Glen Piwowarczyk, 61, is a pastor, who’s been running Esther House, Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley’s women’s facility, for about six months. He started at ATCOV though, in 2009, working as a supervisor, counselor and education coordinator. God called him from the men’s facility to Esther House.
“This is a brand new season running the women’s center, but it’s what I’ve been prepared for,” Glen said. Women come out of addiction differently than men and must be treated accordingly.
Women tend to operate based on emotions more so than men, he said. You have to walk a fine line between being too overbearing and too gracious as women in addiction often use manipulation to get what they want. The balance is not allowing them to manipulate while also not offending them to the point, they leave the facility.
God speaks to Glen through the spirit and the Word and about a year ago, Glen started asking if he was supposed to be involved with Esther House. While teaching some classes at the women’s facility, he started to see a need for more leadership there. He started praying about it. “The answer came back, ‘There is a need and you’re the one who’s going to fill it,’’ Glen explained. But he liked his job at the men’s center and didn’t want to do it. God, however, told him he was the guy so he did it.
It’s the same reason the Wisconsin native came to work at the Youngstown location after completing the program and joining the staff at an Adult & Teen Challenge in Chicago. The former director of ATCOV called and asked Glen to come to work at the Youngstown center and God made it clear that Glen was supposed to go.
“It’s the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “The last 14 years of my life have been awesome. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” He previously was a successful businessman, earning good money, but his life was sin-filled.
Glen believes his prior life set him up for what he’s doing now and for the rest of his life, he’ll serve God. “What is a paycheck compared to a soul saved from hell?” he said. Heaven isn’t full of good people. It’s full of forgiven people, Glen explained.
In 2003, Glen was going to kill himself by pulling his car into the path of a train. He was drinking alcohol and popping pills and sunk into deep depression. God stepped in, delivering a vision. His parents’ tear-soaked faces emerged from a dense fog, showing him how Glen’s suicide would hurt his parents. Then he saw his casket descending into hell and his parents battling to prevent its fall. He felt the pain his suicide would cause his parents and then a white light appeared over his parents’ heads. It was God and Glen asked him for help. Then he woke up.
He was grateful, became more involved in church, but he knew something was still missing. He got a DUI in 2007 and told his pastor he sought a closer relationship with God. His pastor directed him to an Adult & Teen Challenge in Chicago. “I took a leap of faith. I went into Teen Challenge and I’ve never looked back,” Glen said.