Juan Delgado | 2010 Graduate
Program Director at Baltimore Adult and Teen Challenge
My name is Juan Delgado. I am a native of Puerto Rico who grew up in a Christian home in Bridgeport, CT. I have a Bachelors in Advanced Biblical Studies but the one I cherish the most is the Certificate of Completion I acquired in April 2010 from Rehrersburg, PA. Teen Challenge Training Center “Gods Mountain”. Teen Challenge was place where I truly met God. I have been serving at Baltimore since April 2010 and now I am the Program Director for the same Baltimore Center that I came when I finished the program.
As a young child I did not know of sadness, solitude or tears. I did know of affection and beautiful things. My mom taught me about God and all the stories in the Bible, but as for a personal relationship with God, I needed to do that on my own. My mother was an example of perseverance in faith. She prayed for 13 years for God to make me His. As a teenager I rebelled against my mother’s belief in God and God himself. The “Christian label” brought me feelings of loneliness and rejection. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I knew that there was something different in the way I looked at life, but at that point I did not know what that was or who it was. I began smoking pot in high school and by the middle of my junior year I was out of control. My mother, looking for a solution, sent me to live with my father in Puerto Rico, but that didn’t help in my search for a meaningful life because I always took myself with me. It wasn’t a surroundings issue – it was a heart issue. I needed to know who I was, where I came from and whose image I am made in. Despite several attempts to find direction, I fell into a heroin addiction and saw life with pain, saw life with no love and soon lost thirteen years in a drug-induced wasteland. From Jail to Detox to non-Faith-Based programs, nothing worked. I went to my induction center in CT with no Hope and looking for “3-hots and a cot” with no Idea that God’s plan was about to start unfolding.
My family physically couldn’t do anything else but pray for me, especially my mom. How can I explain my experience at Teen Challenge? Simple. I had an encounter with God and I will never be the same. When I was about to graduate from the program I felt God calling me to ministry; and not just any ministry, but the ministry of Teen Challenge. I did not know where Baltimore was but I knew God had open a door and He wanted me to walk through it. I arrived at the train station with two suitcases and $10 in my pocket just because I felt God telling me to go and with no idea what He had planned. Since April 2010, God has taken me on more than 10 trips to Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba to share His Gospel and let people know that there is a way and His name is Jesus Christ. I want to be able to let the students know that if somebody like me can surrender and let God turn everything around, they can do it as well. As a good TC student, I must have a life verse, but this one describes me to the “t” because I knew about the stories from going to Sunday school every week. Job 42:5 “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” At the end of it all, I had to see Him in my life and now I can say I do. The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful God-fearing wife who loves ministry, but also the ministry of TC. For now, God has me in Baltimore, but if He says “go”, I will know from experience that it’s going to be something big. I have walked the hard life to get to this place, but Christ is in it and I am loving every single step.
Johnnie Alliano | 2013 Graduate
Senior Staff at Baltimore Adult and Teen Challenge
My name is Johnnie Alliano, I’m 63, and from Camden N.J. I was raised in a non-Christian home. My mother remarried when I was four and my step-father was very strict. When I reached my mid-teens I started rebelling, smoking and drinking. Through the years, I continued drinking and using drugs, spiraling down a 42-year path of destruction which ultimately landed me in the hospital after a heroin overdose and in kidney failure. I spent a month in the hospital and while there I met a social working who told me about Adult and Teen Challenge. After being discharged, I got on a bus and headed to Baltimore Adult and Teen Challenge. It’s here that I learned of a better way to live. I graduated in 2013. Now serving on staff here in Baltimore, I am able to speak life into others and help them grow in a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.