From Homeless to Ministry in 2 years. The Testimony of Courtney and Marilyn Knerr.
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
In June of 2017, my wife and I ended up on the doorstep at the Indiana Dream Center corporate office. The previous 5 years were spent behind bars or on the streets of Orlando, Florida in a life of addiction, hurt, shame, and guilt. Before all of that we spend most of our lives living “The Dream” with a substantial annual income provided by a corporate lifestyle and trips all around the world. How did we go from the “Good Life” to homeless? Even though it seemed good, I was always looking for more and was never satisfied with what I had. For more than 25 years, I was finding that satisfaction in pills, cocaine, and heroin. The problem is that when you continue to feed this monster, he eventually grows too big to control, and he starts guiding your decisions and actions.
After spending 30 years in addiction, anger, shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and selfishness we realized that we were not going to win this battle on our own. Over the course of 12 months at the Indiana Dream Center, we both came to know the truth about Jesus Christ and how to continue walking out that commitment after surrendering to his will. As we moved forward in this new life of Jesus and recovery, our marriage relationship began to improve. The relationship with our kids was not only being restored but in a different more positive way. With the criminal record that I accumulated over the years, I had no hope of ever being able to get a good position with a great organization again, let alone the simple things like my driver’s license being reinstated. But when God says, “I will restore everything”, he means everything. It may not look the way we thought it would, but that is because “His ways are above our ways”, and we never would have imagined the outcome of God’s plan for us. The recovery plan that the Indiana Dream Center guided us with not only brought us to the Lord, but also helped us realize that we were able to be self sufficient again.
Today, our kids are a very active part of our lives. Our marriage is better than it ever was during the first 17 years. All the pain that we had caused our family seems to have come to a close, and there is now a new chapter being written as we wake up every day. Most of all we both have a joy and peace in our life that we never thought was possible. Both of us are living surrendered lives to Jesus Christ while serving in a recovery ministry in Northern Indiana. Today, I can proudly say that there is hope, there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel, and there is a way to have a new beginning. It starts with your own decision to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Once you make the choice to live in the Kingdom of God, then you can claim the promises of God.