From Drug Addict to Successful Businessman: A Miracle Suddenly Turned His Life Around
The expression of God's love through two women changed one man's life forever.
Ryan Longmuir once lived a life selling and using hard drugs, coming close to landing in jail for a serious drug offense — but then he met Jesus and everything changed.
As Longmuir told the BBC, he was hooked on drugs from the age of 12; by 15 years old he was taking drugs every single day. “I tried everything,” he said. “Cocaine, Valium, ecstasy, speed, heroin … I’d go on benders for two or three days at a time, and I’d take five or 10 ecstasy tablets in one night.”
Something happened when he was 20, though, and he hasn’t taken drugs since: He found God. At 20 years old, Longmuir was not only an addict, he dealing thousands of British pounds’ worth of drugs per week. Wanting a fresh start, he decided to move to New Zealand. However, only two weeks after arriving, he was busted for mailing 100 ecstasy pills to his new address. When he called a friend for help, she told him she would pray for him and encouraged him to pray as well.
Longmuir thought she was nuts, but he decided to try it, just in case. “I said, ‘I don’t believe that there is a God, but if you’re real then show me that you’re real and I’ll believe in you.’” Shortly after that, he met two women hitchhiking. The women fed him and took him to their church and eventually allowed him to move into their home. “That was when I thought there was maybe something to this because why would two complete strangers do that? That was the catalyst for change,” he said.
Longmuir’s desire for drugs vanished overnight. He threw his stock into the sea and hasn’t looked back. He understands most people don’t have such an immediate change with an addiction: “Everyone’s journey is different but that was mine.”
He began working with people with addictions, using his experience to help free those still in bondage to substance abuse. When that opportunity ran dry, Longmuir was tapped by his pastor to start a catering company. Not that he knew much about cooking. “I had to call my mother-in-law to ask how you make a steak pie.”
Still, he formed Regis Banqueting and attended catering college while running a café. A loan from a UK start-up support charity led by the Prince of Wales helped the enterprise along. While business the first three years was scarce, over time the clients and contracts got bigger.
Regis Banqueting now employs 20 full-time and 40 part-time staff and makes £1.3 million annually. Longmuir has well-known clients and has won numerous awards, including the Royal Bank of Scotland’s young business of the year crown, and director of the year from the Institute of Directors organization. His next plan is already underway — casual dining restaurants that he hopes will go international.
Longmuir isn’t forgetting where he came from, however. He wants to help those in need like he once was. In addition to raising money to benefit the homeless in his area, he now employs former addicts and ex-offenders, giving them the opportunity to break the addiction cycle as well — all because a couple of hitchhikers took the time to share God’s love with a stranger.