Ace Ghanaian actor, Timothy Bentum who is known for his atrocious character in movies, tells his story of drug addiction and the saving grace that delivered him from the dungeon of sin and drugs. According to Timothy, the journey of his 12 years addiction to drugs, with cocaine as his major, began after taking his first jolt of cigarette when he was only 13 years. The rest, he says, “is history”.
“I was in school one time and we had to do a play on drug abuse and one of my friends said ‘charley, this place, we for high before we go oo’. You see the irony of the story? Going to do a play on drug abuse and then in reality we were taking it in,” he revealed.
The undying love of a parent
Though born into a home in which the Christian faith was hallowed, Timothy, blinded by sin and the unprofitable pleasure that drugs gave him, flouted the rules of the truth into which he was born. “I grew up in a home where morning devotion was held every day. You would either be part of it or move out, and even if you were dying, you’d still go to church. My parents were staunch Christians,” he says.
“It’s always been my parents’ prayers that kept me alive. Probably, I would have been long gone. I heard them almost every night begging God and seeking His face on my behalf,” he adds. But in spite of the spiritual groaning of his parents, Timothy would not hesitate to cause them further trauma by selling their belongings to buy drugs. He reminisces how he took his parents through certain depressing episodes, but according to him, “my parents were very patient with me, never gave up and still kept praying for a change to come.” “I know that sometimes answers to prayers take a long time to manifest but I guess this is the prayer of my parents manifesting now,” he adds.
Sowing the seed
For Timothy, his transformation from sin to grace was not the fast kind. He describes it as “a slow and tugging one.” “Anytime I go past a church and I hear them singing worship, something inside of me moves. It’s all the result of the seed sown by my parents,” he recollects.
“This is where I would pause to advise that, parents and guardians take time to plant the seeds of Christ in their children and even if they go wayward, because the seed is there, they will end up coming back to Jesus,” he advises parents.
Transformation from sin to grace
“The truth of the matter is that I did not have that kind of Paul experience on the way to Damascus or Jesus coming down in bright light and saying ‘Timothy, my son it’s time to come home’,” he clarifies. “One Sunday morning, I was walking to the ghetto to get some cocaine and then I met a friend who used to come to my house to eat. He was going to church with his wife and kids and then I wondered what had changed for him because we used to be together,” he recalls. It was at this point that the reality check struck at Timothy, as he realised the need for him to get back to God.
“The devil has a cunning way of stealing you away so slowly that you don’t know how fast or far you have fallen until the light of God comes through. It always start with a little desire for something and then you realise you are craving for it the more. “That morning, there was a blast in my head. I went back home and I cried. I told God that if He could hear me, then it was time for Him to take me back. God came through for me,” he tells the Revelation.
It is very unusual to find a drug addict of 12 years coming clean without a relapse or withdrawal symptoms but according to Timothy, his recovery came as a miracle—no twitches, fever whatsoever and even the doctors and psychoanalyst would not believe his recovery. All he had to do was to eat properly to heal the scurvy look that years of cocaine consumption had marred him with.
Life after transformation
According to Timothy, most of his colleagues did not take the change in good faith. While some cut off completely from him, others are waiting patiently for him to snap out of the ‘Jesus fever’ and come back to the world. “Some are very critical of me and I hear them say ‘oh! leave him, he only went in to get money and women; he will soon be back’,” he reveals.
Even though Timothy is going about his ‘father’s business’, he is still acting and directing movies. Nonetheless, he is very critical about the role he plays. “I can’t go about kissing every girl in the name of acting, no.”
He also says that his transformation made him realise that even in the showbiz, people use diabolical powers to work. “When you come around with a positive energy, it affects them and they don’t want you around because there is a spiritual clash,” he reveals.
Timothy Bentum Ministries (TBM)
God’s plans for Timothy fell in pleasant places, with the Lord calling him into a ministry of delivering people from drug addiction.
According to him, he was not called to pastor a church but to evangelise to the world about how God saved him, and to reach out to them with the message of the cross. The Timothy Bentum Ministry has been in existence for about four years, and it aims spreading the gospel.
The TBM undertakes programmes, including “Fame and Faith” – in which Christian celebrities reached out to students in the second cycle tertiary instutions. Every year, the TBM also organises the Actors, Presenters, Professionals and Musicians for Christ (APPMC) event, a time when players in the entertainment industry gather to seek God’s face and to spread the gospel.
“The kind of impact Majid would have when he preaches the gospel may even be greater than that of an Archbishop. That’s why I get celebrities on board and they are passionate about Christ,” he explains.
Timothy finds it easier to relate with drug addicts because he has been down that road before.
“Gays, addicts and prostitutes reach out to us for help and the change that comes is awesome,” he submits. “We have crazy testimonies. Some of the transformations are slow but just like taking a basket of rice to the river to wash, with intention of fetching the water but by the time you get to your destination all the water is drained. You go back to fetch and it’s the same story but unknown to you, the rice is being washed,” he adds. Timothy is married to Gloria Maa Efia Bentum and they are blessed with two children. His message to all is simple and profound: “There is no dungeon so deep that the love of Christ can’t reach.”