Hello! My name is Chris Harris and I hail from Hartsville, South Carolina. Through my twenty eight years of life there has been misadventure and shining moments. Everyone who has ever walked on the wonderful, temporary home we call Earth, has dealt with these issues in life. I must say though, everybody’s problems and memorable moments differ. Every addict has his or her own story and this is mine.
I grew up in a loving family with a mother and father and two older brothers. I had a normal childhood that consisted mostly of playing sports. When I was going into the seventh grade though I was at the beach and that was when I was first introduced to marijuana. I didn’t continue to use drugs though until I was a freshman in college. However, I did begin drinking around the age of fifteen. I began going to the local bar at sixteen years old on a regular basis. My dependency on alcohol grew very strong when I moved away from home and began college. Drinking became a normal part of life at this point. In between my freshman and sophomore years in college, when I was nineteen years old, I was introduced to something that would progressively ruin my life. It was at this time that I tried cocaine for the first time and from that point on I didn’t look back. I continued to use cocaine daily for nearly ten years. During that time I tried nearly every drug besides heroin at least once, but mostly continued to rely on alcohol and cocaine. It finally came to a breaking point when I stole my mother’s debit card and took out hundreds of dollars for drugs. At this point I entered an eight week Christian rehabilitation program in South Carolina. This is when I truly became a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. I say that because when I was younger I went to church with the family and all, but that was about the extent of my faith life. I had a wonderful experience in the program in South Carolina but you can’t live life on the mountain top. I was high on Christ, and had all of the wonderful feelings a new believer has when they accept Christ into their life. I actually started working for the program in South Carolina and stayed there for about a year. During this time I grew extremely discontent because I was always chasing those new believer feelings, hence the mountain top experience. I left all of the sudden and moved back to Hartsville, SC and went directly to the bar when I got back in town. I tried to hide the fact that I was drinking and using again, but we all know that it’s foolish to think that we can hide it from our friends and loved ones. I continued right where I left off with my addictions and it got a lot worse in the course of four months. I ended up trading all of the firearms we had as a family for cocaine. I knew I was going to have to go back to a rehabilitation program or just go to jail. My family confronted me and gave me those two options and of course I chose to go back to a rehabilitation program. I must say though during those four months I was always under awful conviction for the path I was taking due to the fact that I was a believer in Jesus Christ.
I was just looking on Google at different Christian rehabilitation programs and found Freedom Farm Ministry in Boone, NC. So I called Jim Quigley the director and we talked a short while and three days later I was in Boone. The program offers three stages during your yearlong commitment: Safehouse, Restoration and DLC. DLC was by far where I grew the most in my walk with the Lord, because not only do you work during the day, at the job you are required to go out and get, you also have classes at night. I was learning to live my life day in and day out because you can’t live your life on the mountain top all of the time. That is what I had not learned at the program in South Carolina. There is always going to be trials and tribulations happening in our daily lives but it’s our choice as old addicts if we are going to deal with it in a Christ centered way or sin. Now this is not to say that I am perfect and don’t sin, because we all sin, but now when I sin, my sin doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol. No rehabilitation program that you go to is going to be perfect but I honestly know Freedom Farm Ministry is where God wanted me. I couldn’t have gone to a better program that showed me how to live a Christ centered life but at the end of the day, that’s all they can do is show you. You have to be the one that want’s change in your life. I finished my year commitment at Freedom Farm Ministry and currently work for a local propane distributor in Boone. I have attained a class B commercial drivers’ license with HAZMAT certification. Oh how my life has changed just by allowing the lord back into my life!