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Monday June 10, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday June 11, 2013 MYT 10:57:35 AM
by edmund ngo
Hoh Yok For, 49 (right) serving the food to the poor people at the Lighthouse Hope Society premise in Ipoh.
IPOH: With a record 10 times in prison and spending over 30 years of his life on drugs, Hoh Yok For hardly looks like one who should counsel former drug addicts.
However, not only does the 49-year-old have a stable job now, he is also a volunteer at a “soup kitchen” in Lighthouse Hope Society in Jalan Koo Chong Kong here.
“At the soup kitchen, I talk to everyone, especially the drug addicts, and encourage them to go for rehabilitation,” he said.
“Despite my background, I’m not ashamed to tell people my life story as I hope it will persuade them to change their ways,” he added.
Hoh said, as a boy growing up in the small town of Pusing here, he had fallen into bad company, which led him to drugs.
“I started taking drugs at the age of 18 when one of my friends challenged me,” he recalled. “It ruined my life. Despite spending time behind bars in Taiping, Johor, Seremban and Penang, it did not help me overcome my addiction. In fact, it got worse,” he remembered.
“I tried to rely on my own willpower to quit drugs several times. Unfortunately, I went into a relapse, causing my family to shun me as I would often steal their money to buy drugs.”
Fortunately for Hoh, it was in prison that he first learnt about a drug rehabilitation centre that offered help to addicts to get back on the right path.
“After asking around, I met Christians from the Lighthouse Hope Society, who recommended a centre in Bukit Mertajam,” he said.
Although Hoh confessed that the first two years at the centre was tough, the pastor’s kindness helped pull him through.
“His kindness encouraged me greatly because he never looked down on or judged us,” said Hoh.
Trouble in his personal life was, however, far from over because his family continued to resent him even after he returned to them in Ipoh in 2009.
“The society recommended me a job as a security guard and even provided me with lodging,” he said. “I was really touched by their sincerity, and after working a while, switched to my current job with a landscaping company,” he said.
Today, Hoh makes sure he leaves work early every Thursday to help out at the society.
“Back in my days of taking drugs, I was unable to save a single sen,” he said. “Thanks to my faith, I’m now a changed person.”
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Family Community, Nation, News, drug addict, rehabilitation, Hoh Yok For, Ipoh, lighthouse hope society
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