Staff Spotlight: Peter
Teen Challenge Monterey Bay has some of the most amazing staff. People from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Our staff is deeply committed not just because it’s “their job,” but rather because people are their passion.
The mantra at Teen Challenge is “We don’t give up on people.” How powerful is that? When someone is rescued from a life-controlling issue, there are so many things they have to walk through, recovery, discovery, and then freedom. This journey is not for the weak of heart and how important is it to have someone by your side through that journey encouraging you, praying for and with you, and looking you in the eye seeing what you can really become.
Meet Peter, the Program Director at the Pajaro Men’s Center. Full of Grace, full of Life,
and full of compassion. We had a chance to sit down with him and learn more about
him and his impact at Teen Challenge.
What brought you to Teen Challenge?
I came to North America from South Africa originally to work in the ministry of music and that’s what I was doing at the time I first heard about Teen Challenge Monterey Bay from a friend of mine who worked there. At the time I was working as the music director of my church in Hollister, CA. My friend invited me to come and check out the Teen Challenge Program. I was a little hesitant at first, but eventually, I went and met the director and gave my testimony in a chapel service. Soon, after visiting a few times I became so impressed with the way God was working in the lives at Teen Challenge. It became like a magnet that drew me in and I wanted to become involved with this ministry somehow. The more I saw lives being changed, the more I wanted to become a part of it.
What are your job responsibilities?
As the Program Director my job is making sure the men are being ministered to and discipled in a godly manner. I am engaged and invested with the lives of the men here. I make sure that we are holding the standard of what it means to follow Christ. Helping students gain a healthy faith and relationship with the Lord.
“The more I saw lives being changed, the more I wanted to become a part of it.”
Can you tell me about a time where you saw a life transformed?
There are so many stories of transformation in men’s lives I could tell. One specific story that really amazes me is one of the men I have personally assigned to disciple. This young man came into our program and shortly after he joined the program he decided he didn’t need our help and left the program. He eventually made it back to where he was from and was shot by someone he was trying to sell drugs. After recovering from his gunshot wound, he came back to Teen Challenge and God changed his heart and his life. He is now a completed student intern whose emphasis is on The Grace Harbor project. He has a passion for the ministry and to see Grace Harbor come to completion.
You mentioned Grace Harbor. It’s Teen Challenge Monterey Bay’s newest project. What excites you the most about Grace Harbor?
It’s exciting to know that there will be a safe place for women and children whose lives have been robbed by the enemy have a new chance at life. Women who have lost all hope can have peace and have their lives transformed by the power of God. Families who are hurting and have lost hope in their daughter or mother can have restoration and joy in knowing their loved one’s life will be forever changed.
What part of your job brings you the most joy?
The privilege and honor to be a part of these men’s lives and to see their success. Seeing men step up and into their purpose for life. It brings me unspeakable joy to see the men reunited with their parents and children. Seeing the reconciliation with families brings such intense joy to my heart. It makes this life and this ministry all worth it.
“Seeing the reconciliation with families brings such intense joy to my heart. It makes this life and this ministry all worth it.”
In your opinion, what would your life look like if Teen Challenge didn’t exist?
If there was no Teen Challenge there would be a lot of hopeless people out there, including families and children.