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Teen Challenge Belfast History

I remember sitting in my living room at night time reading my bible devotionally.  As I read through the book of Acts, a verse jumped out and grasped hold of my heart - Acts 9:6,

"Arise and Go to the City and it will be told thee what thou must do"

I was in such a panic.  I felt my heart begin to pound.  It seemed like my life could never be the same.  I began to pace my living room floor and say "Lord No not me".  it was now approaching 11:30pm and I picked up the phone and phoned my Youth Pastor.  I told him what happened and was expecting a wonderful explanation from him for what was happening to me; only for the Pastor to turn round and say Lee, I have two words for you - "Obey Him".

So that was exactly what I did.  I obeyed the Lord.  I drove to the City and parked my car at a strategic point and begin to walk and pray.  I began by saying, "Lord what do you want to show me? What is it? Why am I here? I am only a young lad with no qualifications and barely a brain".

After about an hour and a half, as I was about to head back to my car I looked up and saw a plaque saying "The word of the Lord shall stand forever".

I came to a crossroads - and the Holy Spirit said  "now look North, South, East and West".  As I looked I felt something I never felt before reaching down into my soul; it was a burden for souls.

I came to a Church and looked through the glass doors.  Just inside the door was an open Bible.  As I read the chapter, I came to the end and it said "look for the fields are white onto harvest".  Then the Lord brought to my mind the book "The Cross and the Switchblade" and said go to New York.

And that exactly what i did.  On the 10th July 2005, I went to Teen Challenge Brooklyn, New York City to see the Teen Challenge programme in action.

For 2 weeks I got up with the students on the programme.  I ate with them, I studied with them, I sang with them, I played basketball with them, I did everything that they did and i helped in outreach in the ghettos of New York.

Eight months after that extraordinary time, I went to Wales and met John Mace, the Teen Challenge UK Director and we began to bring the ministry of Teen Challenge to Belfast.

We decided that the best way for us to reach people in Belfast City was to buy a bus and convert it into a mobile drop-in centre.  Soon after, the bus was purchased and renovated and so it was on February 2008 that  Teen Challenge began a street and bus ministry to help hurting people in Belfast.

We now take our bus to drug addicts and alcoholics  and offer them food, refreshments, chat and practical help.  But above all we offer them the person of Christ.  We seek to pray with those who are on desperate need, as we at teen Challenge know that with prayer, the Lord Jesus can change a life.

In March 2020 Pastor Lee McClelland felt the call of God to go into full time Pastoring and Pastor Brian Madden who is extremely well kniow in around Belfast and Pastors Maghaberry Elim Church felt the call of God to take over the work of Teen Challenge. Pastor Brian has been involved in Teen Challenge for many years and recently secured us another much needed bus and a a new team of volunteers from Mgahaberry. Please pray for Pastor Brian and the complete team of Team Challenge volunteers.

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