The Joy of my Salvation – Neil

My name is Neil Caintic, 33 years old and a former drug addict. I started using prohibited drugs when i was only fourteen. Curiosity led me to my first taste.  Little did I know I was being led into a trap – one that seemed to have no escape.

As I child I grew up in a broken home in the Philippines. I tried to find my own way in life. Residing in an environment rampant with drug abuse; I learned many bad habits. Cigarettes and drinking alcohol eventually led me to illicit drug use. I always wanted to ‘fit-in’ with those around me and get along with the people in my neighbourhood. I had dreams, hopes and plans but with my drug affected lifestyle I barely managed to finish secondary education. It took me six years to finally graduate from high school.

As the years passed I became a drug addict, I succumbed to all forms of sin and was now a menace to society. Early use of Marijuana led to “shabu” and all other prohibited drugs.

I had a relative who was in the business of selling Bonsai plants. She had a customer, a Singaporean, who was involved with the ministry House of Hope, a Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehab centre. She introduced me to the customer and by God’s perfect timing I entered their one year program voluntarily in 1998. Everything went smoothly during the year of rehabilitation. Broken relationships with my loved ones were reconciled. However getting to know Jesus Christ and having a personal relationship with Him was the greatest thing I learned. I was born again.

I encouraged people telling them the good news I had heard. But secretly I was still sinning! I was lying, gluttonous and coveted many things. Lust and pride seemed to always be present and often I fell to their allure. When I left the centre I returned to my old ways and within two years was worse off than before – sevenfold!

Neil finishing the 100klm Ultramarathon!

I readmitted myself in 2001 and this time poured out everything to the Lord. Disappointed with the past I left it behind and pressed forward to what was ahead. God provided people that would inspire me and helped me get back on track. Through the Bible, they helped me grasp again the truth and brought back the joy of my salvation. (Psalm 84:10) states “Better a day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of the wicked”.

I finished the program in 2002 and had a burden to help others who had fallen to the same plight as me. I became a volunteer in the organisation. The Lord has been faithful in answering my prayers all these past years. He has enabled me to stand firm from temptations through the Grace of Christ.

Today I am the Liaison Officer of the organisation and a full time staff member and mentor. Usually I have between seven to ten men under my care. I thank God in Christ for his mercy and his gift of salvation given in Christ –  His Joy is my strength.