Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: GREEN (01/19/17)
- TITLE: DANGEROUS ADDICTION
By Robert Rutaagi
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After completing high school, Fred, my cousin, went to a teachers’ college to study French. I went to University and studied management science.
Fred’s good personal characteristics brought him rapid success and popularity. Besides teaching French, he became a popular news reader on a national television and radio which gave him more money and recognition.
Later, Fred got a scholarship to study advanced French in Paris. Upon completion of his study, he was never the same again. His fortunes multiplied. With more money to spend and still single and surrounded by many admirers, he took to drinking, dancing and travelling to wherever he found prospects for worldly pleasure.
No one knows exactly what happened but time came when I started hearing that Fred had started behaving differently. He was no longer a responsible teacher. He spent more time in bars than in class. He no longer had money despite the good salary he was getting and the side income from journalism. He was no longer the smart and intelligent teacher that he was known for.
One day, Fred’s dad – Jeremiah, came to visit me, on his way to check on his son. I decided to go with him to see Fred at the school where he taught.
On arrival, we did not find Fred at his one bedroomed house. The door was closed but a neighbor advised that there was no lock. I pushed the door and we entered. What we saw made us speechless. I looked at Fred’s father and he looked at me. A few neighbors had already gathered to sympathise with us.
Right in the corner of the room, was a thin mattress without bed sheets or blanket. Below the mattress was a pool of urine whose smell had already attacked our nostrils with a nasty smell. The rest of the room was littered with human fecal matter!
“Where can we find Fred?, I asked one young man.
“Over there, in a bar”, the young man answered.
“Come, I will take you there”, he volunteered.
Reaching the bar, we found Fred, already totally drunk. He was unable to talk or walk. He looked horrible – emaciated, hungry with bruised head, face, lips, legs…all over. And dressed in tatters and without shoes. Again, we were as speechless as we were when we opened and entered his room.
Wretched as he was, there was no human effort that could persuade or force Fred to take him to hospital. We left him in the hands of his headmaster and God.
While attending a seminar, I heard a psychiatrist, Sheila disrobing alcoholics as the happiest persons who should be disturbed by ignorant sympathisers. I could not believe such a mockery until December, 2016.
Months later, I was convicted and challenged, by the Holy Spirit, to check on Fred again. I found him in a worse situation than before. That gave me the best opportunity for immediate action. I had a strong driver and neighbors helped to lift Fred into my car. I took him straight to a mental hospital where he stayed for three months before transferring him into a serenity center to fully recover for another three months.
By grace of God, Fred was transformed. One day, while visiting me, I shared with him about Jesus and salvation. He accepted both which transformed him even more.
For over six years, Fred turned into a model teacher in his school, [until he retired a few years ago], model Christian in his church and a model citizen in his community. He started successful side businesses – a restaurant, rearing chicken and goats. His own young brother, Augustine, once confided in me that he envied Fred’s transformed life. Similar sentiments were expressed by his sister, Milcah, who works and lives in London.
As 2016 started, all indicators around Fred signaled that, with the salvation he had zealously embraced, would guarantee him a fresh start and lifeline after 30 years and 4 relapses into devastating alcoholism. As 2016 ended, thieves stole his goats, chicken and restaurant assets. Enough was enough for Fred. The demon which had left him for six years but had possessed him for many more years before had stealthily come back with another seven plunging him back into a dangerous relapse. On 26.12.2016, I went to see and pray for Fred but when I extended my hand to greet him before praying, he ferociously grabbed it and I had to fight hard to withdraw it. I fled from Fred.
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