I Love Life: Former Sioux Falls Drug Addict is Changing Lives at the Union Gospel Mission
Here is an amazing story of hope, faith and recovery! Perry Swenson, who has been working at the Sioux Falls Union Gospel Mission for several decades, knows first hand the pain of addiction. Perry was caught up in the throes of drugs and alcohol for years. He was also growing and selling marijuana.
"I was on vacation and brought all my marijuana plants with me because I didn't trust my wife with them. On the way back home, I got stopped at a checkpoint by a highway patrol trooper. I got through that--- but---a mile down the road there was a Game Fish and Parks checkpoint. I knew I was going to get caught because I was pulling a boat. When the game warden rolled back the tarp, there were four milk cartons plum full of marijuana plants. I had 39 marijuana plants in my boat," Perry recalls."That was the beginning of the end. I had two of my sons with me. They saw everything! Within minutes, I was laying on my belly in a ditch with my hands handcuffed behind my back. It was a real wake up call for me."
Although it wasn't overnight, Perry's pastor reached out to him and that was the beginning of his transformation.
"He took me under his wing. We had Bible study everyday for a full hour. I started to learn and grow by the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Fueled by the power of faith, Perry is no longer a slave to drugs. Instead, the Sioux Falls man is changing lives with his message of hope and faith at the Union Gospel Mission.
"My life today is absolutely amazing. I am so blessed. I have the same wife by the grace of God---46 years come September. She stood by me. Some people told her to leave me. But, she didn't. I married a wonderful, wonderful woman. When she said 'I do,' through sickness and in health, she meant every word. I am so blessed today because of that. Three years after I got out of the mess I was on, God set me free from alcohol and drugs. He literally set me free. I didn't have to go to prison. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I haven't looked back."
For the past twenty years, Perry has worked with men at the Union Gospel Mission.
"I share with many, many men every week. I remember one young man in particular. I always conclude with prayer. I asked him if I could pray for him. He said 'sure.' This young man bolted, ran up and got down on his knees. Without any prompting, he accepted Jesus Christ that morning."
In other words, as Perry Swenson has experienced in his life: without faith, nothing is possible. With Faith, nothing is impossible!