For Alan Stalcup, the words of Ephesians 5:14 take on an intensely personal meaning. The scripture calls out,
Awake, you who sleep; arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
It’s almost as if the Apostle Paul were speaking to Alan over the centuries.
“After having two near-death experiences within the span of six years, I tried desperately to kick my addiction to alcohol,” Alan admits. “Unfortunately, I was unable to stay free from alcohol and began drinking after both times.”
Then, after what turned out to be his last bout had left him with liver failure—costing him the use of his legs and the ability to think clearly—he spent seven months in the hospital and then in a nursing home.
“The doctors told my parents that I probably wouldn’t survive. But my body seemed to not give up, so the doctors later changed their opinions to ‘he will never walk again!’”
But Alan continued to improve and his parents were told the chilling prognosis-change: “He may walk again, but his mind is gone.” The doctors were agreed that Alan would have to be institutionalized for the rest of his life.
God had other plans for Alan.
“As I began to get my mind back and realized where I was and what had happened, I began asking God for His help—asking for His forgiveness. I began trusting Him to heal me and keep me off of alcohol,” Alan says.
When Alan finally learned to walk again and got out of the nursing home, he sought help at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“I didn’t want to go to rehab,” Alan confesses, “but something told me I had to. I completed their six-month program, and then continued staying at the center while working the front desk.”
Eventually, Alan was hired to be the Intake Coordinator for the facility, in addition to working as the assistant resident manager—positions he still holds and considers “his” ministry.
“After I had been in the program for a while, I saw a doctor to see if I still needed to be taking all the prescriptions that had been given to me. I had blood drawn so she could check how my liver and the rest of my body was coping after my ordeal,” he explains. “When she got the results, she couldn’t believe that the results were actually mine!”
Alan’s blood work showed not only a healthy man with no apparent liver problems, nor any other problems, but that the results were as good, if not better, than a man who had never consumed alcohol in his life at all!
It was a complete healing miracle.
“When I thought that my world was over, God healed me, gave me back my mind, my legs, and my liver!”
There was a time when no one expected Alan to survive. But Alan is now convinced that all along, God was there.
“It’s clear to me that God has a plan for me,” Alan insists.
His wife, Debbie, has agreed to remarry Alan; and he has regained the love and respect of his family. And just as important, he is in a ministry where he can help others get over their addictions and come to know Christ as Savior and Lord.
Alan plans to get additional schooling in an addiction-counseling field and to become the program director, either at his ARP or another facility.
“I don’t see myself as being a minister, but I seem to be doing a lot of that, on a small scale,” Alan says. “I meet people with addictions, health problems, money problems, and a number of other woes.”
The future is full of hope for Alan, now that God woke him up from his “sleep.”
—Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor, National Publications