Hi my name is David Tarr; I come from a good home in South London. My father was a famous racing cyclist, who started a chain of jeweller’s shops with the money he made from his sporting career. I left school at 15 and started working in the family business. I was not happy as a teenager and started smoking and drinking heavily.
I had already started dabbling in drugs, smoking cannabis and taking speed, when one day I took an LSD tablet which blew my mind and as far as I was concerned I had seen another world and it was a world I wanted to live in all the time. I left my father’s business, got a flat and set my life up to take drugs, funding it through dealing. Despite the drug use I managed to involve myself in business activities. I was in partnership with my brother-in-law, buying and selling expensive Jaguar cars and Jet-Skis in the south of France. I thought I was Jack-the-Lad. I really thought this was what life was all about; drinking, taking drugs and money.
Then suddenly something happened in my family, my sisters became born-again Christians and then my brother in law. As far as I was concerned this was disastrous, because it ruined our enterprise together and it actually created a schism in our family. I turned my back on God and my family for fifteen years. I just carried on my crazy lifestyle. I was waking up and injecting pure amphetamine sulphate every morning, constantly smoking cannabis and drinking heavily.
Somehow I managed to run various businesses, I was a market trader and involved with the building industry as well as dealing. I was just taking drugs to be able to work to be able to get more money for drugs, it was a vicious circle. I ended up dabbling in heroin and soon had a habit, before long I was injecting. This destroyed me because it totally controlled my life.
My family never gave up on me and were praying for me and I eventually gave my life to Christ. After a battle I managed to come off drugs and went to university to study Theology to try to ‘suss out’ God; however I was still struggling with drinking which I couldn’t stop. After two years at college I realised I was a chronic alcoholic, discovering I had liver cirrhosis and hepatitis C. I looked everywhere for help, visiting all the churches I could find. Eventually I realised I needed professional help and so I ended up at Teen Challenge London.
After just one week at Teen Challenge I realised that this was the place that God wanted me, for even though I had a degree in Theology I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. I began to build this on the Teen Challenge programme. I started my programme in London and finished in Wales completing the school of ministry after which God called me back to London to work as a staff member. After 1 year I took on the role of Outreach Director starting the London outreach bus ministry and forming the outreach group the ‘Redeemed’. My life is wonderful now, I am married to a beautiful Godly woman and God has made it possible to complete my Master’s Degree in Theology, I recently had to have a liver transplant as I was diagnosed with cancer which developed because of my previous lifestyle By his grace and power my life has been restored to me. I thank Him for His blessing.
David has left Teen Challenge and is now the pastor of Life Church Epping.