Pubdate: Sat, 19 Apr 2003
Source: Troy Messenger (AL)
Copyright: 2003 Troy Messenger
Author: Jaine Treadwell, Features Editor
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Christianity)


Todd Sasser has been on a long, treacherous journey - a journey from the 
darkness and destruction of alcohol and drugs to the light and love of 
Jesus Christ.

Alcohol and drug stories are as common as a "bad" cold and Sasser said he 
knows that most people are tired of hearing them.

"But once you come out of the darkness and destruction of alcohol and 
drugs, it's like you have been born again and you're so excited that you 
want to share it with others," he said. "I don't know if people learn from 
the mistakes of others but when you mess up your life so bad, you don't 
want others to fall into the same dark pit.

"I was in the pits of hell and God gave me a new life and I want to praise 
and glorify Him. If my story can save just one person from what I've been 
through, then it's worth telling."

The story Todd Sasser has to tell is probably a story that should never 
have been.

His childhood was happy and he came from a good family. His mother was a 
Christian and she brought him up in the way he should go.

However, peer pressure was strong enough to shake loose the teachings of 
his upbringing and, around age 16, Sasser "got hooked" on alcohol.

"I drank beer and some stronger stuff, but I hated drugs," he said. "I had 
seen what drugs could do and I didn't want any part of that."

But six years later, one bad decision and Sasser fell into a pit and 
couldn't pull himself out.

"Things were going good in my life," he said. "I was in a bar and a friend 
- - or someone I thought was a friend - offered me some coke. I told him that 
I didn't do drugs, but he said one time wouldn't hurt. It would be fun. I 
thought I didn't have anything to lose."

One time did hurt.

"The coke made me feel better about myself," he said. "I was able to 
approach girls easier and they seemed to like me more. It was a good high 
and I was hooked."

For a while, Sasser was able to manage his life on coke.

"I had a construction company and was making good money," he said. "I was 
married and had a good wife. I don't know why I thought I needed drugs to 
get me through the day. I was buying a lot and selling too."

Soon coke wasn't enough to satisfy Sasser's "habit" and he turned to a drug 
called "crank."

"I was always running, trying to find something," he said.

Instead he lost the things very dear to him - his wife and family and his 

"My wife left me and I couldn't blame her. Nobody in their right mind wants 
to live with a drug head. I lost a part of my life. Drugs turned me in the 
wrong direction and on the path of destruction."

Sasser's dad was diagnosed with cancer and Sasser blamed God for the 
suffering his dad was having to endure.

"My daddy was a good man, but he had not accepted Christ," Sasser said. "My 
daddy had a good woman behind him and my mother prayed everyday that he 
would be saved. My daddy suffered so much. He screamed in pain and prayed 
to die. He said he couldn't live like that."

Before he died, Sasser's dad accepted Christ and entered into the family of 

"That is one of the greatest memories of my life, getting to see my daddy 
come to know the Lord and to know that through God's grace he was saved."

But, Sasser was not concerned about his own salvation. He attempted to 
drown his sorrow in alcohol and with drugs. His highs were extreme and his 
lows were "the pits."

"No matter what I did or how much I did, I couldn't get things off my 
mind," he said. "I guess I passed out, but, when I woke up I had this 
uncontrollable desire to go to church. I got up and got out the clothes I 
was going to wear.

They sang songs that day and had a long sermon but I didn't hear a word the 
preacher said. All I knew was that a peace came over me like I had never 
known. I was so cold I started to shiver. I just took off over the pews. I 
had to get to the altar."

When Sasser left the church, he wasn't able to keep his feet on the ground.

"I had this wonderful warm peace about me and I knew God had saved me.

For five months, Sasser stayed on the straight and narrow. He read the 
Bible, prayed and stayed away from the "evils" that had torn his life apart.

"God has saved me but the temptations the devil put before me brought me 
right back into the darkness of the pit of hell," he said. "This time, it 
was even worse. I got into crystal-meth and I learned to cook it. Over the 
next months, I lost my second wife, my family, my house and land and my 

Sasser's mother saw her son sinking to the lowest point in his life.

"One night I heard a sound coming from my mother's bedroom," Sasser said. 
"I went to the door and listened. She was crying and praying for me. I can 
never thank her enough for loving me the way she did."

Sasser felt the overwhelming presence of God and heard his words, "Son, 
it's time. Let me help you."

He entered the 16-week Christian Recovery Program offered through the 
Christian Mission Centers and, when he emerged, his life was forever changed.

Sasser knows how easy it is to slip back into past habits, but he knows 
this time, he is steadfast in his walk with the Lord.

He can still see the smile on his mother's face when she realized that he 
had let God come back into his life.

"She loved me when I was a sinner," he said. "She loved me as God loved me 
and God forgave me just as she did. How blessed I am that God is a 
forgiving God and that my mother prayed for me and that I am a saved man 

With Sasser's experience and expertise in construction, he would be making 
$16 or more an hour. Instead, he is working for minimum wage with the 
Christian Mission Centers.

"This is where God wants me to be so I can share my struggles and my 
triumph with others," he said. "I know where they are because I have been 
in the pits of hell, too. And, I know that life doesn't have to be that 
way. If you let God guide your life, you can find peace and happiness. And, 
I can tell, for sure, that God will not give up on you. You might give up 
on yourself but God will never give up. He sent his Son to die for our 
sins. If Jesus died for me the least I can do is live for him."
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