Testimony – Don Riffle
I was introduced to alcohol when I was about 10 years old. One of my friends took a few of my stepfather’s beers and we drank them. I didn’t particularly care for the taste and didn’t really want to be like my stepfather, stumbling around and acting like a fool, so I told myself I would never get caught up in that mess. Around this time, my real father was shot and killed. That really shook me, especially since I only got to see him a couple of times. Up to that point, our family consisted of my mom, me, my stepfather and my stepbrother. When I was around 14 years old, I found out that I had two sisters that were living with foster parents. The foster parents were ill and eventually died, so they came to live with us in a two bedroom apartment. My stepfather’s son from his first marriage also showed up around this time. I was introduced to marijuana around this time and liked it more than beer. From this time up to age 17, I met some friends that shared my enthusiasm for beer, pot, LSD, cocaine, etc. This was fun most of the time, except for the blackouts and hangovers. During my last year of high school, I felt that if I continued partying at the pace I was, my life would be a waste, so I decided to go into the United States Marine Corps. During the summer of 1986, I met my wife Melisa and I continued to get high until I left for boot camp. I thought that the military experience would straighten out this whole “partying all the time” problem, but I didn’t realize how much Marines like to drink. After five years of service I received an honorable discharge and got married. We had our first daughter and life was semi-normal, but I was still using drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. I was attending Roman Catholic Church up to age14 and felt God’s presence, but I didn’t make a decision to let Jesus be my Lord and Savior. When I was in my late twenties, I felt like there was something missing in my life so I started reading the Bible and other Christian literature and made a step closer to Jesus at that time, but still didn’t surrender all to Him. I kept on drinking, etc. and running from God. My wife and I decided to go to a Baptist church after we had our second daughter in 1995. I really felt God had a purpose for me, but I kept running. Eventually, I found that beer and pot were not enough for me, so I started to use ecstasy and cocaine. Then in the end, I was drinking heavily and using cocaine every day. This lifestyle led to my wife kicking me out of our house. I sought help in Narcotics Anonymous which helped me get my head out of the clouds but still wasn’t enough to keep me clean. On June 1, 2004, I was at an all-time low after a binge. I got on my knees and asked God that if He was real and he truly could forgive me, I would repent and stop doing all the sinful things I was involved in. At that moment Jesus saved me. I knew things were going to be rough for a while but I felt a peace within me and I knew God would help me fulfill my purpose. Since then, God has allowed me to be a good husband, father and a friend. He has also allowed me to lead a men’s Sunday school class at Hazelwood Baptist Church and become a deacon. Right after I was saved, I met John Burghauser and he met with me to share Christ and his personal experiences. He has been a great help to me and my family. Also, through the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and help from Stauros Ministries, I, my wife and my friend William Dubose started a Stauros meeting on Wednesdays where we help others who struggle with addictions find the solution in the cross of Christ, where all of our sins are dealt with. Jesus worked a miracle for me and He will do it for anyone who puts their faith in Him and repents of their sins!
Sincerely, Don Riffle