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Power of Prayer: A Mobile Dental Story

by Tyler Graf | Aug 09, 2017

A year ago, Josh felt he had two options in life: end up dead or in jail.

A heroin addict for 12 years, Josh was going nowhere fast. Having severed ties with his family, his life was reduced to selling and using drugs and fighting. Once he ended up in jail, he knew he’d reached a turning point.

But what kind of turning point? Was death lurking far behind? Or was something brighter on the horizon?

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Josh [right] and Jesse read from the Bible together outside a Mobile Dental Clinic in downtown Portland. "I've come a long way," Josh shared. He's so grateful for resources like the Mobile Dental that support his transition to a better life.

His own family had lost faith in him. He couldn’t shake the memory of his father saying he’d accepted Josh would die on the streets. So in jail, Josh turned to prayer. It was the power of prayer that took away the craving for drugs and made him feel whole. He felt free.

Sadly, it didn’t last. Upon his release from jail, it didn’t take long for Josh to find trouble with the law again. He began running with his old crew, and when police stopped him one day they found drugs in his possession.

Being exposed to positive influences has given Josh a new outlook on life. He now knows that there are resources—and caring people who share Christ’s love—that will support him.

Thankfully, the probation officer didn’t immediately send Josh back to jail. Instead, he was given the option to enter a faith-based diversion program called Teen Challenge.

Josh calls the diversion program the best thing that ever happened to him. He says he sees things clearly now. Through Teen Challenge, Josh is surrounded by peers who keep each other accountable. Through them, he finds strength.

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"God has changed my life.... He's come into my life and given me purpose." Josh [left] and Jesse wait inside the Mobile Dental van. They help keep each other accountable.

“I have come a long way,” he says. “Six months ago, I was selling heroin and meth. I wasn’t doing anything good.”

Josh came to the Mobile Dental Program’s Night Strike clinic under the Burnside Bridge because of a broken molar. It caused him pain every time he ate.

With nowhere else to turn, he came to the clinic with his buddy Jesse, who’s also in the diversion program. Before being treated, they spent time reading from Jesse’s Bible.

Josh says he appreciates the Mobile Dental team and the people who make the clinic possible, calling it an incredible resource. Being exposed to positive influences has given Josh a new outlook on life. He now knows that there are resources—and caring people who share Christ’s love—that will support him.

“God has changed my life,” Josh says. “He’s come into my life and given me purpose.”