Teen Challenge International of Mid America (TCIMA) in Cape Girardeau, MO is a long-term, residential, faith-based program that ministers to men with drug, alcohol and other addictions, as well as life controlling issues. We are part of a worldwide network of ministries which include about 200 centers around the world. We minister to men ages 16 and above, many being in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and above and from all ways of life because addiction knows no age boundaries, education or social class. We typically have between 130-140 students or more who are with us for 10 months at a time, completing upwards of 330 men per year.
TCIMA’s program consists of three main parts: spiritual, academic and vocational. We provide students an environment of learning, accomplishing, self-discipline, spiritual and personal growth. This provides students the opportunity to develop their skills and attributes in these areas and to form a strong foundation of character and faith needed to face the many challenges and demands of everyday life.
SPIRITUAL – The spiritual aspect of our program consists of chapel services (5 per week), daily prayer and devotion times, Turning Point (small group ministry), pastoral counseling provided by staff, choir and other student ministries, student praise and worship music, and student-led Bible study.
ACADEMIC– Academically, the students are taught the foundational principles of Christian beliefs through Bible teachings and Bible related classes. Our GED program and classes enable students to restart their education, take and pass the GED exam and move on to higher levels of learning. These include community college, technical schools and university studies and beyond.
VOCATIONAL – Vocationally, our students are involved in a variety of different work programs which serve to instill a strong work ethic. These programs also teach basic job skills and to be productive in a structured environment. Ultimately, this aspect of our program prepares and enables our students to enter the workforce and to become productive members of society by supporting themselves and their families.
Studies through the years on Teen Challenge have consistently shown a 70%-86% success rate in helping men stay off drugs. In 1997, Dr. Aaron Bicknese did a study of graduates of TCIMA and two other centers and found that 86.4% of the graduates studied had been abstinent from drugs in the six months prior to the interview.
There is only one explanation for our high success rate and that is Jesus Christ. Our program is based on the principle that only Christ can truly change a life. Our primary goal is to help each student develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and learn how to apply this relationship to every aspect of his life.
Our impact often reaches well beyond the student in the program. Many families are reconciled and relationships healed and restored. TCIMA directly benefits society as these transformed addicts turn their lives around. They no longer commit crimes to support their habits and they are no longer in need of incarceration. Instead, they become productive citizens who often minister to those who face the problems they once had.