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I refuse to lose my son to drugs

Matthew was a happy child at home and a very bright student at school. His teacher often told us that he’d get bored in class because he’d finish the work before the other kids. Things changed when he turned 14. This is when I noticed a big change in his behaviour.


He would come home angry, saying that he wanted to be like other boys his age. I found out that he was being bullied because of his good performance at school. He felt left out and was hurt by the words from his peers. I tried to show him that being bright was a good thing, but the negative words of his colleagues had more of an impact than mine.


In order to be more popular and gain ‘respect’ amongst them, my exemplary son started drinking, using drugs, and mixing with a bad crowd. One day I got a call from a store because he was caught shoplifting. It was a big shock! I cried in despair thinking, ‘What happened to my boy?’ He didn’t need to do that because we gave him everything he could possibly need. I wondered where I went wrong.


On another occasion, he and his friends got into a fight with gang members and they were chased. Matthew had to jump into the River Thames to escape. I’ve lost count of the times I received late night calls because Matthew was found drunk, high, and almost unconscious in the middle of the street. That hurt me a lot.


My marriage was also affected as Matthew began to clash with his father and that tension took a toll on our relationship.


My rock bottom was when my son would lock himself in his room, smoking and crying. He didn’t want to talk to anyone. It was very hard for me to see him suffering like that. I was so afraid of what he would do in my absence that I would run back home from work to check on him.


Although as a mother, I felt the pain of seeing my son in this state, I never gave up on him. Attending the services at the Universal Church gave me the inner strength and boost to believe that one day Matthew would be the loving and happy child he once was. At home I made sure that I was present and patient with him. I was mindful to see him as who he will be and not as he was. It was difficult at times but I found encouragement at the church.


I remember a specific prayer purpose where I exchanged my prayer request with another mother. I would pray for her children and she would for mine. I took part in it wholeheartedly believing that as I took care of someone else’s child in prayer, God would remember Matthew. The same week, my son’s girlfriend was invited to the church and he decided to tag along.


To my surprise, his attendance wasn’t a one off. The more he went, I began noticing changes in his behaviour. He no longer locked himself away in his room and he started to come closer to us again. What a joy!


After 8 years of fighting and persevering, I knew that God had answered my prayers and slowly but surely, I got my Matthew back. Today, he is a joyful son who brings me happiness and no longer is a cause for worry. He found the willpower to give up the drugs and leave the bad friends behind. He is an active member of the Victory Youth Group and also works as a teacher. Thanks to God, my family is a piece of heaven.


Rosemar Castro

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