When Your Child Does Drugs
The news is devastatingyour child is on drugs.
Your emotions ricochet. You'll do anything to save your child, but you can't stand what he's doing to the rest of the family. You pray for a miracle, but you've heard of other families where the anguish lasted for years.
You fear for your child. You fear for your marriage. And if that weren't enough, you fear for your jobyou're in the ministry.
Leadership gathered three pastors and a pastor's spouse to learn from their experience. We appreciate their candor and their courage.
Norma Bourland lives in Minnesota with her husband, Gene, who has pastored First Evangelical Free Church of Minneapolis for five years. They have four children. Norma works part-time as a child advocate network coordinator.
In 1984 their son, Stephen, a high school freshman, began using marijuana and alcohol. Soon he ventured into other drugs, including cocaine and crack. Stephen barely graduated from high school. After several failed attempts at further education and work, he left home. Norma and Gene heard nothing from him for more than two years.
Finally Stephen contacted his parents with the news that his girlfriend was pregnant. Stephen spent time in prison and continued to struggle with his habit. He now lives in Virginia with his girlfriend and child. For the last two years he has been sober.
Kimball Hodge is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Eugene, Oregon, where he has served for more than eight years. He and his wife, Lynda, have two children and two grandchildren.
In 1988 their second son, Evan, a sixth grader, began smoking marijuana. For the next nine years Kimball and Lynda tried in vain to persuade him to stop.
Evan married without their approval in 1995. Two years later his wife left him. Just before he moved back in with his parents, Evan had an encounter with God that dramatically changed his life. Since then he has been free from drugs and is walking with Christ. He now lives and works in Medford, Oregon.
Jim Smoke has been adult ministries pastor at Grace Church in Cypress, California, for four years. He and his wife, Carol, have three children and eight grandchildren.
In 1975, when he was on Robert Schuller's staff at Garden Grove Community Church (now known as the Crystal Cathedral), Jim learned that his high-school-age son Todd was using drugs. For the next 22 years, Todd used drugs and abused alcohol. Once he overdosed and nearly died. He had repeated trouble with the law, was in and out of juvenile detention centers, and eventually ended up in prison.
Todd entered a recovery program called Bookhouse Two, known as one of the toughest in Orange County. Since 1997 he has been free of drugs and alcohol, is following Christ, and has a job and family. He spends much of his free time helping other addicts and alcoholics find freedom.
Early in adolescence both children went through a period of rebellion. In 1997 John and Susan learned that Stephanie, living in Denver, was addicted to heroin. They immediately ...