ISP Cannonball Stories

Life-changing stories of hope, healing and wholeness


I was 10 years old when I first started using drugs. I was the youngest of six kids, so I used to ask my older brothers and sisters to get me high. I continued to use for the next 21 years. At 31 years old, my ex-wife threatened to take away my two little girls from me if I did not stop using.

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For most of my life, I thought I knew God, but the God I knew was not the God I liked or wanted. The God I knew was cruel and judgmental. He was a God who kept track of all my mistakes and made me pay for each one of them in ways that brought me to my knees.

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I showed up at the St. Martin De Porres House of Hope recovery home on the South Side of Chicago lifeless, penniless and hopeless. I continued to stay there because I had nowhere else to go. I had severed every family tie. I had almost lost the will to live. Through…

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In 2014, I was standing on a street corner in Kent, WA, just released from prison for the 5th time.  My wife had died from a drug overdose, and I also had lost my son and daughter to drugs. At the time I realized that I was all alone… a survivor with nothing to show…

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I took my first drink of alcohol when I was 12 years old. That first drink of alcohol made me feel very powerful and beautiful. I thought I was a smart little girl because I added water to the liquor bottles so that they looked full. My mother came home from work one day and smelled the alcohol.

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Chaos ruled my life for many years. I craved calmness and structure, but I didn’t know how to make that happen on my own. It wasn’t until I recognized that my life had become unmanageable, and I turned it over to God, that I felt a calmness and peace that has stayed with me since.

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You can read more about our alumni participants who have experienced life-changing hope, healing, and wholeness, in our book, Stories of Hope