Internet Ministry in South Africa

Charles, a lot of fun, but not happy


During my teen years I wasn't somebody you would notice soon - I was a very calm person. When I moved to Canada when I was 21, I lost all my inhibitions. Without people keeping an eye on me - I didn't have to be home on time anymore, and I didn't have friends anymore who where watching what I was doing - I started to go out every night. We used to drink, smoke and go to house parties... I was drunk four nights a week!

Charles (27) is back in Holland now. He teaches gardening to kids with difficulties at home, he"s married with Arlene and a father of two. The years in Canada are not that far in the past yet. When he hears the familiar music coming out of the walkmans of his students, it still gives him the same thrill.

"I know exactly what house music can do to you!" says Charles. "I was addicted to it in Canada. I lost my mind when I wasn't able to dance. It gave me a feeling of power, to be completely one with the music. That really gave me a high." Going out became the most important thing in his life. "We went every night. I left around ten o"clock at night and came home again at four o"clock in the morning, always drunk or stoned. I got into dept, messed around with women and hardly slept while I had to go to my work every day... After I while I started to think: this is crazy. I couldn't keep up with the pace anymore. I had the feeling I was spiralling down. I was in trouble and couldn't get out of it.

"From the outside it seemed I had everything I wanted. A job, girlfriends, money, lots of fun. But I wasn't happy. I kept asking myself: What am I living for? People around me noticed I wasn't feeling well. And to finish things off my girlfriend at that time, who I was quite serious with, ended our relationship. She told me I had to find "peace with God and with myself". But where could I find that? I was sad and very frustrated. That night, when I was completely drunk, I started to realise that I was in big trouble."

"During that time a cousin in Calgary invited me for a party. On my way to him I was listening to a tape of "If you want to get to know God personally,