Surrendering to GodEven though he may have to go to prison, Scott Henrikson knows his life has finally turned around.
By: Jo Colvin, Alexandria Echo Press
Even though he may have to go to prison, Scott Henrikson knows his life has finally turned around. He gives credit for the transformation to God and Minnesota Teen Challenge (MnTC).
Henrikson, 29, a former Osakis resident, got drunk for the first time at age 11. At 13 he tried marijuana. Over the next couple years he got a few minor consumption charges. At 16, he went to a group home for a year. When he got out, he tried meth for the first time.
“It started off as fun, then I needed it to function every day,” Henrikson said. “Pretty soon it consumed my life. I didn’t want to get out of bed without it. I wanted to be high all the time.”
Then he became a dealer, which heightened the addiction and got him into more trouble with the law. He was in and out of jail, prison and treatment.
He was arrested for selling meth and spent 40 months in prison. When he was released, it didn’t take him long to get “sucked back in” and he was incarcerated again for three months and then seven more months.
It had been more than a decade of addiction, dealing, treatment and being locked up. Nothing worked.
Until July 2009. Serving yet another jail sentence, he had given up and asked God to come into his life.
“My parents struggled with addiction too,” Henrikson said. “They allowed God to come into their lives and I saw the changes. My grandpa told me I need to let God take over. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know what they meant by that.”
He thought MnTC might be able to give him an answer. He was right.
Henrikson was allowed out on bail to attend the year-long faith-based treatment center. He knew right away that this time, maybe he could change.
“I was a manipulator, I was selfish and I tried to control everything. I was so angry,” he said. “My addiction fueled all those things. Being at Teen Challenge has taught me how to deal with them.”
Through a rigorous program of chores, studying, Bible study, prayer time, worship and community service, Henrikson learned to surrender to God and apply what he learned through the Bible.
“They make you face yourself, what your core problems are,” he explained. “My addiction was the tip of the iceberg.”
It’s been 15 months since Henrikson’s life took a turn for the better. He will graduate from MnTC at the end of October – right after he goes back to court, at which time it will be determined if he is sent back to prison.
If so, he leaves behind his wife of more than a year and two stepchildren. His wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child, lives in Alexandria. He may not be here for the birth.
No matter what the future may bring, Henrikson knows, without a doubt, that without MnTC he would not have conquered his addiction and that this time, he has changed.
“I know the changes I have made are real. It’s from the inside I have changed this time, not just an outside appearance for people,” he concluded. “Even if I do go [to prison], going to Teen Challenge is the best thing I have ever done.”
Minnesota Teen Challenge
The 2010 Teen Challenge Alexandria banquet is set for Thursday, October 14 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria. A silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. The banquet is a fundraiser for the Brainerd Center of Minnesota Teen Challenge.
The Teen Challenge Choir will perform and members will give testimonies about how Teen Challenge changed their lives.
Register online by October 8 at the website www.mntc.org/alexandria or call Jean Ferguson at (320) 808-7538. Tickets are $30 each.
About Minnesota Teen Challenge
MnTC is one of the largest faith-based residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the state. The 13-month program provides training and support for those struggling with chronic addiction.
The center in Brainerd is for men older than 18. There are centers in the Twin Cities for teen girls, women, teen boys and men.
The Minnesota Teen Challenge story, history and more can be found at www.mntc.org.