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Real-life stories: Involved in drugs and/or alcohol abuse or dependancy

Teenagers Turmoil Of Drink And Drugs Changed By Doorstop Revelation


william mcdonald.jpg

Doorstep revelation William McDonald travelled around the world but found what he was looking for right on his own doorstep

Sitting outside his parents’ house with a cup of tea and a cigarette, 17-year-old William McDonald contemplated life. ‘Surely there has to be more than this’ he thought and, to his surprise, God answered. But the lure of drugs and alcohol proved hard to resist and it took William some time to accept the consequences of his night of revelation.

Brought up in a Catholic home, William rejected the church when he was 13. He ‘mucked about’ at school because he knew he had a job waiting for him in the family business. He was more interested in nights out with his mates.

‘The drugs certainly didn’t help my depression and panic attacks. We smoked weed and took ecstasy so obviously this had an effect on my mind.

‘I remember that night, God took the anxiety away. I was so aware that God was real and he was concerned about me.’


William started to read the Bible.

‘I certainly didn’t become an angel straight away – far from it! The only thing I knew about Christianity was what I’d been taught in the church. Obviously once I started to read the Bible and after the experience I had had, I became aware that there was more to it than what I’d been taught or had understood.

‘The words I was reading really came alive for me. I came to the realisation that Jesus really was who he said he was. And I realised the importance of putting my faith in him.

‘From that time onwards I was always talking about God though I had very little understanding.

‘But I was aware of a conscience that had been buried deep down. I had entered into a relationship with God. I was talking to God and when I did things wrong I asked for forgiveness.’


Over the years William grew apart from his friends and decided to go travelling. On his return journey that he had a significant encounter.

At a stop-over airport in Indonesia, William got talking to another waiting passenger. He told William that he was a Christian. Now William thought he was a Christian too – after all didn’t he have a relationship with God? As they talked, the stranger explained how he had accepted Jesus as his Saviour (his rescuer) and his Lord and what it meant to him to follow him. ‘Now that talk was alien to me,’ said William. As they parted, the stranger asked to pray for William. ‘I thank the Lord for bringing that young man into my life.’

On his return to the UK, William determined to change his lifestyle. He lasted just a few hours before the temptation of drink and drugs kicked in again. He was more successful finding work in a community for adults with learning disabilities. A fellow worker, who had lived a similar life to William before becoming a Christian, invited him to his church.

‘That sermon was just for me,’ William says. He made his commitment to follow Jesus. From then on he went regularly to church and got baptised. God touched his life and took away his desire for drugs and foul language. He even provided William with a wife, Saori. A decade later William works at a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. He and Saori help lead the Welcome team at Aylesbury Community Church.

His enthusiasm for telling others about Jesus has not diminished, like the man at the airport, ‘I’m looking forward to meeting him again in glory,’ he says. You can hear more of William’s story on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4qM9_MoFgk&feature=related

William McDonald, 2009

Story and photograph by courtesy of Challenge Newsline


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