Brian S., a Crossroads student

After a failed bank robbery and a high-speed chase that ended with his capture, Brian decided he would take his life to avoid going back to prison. When his suicide attempt failed, he found himself alone with God in a suicide-watch cell at the county jail.

“I was totally broken,” Brian said of that day in 2015. “I asked Jesus if He loves me like He says. I opened my heart, and that little abused boy that had been locked inside came out. Jesus scooped him up and said, ‘I love you, I always have, and I always will.’ I invited Jesus into my heart.”

After growing up in an abusive home, Brian’s view of God was twisted by the painful things he had endured as a child. No loving God would have allowed him to be abused as he had, he reasoned. If God was love, why didn’t He protect him? By age twelve, Brian had turned to drug and alcohol abuse to escape his pain. His adulthood was littered with stints in jail and prison.

Once Brian encountered God and experienced salvation in his jail cell, he found his heart breaking for those suffering as he once did. He discovered a deep desire to share his newly found hope with others within the prison walls. He believes prison is his mission field, and he’s ready to share the Gospel with anyone who will listen.

“He [God] has allowed me to witness to men who have gone through the same things I have,” Brian wrote to us recently. “I am free for the first time in my life—this isn’t a prison but my mission field. The harvest is right, but the workers are few! Just like the demon-possessed man in the tombs, Jesus told him to ‘go back and tell what the Lord has done for you.’”

After enrolling at Crossroads in 2016, Brian cruised through the first two tiers of courses. He said the ministry has been a huge blessing, and his mentor, Karen, walked alongside him throughout the pandemic. He is currently studying Tier 3 and preparing for his release next year.

Brian continues to ask for God’s guidance in discerning whose life he can touch. He finds no shortage of people behind bars who feel lost and forgotten and are receptive to his message of hope.

Spiritual mentorship is vital for new Christians as they strengthen their faith and grow closer to Jesus. Are you interested in walking alongside someone in prison on their journey with Jesus? Learn more about volunteering as a Crossroads mentor here.