Addicted to Money
can come in many forms—just ask Eddie Carrasco, now a Salvation Army Soldier of
the Long Beach Citadel Corps in California. At his lowest point in life he
realized that he was, in his own words, “addicted to money.”
"I was incarcerated and came to the ARC with this opportunity to get right with the Lord," Eddie says. "I was determined to get this right."
A condition of his release was that he be assigned to a rehabilitation program. Eddie was surprised that he wasn't sentenced to prison. "Unfortunately, I was anticipating some jail time," he says.
When he learned that the Army's ARC program was Christian-based, "I was all in!" He says.
The night before he went before the judge, Eddie sat in his cell and asked the Lord "to help me out of my situation; to regain my life back to become a productive member of society."
He adds, "There in my jail cell I fell to my knees and cried uncontrollably, asking God for forgiveness and a new way of life."
The very next day, that prayer was answered! He was given the choice between three rehab programs—two were secular. In fact, the Long Beach District Attorney laying out the three options for Eddie warned, "By far, the toughest program is The Salvation Army! It's not for everyone."
But that did not deter Eddie; tough was exactly what he needed. While he realizes not all prayers are answered so quickly, his faith tells him that this was "a gift from Above."
"Once I arrived at the ARC, it was 'strictly business,'" he says. "I didn't go there to make friends or to play. I was there to regain my relationship with the Lord."
Eddie adds that he was "dedicated to what God was offering me."
During his rehabilitation and ever since graduation, Eddie has been a committed member of the Long Beach Citadel Corps. He is a uniformed soldier, and has even gained some local notoriety as something of a record-setter.
"Last Christmas I set a goal for myself to stand at one of our Red Kettle locations for 24 hours," he beams. The local media outlets heard about his attempt and were on hand to provide continuing coverage.
The irony is not lost on Eddie: he's rehabilitated from his addiction to money—and yet part of his continuing therapy is to raise money for others. He plans on repeating the feat every Christmas.
Make no mistake, Eddie is still "strictly business" as far as his commitment as a Salvation Army soldier. The secret, he has learned, is not of himself, but all about God.
"It's only by the Holy Spirit's power that I am here today!"