From the first day of my arrest, I was scared, lost, and wondered what would happen. Many inmates around me treated their arrest as a joke and bragged about their crimes. Locked up and alone in a cell, the reality of where I was and what I had done fell on me like boulders dropping from the sky.
I was an on and off professing Christian all my life, so I dropped to my knees in that cell and I began to pray. Begging, promising, and crying, I pleaded with God to make the pain, the hurt, and the charges go away. I promised I would go to church, be good, and obey the law.
After hours of this, laying on the floor, I turned my head. Under the bunk was a book, ripped, with blank pages torn out, and no cover. It was a Bible! I opened it and began to read Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord God is with you; the Mighty Warrior who saves.”
After reading for a while, I asked God for help, then fell asleep. When the chaplain visited the cell, I was asked if I would like to participate in a Bible study program. I said yes.
Enter the Crossroads Bible studies. At first, the studies were of general knowledge. But as I began to develop, God began to impart His knowledge and I began to understand His wisdom and began to change. Starting with one book a week, I began to crave and desire the reading and studies. Soon, I was completing two or three lessons a week.
As I learned, I began to pray more and understood more about God. I learned that my views and expectations of God were way out of line with what God expected from me. But the lessons were not the only benefit of the Crossroads studies.
As I learned and grew, I received the support and wisdom of my mentors. I received personal letters and even an in-person visit while I was serving my sentence from my mentor, Jack.
Jack answered questions, offered advice, explained Bible passages, and gave me the support I needed. When I completed the 65-75 lessons, I was despondent, and wondered how I would spend my time. So when I was offered the chance to participate in the college level studies, I immediately accepted.
After I finished the first book in those studies, I was released from prison and returned home. It took about one year to get settled in my new apartment and new life. Church became a part of my new life. I jumped into it with both feet. But something was missing: I had too much free time.
Unable to work because of disabling injuries, I stumbled down the road of life. Around then, I started to receive emails from a top university to go back to school. After six months of those emails, I called them. I didn’t think I had a chance of getting in. I only had my G.E.D. certificate.
I spent six weeks of scrambling and signing paperwork, and I thought that would be the end of it. But I eventually received a card in the mail. “Congratulations!” it said. “Welcome to Liberty University. You have been accepted into the Psychology Program for Christian Family Counselling.”
To say I was stunned would be an understatement. God put Crossroads there to prepare me for this. I have a year and a half till I get my B.A. When I finish with this, the last of my past will be behind me.
I recently finished the second book of the Crossroads studies, called Introduction into Dogmatics, Biblical Truths in Depth, Systematic Theology. I have just received Book 3 on Christian Worldview, and I look forward to beginning it soon.
Crossroads helped me realize what God expects from me. They gave me the keys to finding God’s truths. Their staff are all dedicated to walking with each man or woman in finding their way to Jesus Christ, and they continue to support us after our release.
I can never repay the treasures that Crossroads has and still gives me today. Crossroads has meant so much to me: they helped me get closer to God. They have truly given new joy to my life when I read my favourite verse:
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you. In his love, He will not longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”