"Convicted by Christ helped me find spiritual growth, and helped me restore my physical and emotional well-being through guidance and spiritual support. With CBC support I transformed my life from addiction to drugs and alcohol to becoming a God-loving man, a mature Father, and an outstanding employee at work. CBC taught me about Unconditional Love, self-love, and love for others. Taught me about forgiveness, happiness and freedom, selflessness, self-control, courage, inner peace, and most importantly connections with Christ." - Paul Begay
I am originally from Steamboat, AZ and I moved to Farmington, NM to be closer to family. I struggled with alcoholism since I was a teen and into my adulthood. However, on September 12th, 2011, I was drinking with friends, and I received a call that my mom died; she died from liver cirrhosis because of alcoholism. From that moment, I put my drink down and never picked it up again.
I really don’t remember when, but I was hit while riding my bike to work and the crazy thing was, I was just like less than 100 yards away from my work at the time. I was in a coma for about a month, and I did not even know who my family were. I remember bits and pieces, like I was told I had about a 64 or 74% of surviving.
I kept reflecting on this and the story I was told about my chances of survival after the accident. It made me think about my life and why God spared me. I looked at my bike and it was crushed, like a soda can, when you step on it, and I wondered how did I survive. I only got a broken leg and a coma, when something far worse should have happened and that is when I realized I was meant for something more, and my life was not completely done yet.
One day after I got out the hospital, my aunt invited me to church at World Harvest Center and I was finding it challenging to deal with the aftereffects, but when I went to church, I felt comfort, it was soothing, and I enjoyed it. I kept going back.
I was at a doctor’s appointment when I ran into Carolyn Evans who told me about the men’s support group, Convicted By Christ. Soon after, I first met Brian when he picked me up in the van to take me to group and I have been going for about 6 or 7 years now.
I like the whole vibe and the surroundings at CBC, and I always thought my problems were bad, but when I went there, I begin to see that I was not the only one who had difficulties with alcoholism. It was there that I begin hearing testimonies and I kept thinking, if I ever was in that situation, I would want someone like me to be there for me, to offer a place and food, and that is why I opened my home to others in need, which is not an easy thing to do. I have experienced many issues doing that, but that is the heart God gave me for others. I continue to struggle with the thoughts of drinking, but I keep pushing forward with the help of God and the support of brothers and sisters in Christ.
First of all I want to thank God for all the blessings I have been receiving, he loves me too much. I was born and raised in the four corners so fishing, hunting, and partying were all part of my growing up.
Let’s not forget working on the rigs, hustling drugs, and making it to my home away from home four times (New Mexico Department of Corrections). Over half of my live has been given to the state, so after my last vacation down south I finally said “Here God I’m sick of this life , please come take me home” meaning the world had gotten me soo bummed and heartbroken that I would rather be dead.
The voices were tormenting me daily to the point where I was wearing ear plugs the whole time I was home. This was the only way I could function around my family, and not think they were the ones messing with my mind, after all I wanted to severely hurt whoever it was that would not leave me alone.
It’s hard being a fulltime college student with an alcohol and drug problem, and to be on probation at the same time. I knew something had to give; thank God it was my mind and not my faith in him.
That was the frame of mind I was in two years ago, who would of ever thought that in 2012 I would be a fulltime college student, sober, working for the government and on parole, most importantly I have GOD in my life, and this time he is not a faraway GOD. Why? Because he loves me too much!
God is so good! I grew up on the Navajo reservation just south of Farmington, NM. I dropped out of High school during my 10th grade year and never went back. I eventually got my GED through the Job Corps program before I was kicked out again. Next, in desperation to escape the reservation and all the challenges it presents, I joined the US Army at 17 years old. I served for 4 years, along with a deployment to Northern Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. In the Army I was once again confronted with substance abuse issues, but this time it was alcohol, which led to my general discharge under honorable conditions.
I found myself back in the same prison I tried so hard to escape and this time worst. I had no energy and nowhere to run, so I committed over my life to the stark reality that I would die in my addiction, a common reality for young Native men, which I accepted. I lived my life in despair and took every moment to show my displeasure with God.
I encountered God in a small revival meeting shortly after my wife, Rosie convinced me to try sobriety on October 31st, 2014. I told her it won't work and that my destiny was to die in my addiction. However, God had something totally different in mind and those 2 nights in that small revival meeting I gave God a chance after reading Psalms 119: 9-16. After I followed God, I begin searching for a place to fit in, and that is how I found Convicted by Christ in late December of 2014.
CBC has encouraged, ministered, and uplifted me to pursue a new life in Christ. Since then, I have gotten my Associates degree, became a licensed substance abuse counselor, helped CBC with jail and prison visits, graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work, and now pursuing my Master's, and that is just the surface of what God has done in my life!