Gary remembers going to church every Sunday with his mother, who was a deacon, and his father, who was a colonel in the Army. “I went to all my Sunday school classes and learned all the stories, but never really thought about them after Sunday school,” he recalls. To him, the Bible stories he read remained just that—stories.
Outside of church, his lifestyle didn’t match up with what he was learning. “I was a hardcore addict,” he says. “I was a heroin addict in my younger years and went to prison for drugs. I finally kicked the habit, only to use other drugs to replace the heroin.” He ended up back in prison for selling cocaine.
This time, Gary realized something needed to change. He successfully overcame his drug addiction. Then, in April of 2016, while participating in a Bible study in prison, Gary accepted Christ as his Savior.
“After being saved right after a Bible study and given a beautiful New International Version [Bible], I found myself so empowered with reading the Scriptures, I couldn’t put my Bible down,” Gary says. The stories he’d read as a child were finally permeating his heart. Jesus was becoming real to him.
“Romans 8 was my biggest wake-up call through the Scriptures,” Gary remembers. “God started peeling my ‘fleshy’ ways to get to the core—the spirit. Since then, I have come to know and rely on the Holy Spirit to help lead the way.”
Like the apostle Paul, Gary has learned what it means to be content in any circumstance. “Christ strengthening me and knowing that ‘this too shall pass’ allows me to continue in this unnatural world called prison,” Gary says. “I live every day with a minimal amount of food and supplies, but I want for nothing. I know God will always watch out for me as long as I do His will and not mine.”
Gary continues to seek God’s will as he studies the Bible through Crossroads Prison Ministries, having completed Great Truths of the Bible earlier this year.
“I am very grateful to Crossroads for sending me its Bible studies,” he says. “I thank Crossroads and all the dedicated Christians that have brought hope and strength into my life.”
With Christ at the center of his life, Gary now lives differently. “Ever since I’ve been saved, I continually study my Bible and pray. It’s become a part of the way I live now,” Gary says. “Without coming back to prison, I may have never been saved.”
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Join the Crossroads team of mentors.