Derron was tired.

“Not just physically but mentally and spiritually tired as well,” he remembered. “I was tired of trying it my way, living how I pleased.”

After violating his parole and getting into a gunfight with a neighbor, Derron was back in jail, taking stock of his life.

He had considered running from the police, but his mother, a devout Christian, convinced him to turn himself in. He finally conceded, realizing he wasn’t just tired of running from the law—he was tired of running from God.

“So, in the county jail, knowing I was headed back to prison, I confessed and repented,” Derron said. “I totally surrendered to God that day, and I found the rest I was looking for!”

He also decided to be honest with the judge about what he had done. Although she could have sentenced him to forty years, she sentenced him to fifteen, for which Derron was very grateful.

“I’ve been in here going on eight years, and the Lord is showing me so much favor,” he said. “I’m growing in Christ Jesus. I have a better relationship with my mom, kids, and family. I got my joy, peace, and love back. Thank you, Lord! I give Him all the praise and glory!”

After committing his life to Christ, Derron began studying God’s Word and learning as much as he could about living for Jesus. He soon became a leader in his facility, finding purpose in serving others.

“I’m a tutor in our Real-Life Discipleship class and a spiritual leader in this new program we’ve started here, Spiritual Leadership,” he said. “I also witness to guys in my zone. I share with them how, in the world, one would say I had everything out there. But in all reality, I found everything and got everything in prison. It’s in prison where I recommitted my life to God. With God, I have everything!”

In 2018, Derron discovered Crossroads and signed up as a student. After completing Tier 1, he began Tier 2, studying alongside a personal mentor. The last completed lesson we received from him was in 2022. His facility adopted mail restrictions that help prevent contraband from entering the facility but also, unfortunately, prohibit Crossroads lessons. Over the last several years, Crossroads has experienced challenges like this with dozens of correctional facilities, and we are actively working with facility leaders to develop solutions so we can continue providing all our students with Bible studies and encouragement from their mentors.

Some years into his sentence, Derron received joyful news about the other man involved in the gunfight that brought him back to prison.

“Oh yeah, the guy that I had the fight with and shot—he also gave his life to Christ. So now we’re brothers in Christ Jesus, praise the Lord,” he said. “What the devil meant for bad, God used for good.”

Though Derron currently can’t study through Crossroads, we trust that he continues to seek the Lord and provide spiritual guidance to the men in his facility. Please pray with us that we can reconnect with all our students who have been inadvertently cut off from their Crossroads lessons. Consider signing up as a mentor or donating toward our efforts to reach students through alternative methods.