Without a daddy, you never really learn how to be a man. Just ask Terrell. Sometimes he still feels like an orphan. His stepdad – the only father he had ever known – walked out on his mom when Terrell was just 13. For some of the most critical years of his life, the only family and the only teacher he had was the streets.
The streets taught Terrell that a man was the one who sold the most drugs, broke the most laws, and lived closest to the edge. He got involved with a gang. He was arrested and sent to prison. As the heavy, steel doors slammed shut behind him, Terrell was scared. “I couldn’t even sleep at night,” he remembers. “Sometimes you were scared for your life.”
“I didn’t know what to do,” Terrell adds. He’d been saved a few years before, but admits he “fell off.” It took living behind bars to get Terrell’s attention; maybe nothing else would have broken through. He rededicated his life to Christ. And then, he was connected to Prison Fellowship®.
“It was incredible,” Terrell says. “My instructor – he had been where I’m at. I was able to relate to him. God knew what counselor to give me.” But there was something else that happened: “I started seeing myself and not looking at others, like I usually did, to make excuses for my behavior.”
That’s when Terrell knew he was becoming a new man.
“In here, I’ve seen that a man takes care of his family, his wife; he provides for himself and puts God first,” Terrell says.
He’s discovered that once you find out who you are in Christ, you don’t have to seek to please anybody else.
“You can just be yourself. And they accept you here,” he remarks. He’s also developed a new passion: a love for playing the piano.
Getting a Chance to Serve
“Now I’m praising God through music,” Terrell explains.
But that’s just the beginning, because music provides a way to minister to other prisoners and their families.
Terrell especially enjoys it when the children come to visit, saying, “It gives me a happy thought about my children, and when I will be with them and see them.”
And last Christmas, Terrell had the chance to serve at the prisoners’ and families’ Angel Tree® Christmas party, playing the piano – which the children loved.
“I got blessed on that one,” says Terrell.
“Thank you to everyone who gives to make this program possible,” says Terrell. “Through all that’s been poured into me, I got something priceless.”