Gideon, father of 2 adult children, started gambling in his twenties with friends. Beginning recreationally with 4D, he was soon into all kinds of gambling. By 2010, the interest on his debts alone was running at $12,000 a week, largely a result of losing at 4D as well as from the need to maintain his lifestyle.
For a long time, his one hope was to strike it big in 4D, so he could pay off his debts.I was totally lost. I owed so much. No more car. Nearly no more house and family.
Gideon went to see his MP. And, although he was unable to do anything, the MP's secretary managed to pass Gideon One Hope Centre's (OHC's) helpline number.OHC helped me a lot. Where got organization like this?
Gideon shares that OHC equipped him with what to do on Day 1. It was the lifeline and handle he had been looking for. He knew the way out. And now that he knew how, and he determinedly and doggedly stuck to "the plan" till he could see the light of day again.
He relates, "Day 1, throw away SIM card. Day 2, daughter and son came down with me (to OHC support group meeting). Day 3, face loan sharks… my debts began to clear."
He estimates that it took him 1 whole year to lose that sense of "feeling lost", and another 6 months to a year to restart with a whole new lifestyle and outlook in life. Working 2 jobs day and night, and with the help of his wife's own earnings, he managed to clear all his debts in 4 years.
Gideon adds, "My relationships with my family improved. Today, I am out of debt and can support my family again. Before, I never paid for anything. Today, I am taking responsibility for my family's expenses. I have never failed to come to OHC meetings these past 8 years! I am a changed man."Don't come and the chances of relapse is high.
Gideon emphasizes that coming to support group meetings have the effect of reminding him of the past. Remembering the trauma of what happened is important to him, because it helps him resist the urge that comes whenever thoughts of going back to play 4D for fun, return to tempt him every now and then.
He emphatically repeats, "We never met an organization like this. Got seekers, got peer supporters with similar problems, know what to do, how to handle your problem and walk with you? Where got?"
His tips for gamblers wanting to kick the habit go debt free are as follows:
He shares that his wife was very supportive throughout their marriage. She paid for everything and for quite a time, and the family survived on her salary alone. Gideon is very deeply appreciative of her sacrifices and love, working to even help with paying off his debts.
Somewhere along the journey, Gideon shares that he faced some family problems he could not resolve. Although he was a devotee of the god he depended on for his big wins, this time he tried praying to Jesus, quietly and personally, and he says that Jesus answered his prayers "quite fast".
His dream is to keep working on further improving the relationships life brings to him, all around.
Aron loved football. He also thoroughly enjoyed playing the game online. As a successful young professional with free time on his hands, his football bets, together with 4D and Toto gambling debts snowballed over time, till he was servicing interest payments of over $10,000 a week.My whole family suffered while helping me pay my debts…
He told lies just to get money and borrowed from his family members, relatives and friends. Harassed daily by banks, loan sharks and moneylenders, he found himself unable to focus and struggling with work. Soon, he lost even the job that he had because he defaulted on a $15,000 company loan. To top that off, he also became embroiled in a court case with a former employer over work matters.Struggling everyday with debt repayments, I hit rock bottom.
Constantly plagued by fear and worry, struggling with the loan sharks after him, Aron lived in agony. His wife looked around for help and called One Hope Centre (OHC). One Saturday night, on 31 January 2015, they came to their first meeting together, looking for a way to resolve his problems.After my first meeting at OHC, the counselor helped me tackle my debt and loan shark issues...
In addition, ongoing OHC counseling sessions also helped him:
To encourage and support him, his wife, young daughter and mother in-law joined the twice-weekly OHC support group meetings.
Here, the peer supporters gave very helpful real time advice that guided him through each week.
OHC was very supportive and did what they could to help till he found a new job some 8 months later.The dead end of life is God's beginning…
He relates that a message shared by a guest speaker at his first OHC visit, together with the Christian volunteers he met, changed his previously negative perspective of Christianity. He began to believe in God and started to experience a difference in his life.Although I was still struggling, things began to change. This was the first time I admitted to myself that I had a problem. It was very hard. But I resolved and 'reinforced my mind' not to borrow or gamble again. I faced the fact that my luck won't come back. It just won't happen.I had to walk past Singapore Pools and the moneylenders I used to patronize, on my way to work…
In his new job, Aron had to walk for 30 minutes to reach his office. The trip would take him past these old haunts, forcing him to face his fears and struggles as a daily routine.
Although it was difficult, it was also good because during these walks, his resolve to not yield to temptation and to stop gambling grew.
Aron shares that as he made the walk each day, he would listen to the Bible and reflect on Psalm 23, remembering that even though it felt like walking through the valley of the shadow of death, his "enemies" would not triumph and he could trust God for a turn-around!I knew I needed to rely on God and prayed for Him to help me. The peace within me increased the more I prayed.
He shares that 6 months into his new job, after having to face his worst fears on a daily basis, the torment, struggles and addiction disappeared.At the right time…
He says that God's hand on his life and circumstances, from rock bottom to restoration, is unmistakable.
His jobs changes always came at the right time, and always with the blessing of a vital salary increase.
At the right time, an opportunity opened for him and his wife to purchase a new BTO unit at right place, and with the blessing of his in-laws. He calls this his promised land.
And, at the same time, his in-laws managed to secure a unit in the same block and floor as his. This was ideal because it allowed Aron and his family to more easily care for them, being so nearby.I have the joy and peace of God. I have no more urge to gamble.
Although Aron is still slowly paying back various family members, relatives and friends the money owed to them, the restoration of broken relationships nonetheless has already begun.
He is sure that it was God who led him to OHC to discover, through the support group meetings, that he was not alone. This gave him much strength and hope.
Serving as a volunteer and meeting new seekers every week, reminds him of what he went through, and makes him ever grateful for the freedom he enjoys today.
He attributes his transformation to his family's love and support, especially his wife's, the encouragement and guidance from the OHC family, and most of all the love and grace of God. He looks forward to continuing on this life journey into further restoration, financial wellness and fullness of joy.My dream is to continue to seek God and rely on Him, to do what He wants me to do, and go where He wants me to go. My life now is all about Him. He will take care of me.
我不知道我最小的女儿去那里拿到"一望中心"的地址，在2009年12月中的一个星期四，带我去求救。当时我满以为一望中心可以借一笔钱先把债还清或是帮我向贷款公司谈判，但后来都不是，而是叫我负起责任自己去面对，辅导员告诉我家人六句话：不离、不弃、不借。当时的我对一望中心是非常生气，如果我能面对，我来这里干嘛，对着这么多人讲我的臭事和忏悔？我非常的绝望，面对家人压力，一次两次的陪伴我去辅导，其中一位弟兄要我学习祷告，他要我诚心向神祷告，主一定会帮助我的。我私底下第一次试试默祷"主啊！我姓李，现在欠下一百万的债务，我走投无路，求主借我一百万还债，我一定会好好重新做人！" 我祷告一次、两次、一个星期、一个月、一点动静都没有。在这期间合法贷款公司上门要债，非法贷款在两个月内在我家泼漆十次，锁门4次，我装了电眼，他们上邻居家又泼了4次，我也别无选择。家人不离不弃的陪我来一望中心。渐渐的我从义工兄弟们学会了面对的道理。我继续祷告，我不求主借钱，我求主赐家里平安，求主给我力量，求主赐我的生意成功。三个月后，上门骚扰的人没有来了，而我的生意开始好转了， 其间我也上教堂，积极参与各种活动。我每天除了上班，有时参加一望中心和教堂的活动，其余的时间我都在家里，有机会与家人好好的沟通，生意所赚来的钱，也好好的规划利用。
最后我非常感谢神赐给我恩典，由一望中心启发我信主重生，也让我找回我幸福的家庭，Home Sweet Home。一人嗜赌，二十个家人和朋友受苦，如果你有赌博习惯，不管是大赌或小赌，回转吧！来一望中心求助，你肯定可以找到精彩有意义的人生。