‘I found Christ, quit drugs and started a successful business’

Ryan Longmuir was locked in a cycle of addiction and crime for years, having experimented with drugs from the age of 12.

Between the ages of 15 and 20 he took drugs every single day, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, speed and Valium.

He also dealt thousands of pounds worth of drugs a week, confessing that he was en route to becoming a “big time gangster drug dealer”.

Power of prayer

But after being caught trying to smuggle ecstasy into New Zealand, he was offered a piece of advice that changed his life.

Over the phone, a friend back in Scotland told him to pray.

Ryan told the BBC, “I decided to try it, and I got down beside my bed and 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'”.

Immediate change

After being released on bail, he ran into two hitchhikers who took him out to lunch and then to church.

“That was when I thought there was maybe something to this because why would two complete strangers do that?” he said.

After coming to Christ, he says the change was immediate. Drugs lost all of their appeal and he threw the substances he had left into the sea.

He has been drug-free now for 16 years.

New business

After returning from New Zealand, he joined a church in his hometown of Cumbernauld, where he met his wife.

Struggling to find work, he was asked to do catering for the church, which led to him establishing his own company.

He had a tough start, taking home a salary of just £6,000 in the first year. But over time, the business has grown extraordinarily.

Helping people

The company, Regis Banqueting, now has 60 staff – 20 full-time and 40 part-time – and an annual turnover of £1.3 million.

It has won a number of awards, including the Royal Bank of Scotland’s young business of the year.

Through it, Ryan tries to help people with similar stories to himself, employing several former drug addicts and ex-offenders.

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