Sithy Bin became incarcerated in 2005, given two life sentences for accidentally wounding an innocent bystander in a gang shooting in California. The practicing Buddhist was in a deep depression, and he became suicidal when he realized that he might never know freedom again. During this dark season, Sithy stumbled upon a Christian prayer book and was introduced to the faith that would change his life.
“I wanted to learn more, so I signed up for several Bible studies. I took three simultaneously, and all three contradicted each other. It was so confusing because one was Evangelical, one was Seventh-Day Adventist, and the third was Jehovah’s Witness,” he shared.
To add to the confusion, he had friends who were Muslim and believed in Jesus but didn’t believe He was the Messiah. Sithy eventually discovered The Urban Ministry Initiative (TUMI) and Crossroads, and he credits both ministries for getting him on a clear path of study.
“With those little booklets and letters from Crossroads, I learned more about my faith, and it cleared up a lot of confusion,” he said. “I loved the mentors because it is so important to interact with people on the outside. This interaction shows that people care about prisoners as human beings.”
A change in California’s sentencing laws in 2018 gave Sithy his freedom. He now serves believers who are reentering their communities after their release from prison through his job at Testimony Ministries.
Although Sithy is free, he is currently fighting deportation to Cambodia. He asks for prayers that immigration courts will allow him to remain in the United States.
Every mentor has undoubtedly wondered about past students. Did they continue to grow in faith? Did Crossroads make a difference? This series, Where Are They Now?, features the stories of former students who affirm that Crossroads helped them turn their lives around. Like Sithy, many are free and using their time and talents to serve incarcerated individuals and returning citizens.
If you are a former student, we would love to add your story to our growing collection. Please mail us a letter or send an email to email@example.com.