PERSONAL TESTIMONY of JOHN GALLAGHER
I was born in a small town in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa. I was the youngest of 4 children. I was raised Catholic but never took the time to know Jesus. My father battled with alcoholism and he and my mother divorced when I was very young. Both of my parents went on to start new families on their own. After a while, my sister and I went to live with my grandmother. After some time, my sister ended up going to live with another family but we always stayed very close. All throughout my childhood and teenage years I felt very lost and out of place. I turned to the wrong things. I started drinking as a teenager, and then shortly afterwards that I started using cocaine and hallucinogens. I had a void in my life and I did all the wrong things to try to fill it. I ended up getting married, but due to my addictions, was divorced not too soon after. The negative things that kept happening in my life had pushed me further away from reality and from the Lord. I had lost my grandmother and during this time I was full blown into my addiction. Then some of my best friends had taken their own lives had taken their own lives and I kept falling deeper and deeper into addiction. I figured I was going to keep living this life till I died; there was no hope and no future in my sight. I was pushing family and friends away and mostly I was running from God. I had become homeless and had to live in my workshop with just myself and my dog. My sister and her husband had reached out their hands to help me as much as they could but I did not accept. I was lost. I had burned all of my bridges and had let down just about everybody who had tried to help me. I ran out of chances. I found myself in the hospital with kidney failure as a direct result from my heroin overdose. I was 45 years old and was probably not going to make it to 50. I was scared and I was going to die without knowing who Jesus Christ was. With the love and help of my sister and some close friends, I made the call to the Colony of Mercy. After filling out my application, I was accepted into the program. I wasn't praying but soon found out I had a lot of people praying for me. I had put down the bottle and the needle while on the wait list for two months, only by the God's grace. I have surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and have been saved by his love and mercy. Knowing the Lord is always with me is a comfort and I now have a personal relationship with Him. I have learned to love Him back and listen to the plans he has for my life. Watching the men of the Colony grow in God is amazing; watching iron sharpen iron and the Lord transforming not just my life but the brothers in the program.
Psalm 23:6 says "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." I thank God every day for His love, forgiveness and guidance.
If you would like to talk or would like some information on the Colony of Mercy, please feel free to call me.
John Gallagher at New Hope Christian Church (610) 356-8211