Yago Williams, prison ministry leader at Resurrection Life Church, doesn’t like to sugarcoat his life.

In his past, he abused drugs, sold them on the street and was regularly getting into fights at bars. But he also knows the joy of finding forgiveness and new life in Christ.

That’s the message he carries every time he enters a prison. While ministering behind bars, Yago has heard the stories of countless men who are brutally honest about their past and hungry to find redemption.

“When we get in there (prison), no one is going to gift wrap their pain for you,” Yago said when he spoke at Crossroads Chapel on Sept. 28. “When we are talking to people who might not know the Lord, we have to realize there are a lot of sins and decisions they made to get there but there’s all kinds of hurts that they didn’t choose that drove them that way.”

Yago encouraged Crossroads staff and volunteers to be unafraid to enter in the messiness of people’s lives.

“If a person bares something that you can’t handle, maybe there’s a couple of f-bombs with his story, are you going to be like…my religious ears can’t handle this stuff?” Yago asked.

If you are interested in stepping into both the messiness and the beauty of prison ministry, consider becoming a Crossroads mentor.

Watch Yago’s powerful message and challenge to Crossroads here:

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