Overcoming an Alcohol Addiction

by Larry Little

Alvin Vander Leest took his first drink of alcohol as a teenager.  A photograph of his burned hand is a constant reminder of how drinking can alter a young mind. "I was drinking and I wanted to be the center of attention and I started acting stupid and I started jumping over a bonfire and I was jumping back in forth. I guess I didn't realize the choice I made was going to burn my hand to the point of 2nd and 3rd degree burns," says Alvin Vander Leest.

Another photograph is a painful reminder to Alvin. "My father in law was coming home and someone was traveling from a club in Nacogdoches, the person blacked out and hit my father head on in a collision," says Vander Leest.

The drunk driver and Alvin's father-in-law died in this crash.

Some East Texans are concerned after three Angelina County businesses were recently cited for selling alcohol to minors. Alvin, who is now Reverend Alvin Vander Leest shares his story of overcoming alcoholism with hopes of saving a teenagers life. "I was messed up, I had some goofy thinking, it just came to a point in time when I said I need to get free from this, I need to get clean, I gave my heart over to God. It's not easy to get free from, but it can happen if you are willing to surrender all your wants all your desires," says Vander Leest.