Health, Meaning of Life

Addicted to meth and alcohol, I was going down the road of death: Missionary’s son

By Gracia Lee , 7 July 2022

Hudson Kim had lost everything.

He was 27 and supposed to be in the prime of his life. But here he was, with nothing but the clothes on his back, the shoes on his feet and a small duffel bag slung across his shoulder.

He had no home, no friends, no job, no money.

His 11-year alcohol and drug addiction had consumed everything.

To feed his addictions, he would convince friends, again and again, to lend him money for something else. He had no intention – nor the means – to repay them.

One by one his friends began to walk out of his life. To them he was just a “drug, smoking junkie”, a magnet for trouble.

So Hudson began selling whatever he owned for cash. Just a year ago, he still owned a full suitcase of things. Now, he only had a duffel bag.

Slip sliding downwards

Freedom had seemed so sweet. At age eight, Hudson and his older sister, who was 10, were sent to Australia to study.

Hudson and his sister when they first arrived in Sydney, Australia.

The separation from their parents, who were Korean missionaries, hit Hudson’s sister hard. But young Hudson relished the freedom.

By his mid-teens, he was skipping school, stealing, cheating, smoking, and more. He fell into the party scene, consumed by alcohol, cigarettes and the need to impress.

In hindsight, he sees that he was desperately seeking acceptance that he had lacked in his growing up years.

He fell into the party scene, consumed by alcohol, cigarettes and the need to impress.

“That drove me to the edge,” he said.

By the time he was 25, using addictive, hardcore drugs that were “life-transforming in a negative way”, became a daily habit. Methamphetamine was his drug of choice.

Two years later, it swallowed up everything he had.

That was when he called his parents.

All hell broke loose

Back home with them, the cravings disappeared. Hudson gave English classes and tuition, and made some honest money.

Then about six months after Hudson arrived in the city, one of his students invited him out for a casual beer. It seemed innocent enough.

Just like that, he dove right back into the life that had taken so much from him. It was as if he had never left.

But a rush of familiarity hit him, accompanied by the old embrace of being known and accepted. 

“And all hell broke loose,” he said.

Just like that, Hudson dove right back into the old life. It was as if he had never left. Drugs. Alcohol. Gambling. Girls. Gangs.

Over the next two years, his life became much worse than the one he had left behind in Sydney.

Paranoia, a side effect of meth, gripped him. He began to distrust everyone and locked himself up at home for six months. The only person he met was the drug dealer.

The drugs would keep him up for days on end. Then he would crash for nights on end, unable to wake up even to eat. The cycle went on, week after week. He lost more than 20kg.

“I was going down the road of death,” said Hudson.

Wasting away

Hudson’s parents were heartbroken. Their son was wasting away right in front of their eyes.

Hudson recalls the time he had been knocked out for two days. His father knelt by his bedside, weeping and crying out to God. Hudson could not open his eyes and felt numb, but he could hear his father. 

But day after day, as his parents continued to pray over him, God moved.

“I wasn’t in the right mind, but I think my heart was getting softer,” said Hudson.

During that time, an uncle he liked came to visit. So, when his uncle suggested doing a Bible study together once a week, Hudson agreed. There was nothing else he could do at home anyway.

At their first session, his uncle told him: “Before we begin, I think you should pray.”

The words would not come. Instead, strong emotions welled up inside of him and he wept.

Hudson did not know how to pray. He could not remember the last time he did. 

“Whatever comes to your mind, just say it to God,” his uncle gently encouraged.

Hudson closed his eyes to say something. But no words came. Instead, strong emotions filled him and he wept.

“I don’t know how long I cried for,” said Hudson. “I couldn’t even open my mouth to pray.”

“This is the Holy Spirit touching you,” his uncle said.

The bonfire

Something changed after that incident. Even though Hudson was still addicted to drugs, he began to want something more in his life.

His sister introduced him to an organisation that conducts six-month-long Christian training programmes all over the world. “If you want to get your life straight, then go and meet God,” she urged him.

He was incredulous. “That ain’t going to help me,” he told her. “I need like chemical injections or something to clean my system.”

But when he heard one of the programmes was going to be held in Hawaii, he signed up and went.

He was still “high as heck and off my head on drugs” and missed the first two days of orientation because he was hungover.

“Actually, I don’t want to be here,” he told the school staff when they came to wake him up.

Hudson at the training programme in Hawaii.

But he dragged himself to class that first week.

The first lesson was on hearing God’s voice. The teacher explained that sin hinders our communication with God, and we need to turn away from the sin in our lives if we want to hear His voice.

“We are going to have a bonfire tomorrow,” she told the class. “We are going to throw into the fire everything that represents the sin in our lives. We are going to make things right with God,” the teacher said.

“If this doesn’t work, nothing else will. Prove Yourself real to me.”

That night, a desperate Hudson wrestled with God. “You’ve got to help me out,” he said. “If this doesn’t work, nothing else will. It’s a do-or-die situation. Prove Yourself real to me.”

If there was no difference after the bonfire exercise, Hudson decided that he was going to pack up and go home.

Then he scribbled down every wrong thing he had ever done and gathered his jade necklace and cigarettes. He barely slept.

The next day he threw them all into the fire and watched them burn as tears streamed down his face.

Throughout the rest of the day, nothing seemed to have changed. The cravings were still there. He went out to replace the pack of cigarettes he had just burnt and stood by the beach to have a smoke.

“I knew it,” he thought to himself. 

Breath of fresh air

The next morning, Hudson found himself awake when it was still dark.

He looked at his watch: 5am. This was far earlier than the usual time he got up – usually two minutes before the start of class.

Lying awake in the dark room, he drew in a deep breath … and realised that he could.

He had not taken a full breath in a long time. Usually he would feel sharp chest pains when he tried to, no thanks to the smoking and drug use that had damaged his lungs.

“It was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. I just felt brand new.”

But it did not hurt this time. 

Deciding to test out his body, Hudson walked down the hill of the campus. When he got to the gate, he started to run. He ran and ran, until the sun came up.

His breaths came full and easy.

“I just knew instantaneously that physically I was healed,” Hudson said. “It was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. Like I had never touched any of that junk. I just felt brand new.”

He described his walk back to the campus as “glorious”.

“You must be who You say You are,” Hudson told the Lord. “I’m going to believe in You. I’m committing myself to whatever You say.”

A new high

The cravings for drugs never returned.

Hudson experienced not just physical healing, but spiritual and emotional healing too.

He discovered God’s overwhelming and unconditional acceptance of him, the very kind he had spent his whole life desperately searching for.

“But when I had an encounter with God, it was like a high that I had never experienced before.”

“All throughout my life I had been selling my soul, my dignity, my worth, for an acceptance that was conditional,” he said.

“I felt that people (in my old life) were accepting me because of something – because I was with them or I had money. It was never unconditional.

“But when I had an encounter with God, it was like a high that I had never experienced before. I didn’t need to pay for it, I didn’t need to strive to get it, I didn’t need to sell away my soul to gain it. It was just there for me,” he said.

“It’s true acceptance. And once you’re accepted by God, you’re accepted. You don’t have to keep striving to get it. You don’t have to look in other places for it.

“There’s no other acceptance or embrace that comes even close to that.”

The impossible is possible

Over the next 11 years Hudson, now 40, would stay sober and make good on his promise to follow Jesus

Now a missionary based in Singapore, he reaches out to unreached people groups in Indonesia.

These past years of restoration and redemption, of walking closely with Jesus, “far surpasses” the instantaneous healing that he had experienced in Hawaii, he said.

“It’s true acceptance. And once you’re accepted by God, you’re accepted.”

God sent into his life people who believed in him, championed his gifts and entrusted him with responsibility. This allowed him to serve in areas he did not think he had the potential to excel in.

In 2013, Hudson married his childhood sweetheart. They have two young daughters. He had never imagined he would ever have his own family.

Hudson with his wife, Grace, 40, and daughters Lia (centre), now 6, and Lisa, 5 (left).

“God just blew my mind with all the these things that I thought was impossible,” he said. “A lot of these things I wouldn’t even dare to ask for, but He just showered that on me and revealed Himself in them, just to show that He is a loving Dad and He is without limits.”

But Hudson’s greatest reward is simply being close to his Creator, the One who made him.

“He is far more than what we think He is. My huge reward is just being close to His action!”

This is an excerpt of a story that first appeared in Salt&Light.

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