David was accustomed to spending his days in prison. He worked as a correctional officer, patrolling the halls and keeping the peace between those who lived inside the cells.

Then he found himself on the other side—behind the bars.

Growing up, David was raised in a family that was Catholic in name only.

“We hardly went to church, never read the Bible. I knew nothing of Jesus except [He was] a baby in the manger, and He died on the cross. Both meant nothing to me. I was never taught or explained what that was all about,” David said. “I was never interested in Jesus; I just wanted to do what was right in my own eyes.”

But following his own rules led to a long sentence in a maximum-security prison.

Although he wanted nothing to do with Christianity, God began sending people into his life to plant seeds. First, a pastor’s son in his cell block began sharing the Gospel with him. Then, David got a surprising new cellmate—a former coworker from his time as a correctional officer who was a Christian.

“I watered the seed the pastor’s son was planting,” David said. “I gave my life over to Jesus, and two weeks after [my former coworker] was placed in my cell, I was transferred to a different prison. Ever since, I have been walking for Jesus.”

At the new facility, David experienced anew the fear of being mistreated when others learned he had been a correctional officer.

“Things spread quickly through prison,” he said. “The thing is, God always protected me. No one ever did anything towards me.”

Though most men initially ignored him, one asked if he was a Christian and told him about the facility’s church services, which David began attending regularly. Others soon noticed his dedication not only to being present for the preaching of God’s Word but also to doing what it says.

“Over the years, inmates watched me always going to church, and some gave their life to Christ, saying, ‘I watched you always going to church, and I watched your walk lining up with your talk,’” David said. “Now, everyone knows me, talks to me, asks me to pray for them or a family member. Some run from me and say, ‘Here comes that Christian,’ or ‘Here comes that preacher.’ I enjoy these comments because it shows me my life is becoming more like Christ.”

As David learned more about the Bible and how to follow Jesus, he supplemented his studies by joining Crossroads’ mentorship program. After finishing Tier 1, he eagerly signed up for Tier 2 and now studies alongside a one-on-one mentor.

“I always enjoyed the interaction with the encouraging letters which came with the corrected lessons. Your courses are scriptural and have helped me grow in Christ and grow in understanding God’s Word better,” he said. “Many Christian brothers call me ‘the elder’ or come to ask me questions about the Bible. I am far from being a Bible scholar, but it seems God always gives me the correct words to speak.”

In addition to witnessing to men at his facility, David has passionately shared his love for Jesus and knowledge of the Bible with the family members who still support him.

“My family has been giving their life to Christ as I explain to them what God has been showing me,” he said.

David has served twenty-four years in prison so far. Although he may never be released, he has discovered God’s purpose for him behind bars and is committed to continuing to serve Him in gratitude for His saving grace.

“I would love to go home, but it seems the Lord has other plans for me right now,” he said, referencing Jesus’ words about the fields ripe for harvest in John 4:35 and Matthew 9:37. “I do look back over my life and see the Lord’s hand protecting me. Some of the stupid things I did as a kid—I should have died. If only we could turn the hands of time backward and retain the knowledge we now have. Life would be much easier, I believe. But through trials and tribulations, our faith grows. We could not truly experience God’s love towards us in any other way. So, I thank God I did go through everything I have so far. I am not saying I am grateful to go through those times, but I am grateful to experience firsthand God’s love, mercy, and grace because of those times.”

As he reflects on his former life, he understands why God had to take away everything he thought was important so he could discover what truly matters.

“I had many things before I was arrested, and the Lord had to remove those things so I could take my focus off things that are perishing and focus on Jesus, who is eternal,” David said. “With everything I had, I had no peace. Now, I have great peace even though I am still in prison.”


Many people behind bars are searching for the peace that only God can offer. Will you join our team of mentors and share the Gospel message with people like David? Learn more about serving as a volunteer mentor through Crossroads.


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