News

Alumnus Returns to Teen Challenge as Counselor

by Office of Alumni and Parent Relations | February 19, 2013
In 2006, Josh Didden ’11 stepped off the campus of 

Rehrersburg Teen Challenge Training Center and into a brand new addiction-free life. Now, seven years later, he’s back at that same Center, but this time as a counselor, mentor and support to the men who have come to change their lives just like he did, not long ago.

After his graduation from Valley Forge Christian College, Didden and his wife, Amber (Mortensen) ’10 moved to Florida. Didden worked a landscaping job and volunteered his time in local Christian recovery programs while Amber worked in the Lakeland Teen Challenge home for girls, one of her first interactions with addiction. Unknowingly, the experience would remarkably prepare her heart for her husband’s life of ministry with addiction counseling. 

When a job opened at the Rehrersburg Teen Challenge center, Didden applied, and was shocked to learn that his Teen Challenge counselor was still there. His counselor, knowing well Didden’s heart and skills, offered him the job. Within a little over a month, the Diddens packed up their belongings and moved back to Pennsylvania to start at the Rehrersburg location.

“It feels right being back here. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where God has me,” Didden said confidently. “I would love to commit my life of ministry to Teen Challenge. I feel indebted to them, and indebted to Christ to share my testimony of being pulled out of drug addiction.”

Didden is a perfect fit; his special pastoral heart leads each interaction, and his understanding of the men's struggles make him an approachable, comfortable and trusted confidant. 

Josh spends his days at the Rehrersburg Center praying and talking with the 25 men with whom he works, creating treatment plans for them in one-on-one counseling sessions, leading group counseling sessions, and developing and teaching a sexual purity class. “I know that I don’t have all of the answers,” Didden said. “So, I’m continually trusting God for supernatural wisdom.”

As Didden looks out of his Teen Challenge house window each day, the home he shares with his wife and their two little boys, he sees a sign. On that sign are two names: Teen Challenge and Valley Forge Christian College, which continues to support the mission of Teen Challenge. “It’s one of the neatest things,” Josh said. “Every day I’m reminded of the two amazing organizations that totally impacted my life.”