Some people point to a direct encounter with God, a meaningful event or a rock-bottom low as the beginning of their spiritual journey. Jason’s began when he found a small piece of paper on the floor of his jail cell.
Jason had grown up in a nonreligious family. “I never knew God or Jesus,” he said. “To me, God was someone people made up to make us try to be good, or we [would] go to hell.”
At age thirteen, Jason said he started acting out—smoking weed, hooking up with girls and living for himself with no regard for those around him. By fourteen, he was in a juvenile detention center, where he remained for four years.
“I got out and moved to a new state, where I met my wife,” he said. “But I was the same hateful, selfish person. Everything had to be my way, or there was trouble to pay.”
His self-centered attitude began to infiltrate his marriage and even his relationship with their children.
“I made my wife do everything: clean, work, take care of the kids. I just sat around and did nothing to help her,” Jason recalled. “I put drugs before my kids or paying bills. I cheated my kids by putting my needs before theirs.”
His wife, fed up with his behavior, secretly began seeing another man. Eventually, she left Jason for him. Jason was so angry that he completely lost control.
“I tried killing her. I beat her boyfriend up, and I beat her up,” he said. “So I went to jail.”
One day, Jason met with his lawyer. When he returned to his cell, something on the floor caught his eye: a small piece of paper.
“I don’t know how it got there. The only thing it said was ‘Crossroads Prison Ministries’ and the address,” he remembered. “My first thought was to throw it away. I mean, if there was a God, I thought, why would He let this happen to me?”
But Jason felt compelled to hold on to the paper. Eventually, he decided to write to Crossroads, and he signed up for the mentorship program.
“What was great was if I was feeling guilty of things in the past, I got a lesson dealing with that,” he said. “I knew that it was God talking to my heart.”
As Jason studied the Bible and learned about Jesus, he decided he was ready to take the next step. “I confessed all my sins to God and accepted Jesus into my life,” he said. “It was the greatest thing I ever did. It changed my life.”
Jason finished Tier 1 of the Crossroads mentorship program in 2018 and moved on to Tier 2, studying alongside a personal mentor. In January of 2021, he submitted his Tier 3 application.
“The best thing that ever happened to me was having Crossroads come into my life,” said Jason. “With Crossroads’ help, I have found Jesus, I learned to forgive those who wrong me and I learned to forgive myself.”
Crossroads mentors have made a profound impact on Jason’s spiritual journey. “The mentors are great. They are there for me every step of the way,” he said. “The letters they send are like spiritual glasses of water.”
As Jason continues to learn with his mentors’ guidance, he also provides guidance to those around him.
“I now teach Bible stories to other inmates. I lead them to God,” he said. “[I tell them] God is real, His love is real, and if you ever doubt Him, just pick up a Bible, get to know Him and trust Him. God will always, always love you.”
For Jason, there’s no going back. He has moved past his old life of selfishness and sin, and he looks forward to what God will do with his future.
“I was lost, and Satan had me in his control. I’m living proof that [people] can change. I am a new person in Christ,” Jason declared. “I know God loves me, and He will do great things in my life. I used to think life was over, but God has used Crossroads to show me life has just begun.”
Are you interested in guiding people like Jason through the Bible as they discover new life in Christ? We would love to have you join our team of mentors. Learn more here.