For most of his life, Kyle lived only for himself.
“The life I led before coming to prison was a selfish one,” he said. “Everything was about me, myself, and I. I was hooked on meth. I would steal from my neighbors just so I could support my habit.”
His lack of concern for others and for the consequences of his actions eventually led him to break into a house and commit “an unspeakable crime.”
But even as he waited to be sentenced, he tried to shift blame and refused to take responsibility.
After a year in jail, Kyle’s sentencing day arrived. Though he was hoping for a lighter punishment, he received life without parole. And on that day, his life completely changed.
“It wasn’t the life-without-parole prison sentence that changed my life. It was the forgiveness I received from my victim’s mother,” he said. “When I heard those words, ‘I forgive you,’ something shifted inside of me.”
God used the woman’s act of grace to change Kyle’s mindset from selfishness to servanthood.
“Ever since the mother forgave me, God has been using me to make a difference in others’ lives,” he said.
In the eight years he has spent behind bars, Kyle has served as an aide to several men with disabilities in his facility, organized a fundraiser for a local school, and gone out of his way to treat those around him with love and compassion.
“I don’t say all this to boast,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without Jesus putting it on my heart.”
Kyle also enjoys studying the Bible and sharing its message with others. He became a Crossroads student after stumbling upon an enrollment card in his facility’s chapel and has been eagerly studying ever since.
“Crossroads has helped me develop a closer relationship with God,” he said. “[The courses] have helped me see people the way God does: through the eyes of love. I can’t help but hug people and tell them that I love them.”
Looking back at his old, selfish way of living, Kyle clearly sees how much he has grown since deciding to follow Christ and live for Him.
“[The Crossroads] program, through Christ, is helping me step further and further away from my old self and step into my new self, new nature, with Christ Jesus,” he said. “I feel good about myself because my life has meaning and purpose. I take what I have learned and pass it on to others. Together, through Christ, we are going to transform prison culture into a Kingdom of God culture. Amen.”
Not all men and women behind bars will receive forgiveness from those they have harmed. But they can all receive forgiveness and new life through Christ. Will you share this amazing message with students like Kyle? Learn more about serving as a mentor through Crossroads Prison Ministries.
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