. The freedom that can still be found in Africa; grates heavily against the modern world. When finally I boarded a boat from Haifa to Greece I knew my adventure was almost over. I arrived in London two weeks later, two full years after I had set off. Twenty seven countries and 40,000 miles lay behind me and it was a great satisfaction to know that the truck was stronger now than when I had left London.

I was however considerably poorer financially, but I was alive, sober and I had Jesus in my camp. I was also now a qualified Toyota mechanic and able to pitch camp in six minutes and break camp in eight.

I was baptised in the Andaman Sea in the gulf of Thailand, a stone’s throw from the spot where I had come to my sticky end so many years before. It was an Afrikaans preacher who finally agreed to help me, in April of 2013. Given my long and sometimes bitter history with the Afrikaans the irony was not lost on me.

It has been a long time coming and no doubt I should have got here sooner, but I had a lot of roads to walk down before I finally came to the end of myself. When I finally did I realised that for me, what I needed was forgiveness and redemption and that no amount of Good

Deeds, meditation, fasting, chakra healing or any other voodoo was going to work. Not on this Alcoholic.

I write this letter from a small hotel by the beach in Bali.

To be Frank I have no idea what the future holds for me, but these days I don't stress so much. I know that if I keep myself aligned correctly with Jesus Christ all will be well. I am not cured. I am still an alcoholic. Daily I have a program I follow sometimes well, sometimes not so well, but it is a program. I am working through my past and feel I am growing. Rome was not built in a day and I have a long walk ahead. My biggest fight these days is overcoming self and the desire to do what I want, which invariably lands me in trouble.

But when I falter and make mistakes, which we all do, I don't beat myself up so much as I used to. I am learning that perhaps I do have some worth and that I am perhaps even loveable. If only at times by a rehab dog.  

 

Daniel.D.