Joshua knows what it feels like to be truly alone. He knows the pain and bruises that come from hitting rock bottom.

He also knows the joy of being rescued.

When Joshua was sent to prison, he was in a unit without a telephone, and he didn’t have the resources to communicate with family and friends via mail. His fellow prisoners were spreading rumors about him and mistreating him.

“My life was shaken from its foundation,” he said. “Having never been in trouble before, it was a real shock to be in prison…I was truly alone with no one to talk to or help me.”

A few days after being moved to a new cell that also didn’t have a telephone, Joshua found a line to Heaven. He found a copy of the New Testament on a table, and for the first time in 15 years, he read its pages.

And for the first time since he was a boy, the pages came to life.

Joshua remembered the moments as a child when his grandmother would read him Bible stories that captivated his young mind and heart. But he also remembered when his grandmother got too sick to flip the pages of her tattered Bible, her voice too weak to read the words aloud.

Joshua recalled the pain and suffering in his grandmother’s eyes before she passed away and the way his heart hardened toward God in that moment.

But as he read God’s Word from his prison cell, Joshua could feel his heart begin to soften. He also found inspiration in the stories in Scripture.

“I saw how the prominent people of the Bible, like Moses and David, made mistakes, got angry with God, yet they did not let their faith in Him become weak,” Joshua said. “When they hit troubles or doubts, they laid them in God’s hands. I saw how Job, though he suffered immensely, never wavered.”

Fascinated by what he was reading, Joshua enrolled with Crossroads Prison Ministries (then called Crossroad Bible Institute). “[Crossroads] helped me rediscover my faith,” he said. “I was baptized last year, joining my brothers and sisters in Christ in accepting Jesus as our Savior.”

Joshua said Crossroads has helped him grow in wisdom and understanding. “It has helped me view Scripture collectively instead of individual stories. The wonderful instructors are an encouragement to me as I grow in faith and wisdom,” he said.

Do you want to bring encouragement and hope to prisoners like Joshua? Consider making a donation to Crossroads Prison Ministries.