At nine years old, Jim was asked not to return to the Sunday school program offered by his church because he asked too many theological questions. Rather than giving up, he was motivated to explore his faith even more.
“I went home and talked to my mom and then asked Jesus into my life,” he said. A few weeks later, he began attending a different church, trying to follow Jesus and live like Him.
He continued walking with the Lord into adulthood, even amid challenges, including a marriage to someone who didn’t share his faith. However, after three years, he led his wife and mother-in-law to Christ.
Jim’s life seemed to be on the right track. He said, “My wife and I raised our two boys in the Church and studied the Word with them, trying to live by the example Jesus gave us.”
Nevertheless, at thirty-eight, Jim made regrettable choices that culminated in a prison sentence. Within those prison walls, a suicide attempt brought him back to Christ.
Recalling that transformative day, he said, “I found myself on my knees, asking for forgiveness, turning my life back to Jesus, and thanking Him for saving my life.”
Prison became a turning point for Jim. He pursued higher education, led Bible studies, and witnessed the transformative power of God’s Word in breaking down barriers between people from diverse backgrounds.
He was encouraged by letters from former members of his facility’s Bible study who had found comfort in their faith after release, reconnecting with their families and finding church homes on the outside. “This was another of God’s tremendous blessings, as you are not allowed to receive letters from those who are on parole or probation while you are incarcerated, but the officers continued to pass them on to me,” he said.
In 2016, Jim was paired with a one-on-one mentor through Crossroads’ Tier 2 program. His mentor, Lou, walked alongside him and encouraged him during his reentry journey later that year.
After his release, Jim sought reconciliation with his family, embracing forgiveness and a renewed sense of purpose.
“While he has experiences I don’t have,” his mentor Lou said, “both of us have shared sorrows and joys.”
Over the past eight years, they have both comforted each other through losses, including Jim’s mother and Lou’s wife, and encouraged each other to share the hope they have in Christ.
“I was impressed by how he was able to talk to one of his son’s girlfriends about Jesus,” Lou shared. “He encourages me to witness to one of my sons-in-law.”
A year after his release, Jim signed up as a Crossroads mentor.
“As a lifelong Christian who strayed from my beliefs, ethics, and morals and ended up serving three and a half years, I can relate to the daily struggles of [people in prison]. I would like to help them find or renew their relationship with Jesus and give back for all my blessings,” he shared in his application to become a mentor seven years ago.
Today, Jim’s commitment as a Crossroads mentor has impacted over four hundred students as he shares his story of resilience, faithfulness, and the transformative power of God.
“The Lord has blessed me greatly,” Jim said. “Throughout my life before, during, and after my incarceration, God has shown unmatched faithfulness that still amazes me. We are told by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:9 that ‘God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.’ I am proof of His love, blessings, and faithfulness and will continue to tell my story so others will know that God is true to His Word and that His Son is the way to eternal life.”
Like Jim, Crossroads students around the world are sharing with others their stories and the hope they’ve found in Christ. As a Crossroads mentor, you can create lasting change that extends far beyond prison walls. Consider signing up as a Crossroads mentor today or partnering with us financially in this important work.
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