Christopher, a mentor in North Carolina, finds great satisfaction in encouraging his students because he knows the student experience firsthand. He became a Crossroads student in 2013 while serving a seven-month sentence. Now, nearly ten years after his release, he is still a Crossroads student because the encouragement he receives helps him continue his transformation in Christ.
Christopher’s transformation motivated him to become a Crossroads mentor as soon as he became eligible in 2018. Crossroads requires all our mentors to be released and off probation and parole. We also require that current students complete Tier 1 before they can begin mentoring other students.
Drawing from his experiences of hardship and incarceration, he empathizes with and supports his students on their faith journeys. His commitment to helping others is deeply rooted in his gratitude for God’s unconditional love and grace, which have reshaped the course of his life.
“God has been my anchor throughout my life,” Christopher shared. “Because of the journey God has allowed me to travel, I became a mentor with Crossroads . . . to give back to hurting men who are traveling the road I traveled.”
Christopher has come a long way since his youth as a foster child. He often felt invisible, considering himself to be a nobody. After barely graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy, seeking a sense of purpose.
“God allowed me to go wild for a while until I finally realized how ridiculous I was living, and through mercy and grace, He reached out and grabbed me through some loving people while in the Navy, and it led me to surrender to Christ,” Christopher told us in a letter. “When I surrendered to God, He allowed me to be somebody because of His grace and mercy.”
Despite that spiritual breakthrough, Christopher’s life still had some bumps. He readily admits to making mistakes and facing the consequences of his choices. One such consequence was a seven-month stint behind bars, during which he discovered Crossroads and embarked on a decade-long journey as a student.
Crossroads has played a significant role in Christopher’s spiritual growth, challenging him to make Bible study and discipleship a central part of his life.
“I can’t imagine my life without Crossroads,” he reflected. “It’s become so natural for me to be working on some kind of study lesson daily or weekly—either my own study or another student’s. I’ve treasured the journey with Crossroads as a student and even more as a mentor because I get to pay it forward and let other students know they are not alone in this journey, that there is someone who cares about them and understands the hardship as a student. I also take personal pride in knowing God did not waste His time on me despite all my mistakes, all my pride, and all my foolishness. He’s never wavered in His love for me, and He’s equipped me to change, grow, learn, and study so I can turn around and help others who are hurting.”
If you are inspired by Christopher’s journey from feeling like a nobody to impacting the lives of others, consider extending God’s love to men and women in prison by volunteering as a Crossroads mentor or donating today.