USA (CBI) — Jason was raised by his grandfather and his aunt on a small farm in Missouri. His aunt was the family breadwinner, so he grew very close to his grandfather.
But his grandpa passed away when Jason was just 13, and his life was thrown into a tailspin.
“Not understanding what was going on in my life at the time of my grandpa’s passing, I became rebellious and began running around with the wrong people,” Jason said.
Against his aunt’s wishes, Jason quit school and started working to support his drug habits. His life of partying and drug use continued through his marriage at age 18 and the birth of his daughter the following year. Life spiraled completely out of Jason’s control, and soon he lost his family and his freedom when he was sentenced to life in prison in 2001.
Haunted by his actions, Jason found prison life to be unbearable, as he faced bullying and ridicule from fellow prisoners after they learned of his crime. “I honestly didn’t know if I could take it anymore, and my roommate asked me to go to church with him one evening,” he said.
Jason’s aunt had encouraged him to attend church as a child, but he had never truly experienced the presence of God in his life until that moment. During the prison church service, Jason encountered the Lord in a way that captured his heart.
“I found refuge and peace while I was at church,” Jason said. “I could actually block out prison and all of my mistakes in life for a few hours.”
The roommate who invited Jason to church was Darnell, a CBI student with a great testimony of his own. “We have been friends for 6 years now. We are both born-again Christians,” Jason said. “I am proud to call Darnell my friend and brother in the love for our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Darnell not only brought Jason to church, he also introduced him to Crossroad Bible Institute. “We do our Bible studies together, sharing Scripture and personal thoughts on the questions set before us,” said Jason. “Both of us love sharing God’s Word and love with each other through our studies.”
Although the men are living in a maximum security prison, that doesn’t stop them from taking what they’ve learned and passing it on to others. “We try our best to keep our faith and love for the Lord strong and share it with others that are willing to listen,” said Jason. “It gives us hope and joy in a place that otherwise would be dark and lonely.”
Jason and Darnell have been studying through Crossroad for several years and are both currently enrolled in Survey of the Bible. “I would like to thank Crossroad Bible Institute along with all their staff and Instructors for being my friend and helping me understand God’s Scripture and love for me,” Jason said. “I know all about loss and regret. I also know about love and hope now as well.”
You can help people like Jason and Darnell inside a prison experience the joy, hope, and love that are found only in the Lord: become a CBI Instructor or make a donation to CBI.