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Looking Forward to a New Chapter After a Life Behind Bars

Jun 26, 2018

Kevin, 52, has spent the majority of his adult life incarcerated, starting with a five-year sentence when he was 18, to several two-to-three-year stints over the last 20 years. “I don’t have many trips left in me,” he says, with a heavy sigh. “I’m getting old.”

Tiring of prison isn’t the only reason why Kevin has decided to change his life. After years of struggles, he has turned to God. “I feel like everything I did in the first 50 years of my life was evil—hurt me, hurt others, hurt God,” Kevin said. “Now everything I do is for God. … This program has helped me to find Christ, and has shown me that God loves me right where I’m at. Jesus forgives me and helps me forgive myself.”

Kevin says his upbringing was good—his parents divorced but always supported him. He says he was just “a problem child,” starting to drink at 12, and moving on to speed and heroin in high school. “With the harder drugs came lying, stealing, womanizing, gang involvement, drug sales—more and more bad choices. Those bad choices and failures caused more guilt and shame, so I used more.”

Kevin did time for drug trafficking, sales, firearms charges, and theft. “It was all to support my habit,” he said. Kevin married twice, and has a daughter, now 21, with whom his relationship is strained. “I’ve never been there for her,” he said. “Hopefully that gets better … we’ll see what God does.”

The program has helped him “get into conscious contact with God,” said Kevin, who had only looked to God when he was in prison and was desperate. “I believed, but I wasn’t applying it to my life. I was easily distracted by women, drugs, money. Being here has helped me stay focused.”

Kevin cooks for the house and helps out men who are entering the program. “I feel like these guys are my brothers. I feel like God has a purpose for me now. He has given me the chance to right some of my wrongs, and in the process, I share with others what Christ is doing in my life. My life is better and more rewarding. The mission is truly a gift from God.”

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