Meet Pastor Louis DiMonaco. As an Assistant Pastor at the Road Less Traveled Christian program, now the Road to Freedom program, his duties include teaching, preaching, and sharing the love of Christ. Pastor Louis recently celebrated 10 years of recovery from drug addiction. We asked him to share his amazing testimony with our readers. What follows is Pastor Louis’ story of recovery and how he turned his life over to Christ.
I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. My dad worked 2 jobs and I didn’t do the things that most young boys do with their dads. My mom was over-protective and did not allow me to do much. When I did get to go out, I looked to be accepted and was accepted by the wrong crowd.
I first smoked pot when I was 12 years old. I went to Catholic school and I was an Altar boy – I didn’t know it at the time – but God was starting to work on me. My drug use escalated to drinking, pills, cocaine, crack, heroin, and anything else I could get my hands on. I was selling drugs to support my habit. I graduated from high school and enrolled in college, but I dropped out. I believed I was a loser and was on the road to destruction.
I joined the U. S. Navy in 1978, as a Sonar Technician with top secret security clearance. Imagine that, top secret information at the disposal of a man that would do anything to get high. I got busted in the Navy with drugs, and managed to get an honorable discharge. I robbed and gave away a car for drugs. I had a gun put to my head and the trigger pulled, it misfired.
In my 30th year of addiction, I was going to sell my son for $10,000 to a family who could not have kids. My son’s mother used drugs while pregnant with him, thankfully he was born healthy. His mother died from a heroin overdose when he was 9 months old.
I had destroyed my family and stolen everything they had. My dad would drive all over the Bronx, looking for me. My mother prayed: “God, if you could stop my son from using drugs, you can take my life.”
I’d been arrested many times and have been to 10 drug programs. I didn’t do what I was told, and I kept returning to the misery. The first part of my life is a horror story. The second part is a tale of victory, orchestrated by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
After my 9th program, I was arrested and facing a lot of prison time. The judge offered a year long program of his choosing or 15 years in prison. It was not a hard choice. When I got to the program, I found out it was a Christian program. I did not even believe in God. I believed in science and evolution, but it was better than going to prison.
After being there awhile, I started to think about my life and how bad it really was. I began listening to other people’s stories. They said that God had changed their lives. One day, I was given a Bible, opened it to the middle and looked down. What I saw changed my life forever. It was Jeremiah 29:11-13. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a future and a hope, when you come and prayed to me, I will listen. You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” When I read that something clicked. I proceeded to seek God with all my heart.
I have not used drugs or alcohol since March 31st. 2002. I was diagnosed with Hepatitis B & C, 15 years ago. God has cured me and it cannot be found in my body anymore. I have test results to prove it. Remember my son, he is 25 years old, married, 2 Masters Degrees, a high school teacher and the owner of a tattoo shop.
As for myself, I have been clean for over 10 years. I graduated from Bible College, and have been ordained as a minister. I work at The Treatment Center as an Assistant Pastor. God is using the mess of my life to help others change. I know that I should have been dead long ago, so I know firsthand, the grace and mercy of God. If He can change me as bad as I was, I have no doubt that he could change anyone willing to submit to God’s work in them. God can and will change anyone willing to do the work.