My Son Was in Detox

After my first son died of a drug overdose, I had no idea Janet and I would suffer the despair of watching our other son walk down that same dark road of substance abuse. I can’t think of a story that more powerfully portrays the concept of Missing Jesus, than that of my two sons.

Peter, our youngest, was just 4 years old when he told us that he believed in Jesus as his savior. Growing up in the church with Christian friends and a strong Christian family, it didn’t seem like his story would change so drastically.

I’ll never forget the lump in my throat when his mother and I first saw him pass on taking communion. That same week he would say it to our faces, “I don’t want to be a Christian anymore.”

These cold, hard words cut deep into our souls, as we were still mourning the recent death of our oldest son, Jeff.

For the next several years Peter continued spiraling further and further away from the Lord, but his story would not end in tragedy. I’m so grateful to the Lord for his intervention!

Something truly amazing happened, and I think it would be best for you to hear it from Peter himself. Click below to hear a short clip from when I sat down with him to talk about about his journey back to the Lord.

The pivotal moment was the day his drug habit was discovered at work. His secret was out and he checked into a detox facility in Washington state, possibly the lowest point in his life … and the place where he finally, truly, gave his life to Jesus.

As soon as we heard he was in detox, Janet and I packed our bags and started driving up the coast from Southern California. But our daughter Kate, who lived only hours from Peter, was determined to bring her brother home to the Lord, as well as to our family. She arrived before us and told Peter she wasn’t going to leave that detox facility until he repented and placed his faith in Christ.

Little did we know that the Lord had already started working in his heart. He had already repented and given his life to Christ before Kate had even arrived. He was now both my son and a brother-in-Christ!

These sound clips are taken from Peter’s full interview. Click here to listen to the full program.

A few weeks later, Peter entered a one-year program at Teen Challenge where he was finally able to kick the drug habit. Then he left for Moody Bible Institute where he met his awesome wife, Katrina. They were married and graduated together, and now a few years later, Peter has completed his Master’s of Divinity. This month they leave for the mission field in Peru.

Janet and I could not be more proud.

Peter’s story is one of many we tell in our recent book Missing Jesus. All of them help tell the same “great story” of how all of us desperately need to have Jesus at the center of our lives.

You can read more of Peter’s story, as well as many others like his, in our new book Missing Jesus: Find Your Life in His Great Story.

As the leader of the 80-year-old Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” Charles is a former secular journalist, working for United Press International, and a former press secretary for two U.S. senators. After seminary, he started working in the Christian world, coming to Haven as the fourth speaker in 2000. He and his wife Janet have written several books, including Missing Jesus.


  • Gail Shaw says:

    David Feherty could probably use your encouragement and comfort, as the Hands and Feet of Christ, since he is going through a similar experience.

  • I am not a regular listener to Haven Today broadcast, but anytime that I have had an opportunity to listen to Charles Morris, I have been Blessed.
    Each of us have need, all different from each others but all have opportunity to receive same redemption through Jesus Christ.
    All of us have received God’s Grace whether we chose to accept His love is again God’s Grace.
    Freewill to chose.
    Chose and Know in your heart that Jesus, the only Begotten Son,
    Chose of His own Freewill
    to lay down His life that He may take it up again.
    The last blood sacrifice was chosen by God but left to choose on His own to die so all that believe on Him may have eternal life.
    Jesus chose to die for me, for you and for all.
    He shows His act of obedience for all to follow…
    His trust in His Father’s
    John 10:17-18
    Chose to trust Jesus.
    He gave all for all to have all.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  • Andy Glover says:

    I enjoyed the honesty of your talk and found your answers on how we live with brokenness really helpful.
    Christmas is a hard time for one who has lost a child.
    I Lạt a daughter to suicide 22 years ago but memories are always triggers and I’m a born again Christian of a strong faith and my daughter also was a believer.
    Sometimes life is so sad.

    • Corum Hughes says:

      Hi Andy, thanks for your kind words and for telling us about your shared experience with your daughter. I just passed your note onto Charles since he doesn’t always see web comments.

  • Nancy Moran says:

    My only child Matthew died of a fentynyl overdose on 9-29-21. This was on a Wednesday evening. He had been through a lot and put family through a lot. Early morning on the Monday before he died, I had a terrible dream in which he told me, they’re not going to get here in time Mom. I love you and Dad thank you for all you did to try and help me. Tell Bri and Lexi I will love them forever. I awoke and was very frightened. I believe the Holy Spirit prepared me in advance as during that week I was already wearing a heart monitor. Thank you Jesus that my beautiful son no longer had to suffer.

    • Corum says:

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your and Matthew’s story here. What an amazing testament to how the Lord cares for us during the unthinkable.

  • Sherri says:

    My 32 yo daughter was a born again Christian who was clean from IV heroin use for 4 years. She relapsed severely for 18 months but died due to a heart valve infection. It was her 2nd valve infection and no surgeon would do another replacement. She choked to death on her own blood. I am struggling with so much guilt, because we let her go after her 12 year on & off again clean then using over & over. We thought she would hit bottom and finally get clean if we did not help her; or let her back in our home. Her bottom was death. Her last words to me were “Help me.” As she choked on her blood and could not breath right in front of me at a Dallas hospital. I have so much guilt, but also I can get past some scriptures and don’t feel 100% confident she is with Jesus. We are now raising her baby girl who will never remember her mother. She never overdosed, but a 2nd infection in her tricuspid valve finally killed her.

    • Corum says:

      Hi Sherri. Thank you for sharing your heartwrenching story with us. I know Charles and Janet can sympathize with you about the impossible struggle between helping and enabling. We recently re-aired their raw conversation about that on the 20th anniversary of their oldest son’s death, which may be a good resource for you now as you grapple with grief and uncertainty. I pray you and your granddaughter will have the peace of Jesus going forward.

  • Walter Ramsey says:

    Peter’s story is inspiring. As someone who underwent bariatric surgery, I can relate to the need for resilience in the face of challenges. I’m curious, did Peter incorporate Bariatric Multivitamin supplements into his recovery plan? I found them vital post-surgery, ensuring I met nutritional needs. How did he manage his nutrient levels during such a transformative time?

    • Corum says:

      Hi Walter. Thanks for getting in touch! I’m not sure if Peter incorporated Bariatric Multivitamin supplements into his recovery plan. I’ll forward your message along and respond to you directly if I hear one way or the other.

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