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Freddy's House
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It’s been quite a number of years but it still hurts to remember that house. It saddens me to talk about the tense climate that reigned there. 

I was very young, but I remember Freddy’s parents. When Jose would start drinking, he would end up hitting Maria. On more than one occasion, I was a witness to those quick and lethal jabs.

Twelve-year-old Freddy felt that no one loved him. In his desire to get away from the abusive situation and not listen to his parents’ arguing, Freddy would find his way to the corner of the attic where the bottles of wine were stored he would drink. By age 14, he was already a habitual drinker and at 16, he ran away from home. I took it hard…he was my best friend.

But I kept tabs on him from a distance. At times he would get aggressive. He often provoked problems at bars. Despite all this, he was able to study Industrial Refrigeration, and was able to sustain his own family. He would drink between 3-4 liters of wine a day, which eventually caused his marriage to fall apart.  

Imagined the Worst

One night I got home earlier than usual. They told me Freddy had dropped by looking for me. I imagined the worst due to the condition my friend had been in for the past couple of days. I ran towards Emetereo Goyenechea Street #1432. I found him with a belt around his neck. I struggled a bit but I was able to free him. We cried…we talked…we prayed. Finally, he calmed down. I stayed with him, in silence, for quite some time.

Several years have passed since that incident. Freddy recognized he had a big problem. And that’s essential for someone that wishes to recuperate from their addiction to alcohol. We are studying the Bible and we talk on a daily basis. It won’t be easy. It’ll take a long time. Yet he is willing to make the change.

He discovered that prayer is helpful and I believe, because of my personal experience, that Freddy will be able to say that he is a free man because the power that is extended to him from on high, will strengthen him just as this text promises: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Now as I look at that house, I think what Freddy longed for the most was to have a great void in his life filled. Today, that house…(yes, the house across the street), is a house of prayer!

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By Alejandro Oscar González Catalán. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelinesScripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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