35 Years 35 Stories
Savyon (not his real name)
Former staff of Prison, Drugs & AIDS services, now a faithful volunteer
‘High’ seems to be a big part of my life – high on drugs, flying high (literally) and now high in the Spirit!
Mixing with the wrong friends, I started smoking and trying soft drugs (marijuana, ecstasy pills) when I was in Form 3. As expected, I flung my LCE exams but somehow scrapped through to Form 4 after a re-sit. Also had to repeat Form 5 and stopped completely when May 13 incident occurred.
Somehow I found a job at RMAF (Royal Malaysian Air Force). At that time, smoking and drinking at the base was common and my habit was ‘nurtured’. Even when I was wayward, God did not withhold His blessings. I had the opportunity to go for training in Australia. However, I went deeper into heroine and started pushing drugs at the base to support my habit. I was caught by the police and consequently discharged from RMAF. My father managed to arrange for a lawyer to get bail me out. But my habit didn’t stop and I went for morphine instead.
I was caught by the police again and prison became my frequent home. The remand cell was most repelling. With 13-14 men cramped in a cell meant for 3, it was hell on earth! I was determined then to never return to prison. In prison, I got to know about Christian rehab centres. On the day of my release, Malaysian Care’s staff Pr Andrew Ong met me at the prison gate and took me to Rumah Cahaya (Malaysian Care’s rehab centre). After completing a 2-year program, I stayed on as a caretaker then become a staff. After my retirement from Care, my church supported me to continue this ministry as a volunteer.
Looking back, I’m thankful for God’s grace. He provided everything. For someone who didn’t even finish Form 3, getting a job should have been very difficult. But I got a good job, and now happily married with a daughter. He has never let me down. What I’m doing now is simply to help others from similar background to find His grace.