On a recent trip to Michigan, I approached a man that I thought was our local Prison Fellowship field director. I hugged him and thanked him for all he was doing.
When I asked how he was, he said, “I’ve been out for three months, and I am an associate pastor!”
Immediately I realized my mistake: The man in front of me was Nick (not his real name). He looks a lot like the field director, Chip, and they both have spent a lot of time serving Jesus in the same prison—just from different sides of the bars!
Back before Jesus took hold of his heart, Nick held the identity of “drug lord.” He was arrested and convicted, and he rightfully served a long prison sentence. In prison, he learned that he had been trying to live out the wrong identity. God didn’t create him to be a drug lord, helping to destroy lives; God made Nick to be His beloved child and servant, leading others to wholeness.
Nick graduated from a Prison Fellowship pre-release program and was a leader in the faith-based dorm in his prison. When he felt God calling him into local church ministry, years before his expected release date, he began, in faith, to prepare himself for a future of ministry.
Now Nick is flourishing in his new, rightful identity. He introduced me to his senior pastor and told me how they are planting a new church where he once sold drugs and sharing Jesus with those he once led to destruction.
This kind of radical transformation doesn’t just happen. God uses friends like you who are committed to investing in the steady advancement of His Kingdom behind prison bars and in the communities to which people return. Be a part of the transformation today!