Released from prison three months ago, Tony headed straight to Yeldall Manor.
As a long-term down-and-out, prison had been a routine consequence of his drug addiction. Losing his father at an early age had warped his perception of love – he used Class A drugs an attempt to fill the huge void. Stabbed on five separate occasions, he was estranged from his family, and most hurtfully, young son.
‘In 2015, with fear overwhelming him, he saw no way out of his hell,’ explains Chris Wood, marketing and admissions manager at Yeldall. ‘Slowly but surely he reached out for help, acknowledging that God had been there all his life, saving him from himself.’
A residential rehabilitation centre, Yeldall is set in 38 acres of Berkshire countryside near Reading. For more than 40 years, the centre has been helping men overcome serious drug or alcohol addictions and Tony saw God in the nature, wildlife and creation around Yeldall. He asked for prayer at church and felt on fire!
‘He couldn’t find the words to express the multitude of emotions and feelings running through him,’ recalls Chris. ‘He was sweating, in tears and finally accepted the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit. He is in awe that Christ chose him to forgive and he has peace and hope.’
Staff and peers from Yeldall joined Tony on the beach for his baptism earlier this month.
‘This is the God that loves us all in visible action,’ reflects Chris. ‘Tony is one of hundreds of men saved at Yeldall through that same love.’
• Yeldall Manor are on stand 135 at CRE 2018
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