GOOD NEWS Newspaper


Page 2 I GOOD NEWS I Summer 2020


Life on drugs was no ecstasy for school drop-out

but his life was saved with the help of his mum

JUSTIN Battiste lost all hope as

his life descended into a nightmare

of drug addiction – yet

today he describes himself as “a

new creation”.

As a youngster at school, Justin was

quiet, shy and withdrawn. He felt different,

and struggled to interact with other

people. Although he did well in his

classes early on, for the last two years he

rebelled because he felt let down and

harshly treated.

He started hanging around with older

teenagers. “I felt that I fitted better with

them,” says Justin. But as a result he

started smoking cigarettes, which soon

led to cannabis.

After leaving school and starting work,

Justin’s drug addiction began to take over:

“I’d get jobs regularly but just couldn’t

hold on to them due to the drugs.

“My life was now in a downward spiral

as I started taking speed, acid and

ecstasy. I was loving the 1990s rave scene.

I thought I could control my drug taking,

but I lost the respect of my family.

Addiction landed me in prisons and

mental hospitals. The drugs stripped me

of all morals and values. I didn’t value my

life; I actually loved the drugs more than

life itself.”

There was one time when his drug

taking stopped – after finding the girl who

would become his wife, and having his

first child: “I thought, ‘Great, I’ve finally

fixed my drug issues.’”

But after their second child, Justin’s

wife started drinking heavily and Justin

sank back into drug use. When she was

unfaithful and they split up, his life was

totally derailed: “I ended up in a secure

psychiatric unit where I almost lost touch

with reality. When I came out I never

really managed to take control of my life


Justin fell into using heroin and crack

cocaine on a daily basis. “Everything I

said I would never do, I did – such as

injecting drugs and stealing from my

family. I brought nothing but shame and

misery to my family and I was no longer

fit to be a dad. I could only see as far as

Continued from page 1

promised, just before he returned to


He said: “I am leaving you with a gift—

peace of mind and heart. And the peace I

give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t

be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t

get fearful. We are all human. And Jesus

knew that, which is why he had to keep

telling his disciples not to be afraid!

I remember experiencing this peace that

“exceeds anything we can understand”

when my father died when I was young. I

should have been upset and afraid, and

for a time I was. But when I turned in my

heart to God, I received his wonderful,

my next hit and I would go to any length

to get it.

“I was banned from all the shops in

Ipswich due to shoplifting, so I turned to

burglary and petty crime to fund my

addiction. All hope I ever had just

disappeared. I tried to take my life on a

few occasions. I was in and out of prison

and just going round and round in circles,

getting nowhere.”


amazing, peace-filled presence. It felt like

I was held in his eternal arms.

That peace can help you face tomorrow

– whatever may come. And help you through

all your life.

This is truly “a gift the world cannot

give”. It is only available to those who know

Jesus and trust him as their Lord and Saviour.

Yet it can be yours today – if you truly want

it. God is only a prayer away.

As God told Joshua: “Do not be afraid or

discouraged. For the Lord your God is with

you wherever you go” (the Bible, Joshua


If you want to know how to receive Jesus

into your life, see our ‘Help for Readers’

section on page 7.

It was Justin’s mum who finally got

through to him. She took him to a church

where, at the end of the service, Justin

made the decision to become a Christian.

Justin recalls: “There were tears [of joy]

that day, and I now know that with God’s

help I can do anything I put my mind to.

“My mother noticed a change in me, as

did my brother who took me into his

home with open arms for the New Year.

HOPE RESTORED: Faith in God gave

Justin Battiste the strength to

finally beat his addiction

I spent my first Christmas at home free of


Justin attended a drug rehab course for

the first time and it worked. A year after

finding faith in Jesus, he said: “I am

amazed at how far I have come in a year.

I was homeless, living on the streets in

Ipswich with no hope. I am now

transformed into a loving, caring father,

son, brother and uncle.

“I have managed to make amends to

my family. I love life now, more than ever

before, and it’s God I have to thank for

saving me. My mother and father prayed

a long time for me. Through times of

despair, they never gave up hope.

“I was always a taker and never

thought of giving anything back, but

today I am blessed to be able to give back

to society by working as a volunteer at

the drop-in centre at a local church. I am

able now to show kindness and love to

the vulnerable and homeless.

“I am also singing in the worship

group in my church which is something

I love, and I’ve applied for a job with an

organisation that helps people to recover

from drug addictions. God can use me

and my past experience.

“One verse in the Bible which means a

lot to me is: ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a

new creation; the old has gone, the new

has come.’ This sums up what has

happened to me.”

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