I have been a resident at Gateway Woods for 18 months and am about ready to graduate the program. The reason I am at Gateway is because I violated my probation by using prescription pills at school and getting into a fight. I got suspended from school and my parole officer said that I couldn’t leave my house for three days. However, while my mom was sleeping the next day, I snuck out. We messed around for a while and then I snuck back into my house. Apparently somebody saw us running around because a while later the police knocked on our door and took me to a juvenile detention facility. I went to court and was sent to Gateway.
When I got to Gateway I quickly learned that I was not the center of the universe. In the first few months I learned more about being a respectful and good young man than I hadlearned in my whole life. My Counselor, Kirby helped me to work out and through my problems, instead of simply acting out. I found that these things were easy to learn, but hard to apply consistently.
When I came to Gateway I thought I was doing great spiritually, though I eventually realized that I was really very lost. I thought I was going to heaven, but in reality, while I was doing my devotions every night and going to church, I was still rejecting Christ in my heart.
Thankfully, through the work of my Counselors, Houseparents and the Spirit I began to realize my helpless state. I realized that I was a sinner and I deserved death, but there was a God sustaining me every second and calling me every day. He had sent His son to die on the cross to cover all my sin. I felt heavily convicted and I talked to my Houseparent Dad. That night I repented.
It hasn’t been an easy road since, and I still have my struggles, but I have been maturing and growing spiritually since that day. Soon I will graduate from the program here at Gateway and will probably move into a Christian foster home, but I know that wherever I go, God will be with me and I will be fine. Christmas means so much more to me this year than ever before, because now I know the Jesus.
-Brandon, former GW resident