“John” had just served 24 years in prison and was released only a few days earlier. Incredibly, he was the only person in a room full of people who rushed over to help me. It was 9 am on a sizzling Phoenix August morning and I was heading into the office when all of my books and paperwork slid out of my hands and made a thundering boom onto the dayroom floor, 100 eyes looked over at me but only one offered to help. That is how I first met John.
As we entered my office, he explained that Christ calls him not to be like others but to go above and beyond for his fellow brothers and sisters. We sat at our table and discussed different Bible passages that spoke to him during his darkest days of imprisonment and he shared how he loves to pray and encourage others who cross his path. At the end of our time together, I was able to offer him a Bible of his choosing, a pad of paper and a pen for note taking and journaling.
John is a beautiful example of Jesus’s grace and mercy. Jesus has taken an imprisoned man and turned his life upside down for His glory. It’s been a joy to watch this man grow and get his life back on track. John often stops by the office with one or two others to study and read the Bible in our office. He is expecting his ID in the next couple of weeks and will be moving into a place of his own.
It’s been a joy and a blessing to watch this man on campus, to see how he touches other people’s lives, how he shares the gospel with those around him and how he patiently waits as God unfolds the next chapter of his life.
Please keep our new friend, John, in your prayers, that God continues to protect and strengthen his heart and mind and that he is blessed with all that he needs to make a fresh start.