Testimonies

Be sure to check out the AFTERCARE VIDEOS Page and watch the

testimonies of more CHANGED LIVES.

MVC-001S

A Changed Life…

Hi, my name is Iran Torres, and I am a born again Christian through the grace and salvation of Jesus Christ.  I am a forty-five year old Puerto Rican American from the south side of Chicago, and for the most part of my life I was a member and leader of the street gang called “Almighty Latin King Nation” and an unbeliever…

 

In 1979, at the age of eighteen, I was convicted of first degree murder, and sentenced to forty years in prison, which meant back then that I would have to do twenty straight years behind the wall.  In 1996, I got myself in trouble with the prison authority and was placed on what was called “The Circuit”. This meant that every two weeks I was transferred from one prison segregation unit to another.  I was on the circuit for 2 ½ years, pending a trial for possession of a firearm in prison.  I was in a bad situation to say the least, if convicted I was facing at least ten years more in prison.  And being on the circuit was very depressing also.  I was kept isolated from the rest of the inmates in segregation and because I was constantly being transferred, my mail was weeks if not months late in reaching me.  In isolation and depression, I started to pray to God; something I never thought I would do.  I cried out to God to help me out of this situation, to give me guidance and to give me peace of mind.  And to my surprise and everlasting gratitude, God heard my prayers.  I was never taken to trial on the gun possession and after a few months, the prison authority released me from the circuit.  I did lose a year of “good time”, but considering the alternative I was thankful for the blessing.

 

Since that time, God has been in my life, and I made a promise to Him, that I will never hurt another individual and that I will help all of His children to the best of my ability.  But my faith in God did not extend to Jesus Christ.  I saw Jesus as a great prophet, one of many of Gods’ prophets or messengers, but that too would change as I learned the word of God.  Glory and Praise to HIM!

 

In 2005, while in prison for the second time in my life for selling cocaine, a time of loss and sorrow, and uncertainty for me, God sent a Christian brother, who with love and patience taught me the truth about Jesus Christ.  During this time because of all the stress I was under, I was experiencing an outbreak of boils throughout my body.  At first I thought it was an allergic reaction, but after a couple of test, I learned the truth, that the stress was causing the boils.  This Christian Brother started speaking to me about the power of prayer to heal all inflictions and how by having faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, I can pass all my problems and worries to Him and have peace in my life.  So I repented and confessed my sins and asked God in the name of Jesus Christ to forgive me for all of my transgressions.  We started praying together each day, in the morning and in the evening, with Bible studies during the day within a few weeks all of the boils were gone and I felt peace come over me.  Glory and Praise to God.  I thank God for all His blessing, for showing me His purpose for me and for His word and the salvation He offers me and humanity through the sacrifice of His Beloved Son.

I praise and give glory to God!!!

MVC-006S

A Changed Life…

First I would like to thank and praise the Lord for all that He has done for me.  I came to know the Lord at the young age of 17 1/2.  The Lord saved me, and filled me with the Holy Ghost the last year of high school.  I married and began to live the life of a Christian, but then I started hanging around with the wrong people, going out to the club.  I stopped praying, and reading the Word of the Lord, and before long I started to use drugs, lie to my wife that I was going to work, but I was going to party.  Then I started to get in trouble, using drugs was the way of life to me.  And then I got locked up in Cook County Jail and I thought I was in hell.

 

While playing cards, they called for those who wanted to go to church to line up, I quit playing cards and went to church, and that is where the Lord started dealing with me about getting my life back in order.  They asked if anyone wanted to pray, so I stood up and they prayed for me, and I repented for my sins, and God Almighty came back into my life.  I know that I’m not a slave to sin anymore because the Word of God says in 2 Corinthians 5, that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.  No matter what the devil brings to my mind, I know that the Lord is able to keep me, if I want to be kept.  God wants me to know that Isaiah 46:9 says to remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me.

Ricky Boose

 

The two previous testimonies were written in October & November of 2006 and shared in those newsletters, at that time both of these men were in our program; today both Ivan & Ricky are married to Christian women and are working members of society, still giving God all the glory -

PRAISE JESUS FOR HIS LIFE CHANGING POWER!!!

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A Changed Life…

My name is Steven Taylor.  I was a resident of Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry’s aftercare from August 13, 2004 to November 25, 2005.  I am thankful for the time that was invested into my life during my stay at Jesus is the Way.  God is good and it is by putting Him first in my life that He has and continues to direct my steps.  Since my residency at Jesus is the Way, God has helped me to find a Christian woman to be my wife (for which I know I am VERY blessed) her name is Alice Taylor.  He has helped me to find my home church, Grove Street Church of God in Christ (where I am continuing to grow in the Lord daily).  He has allowed me the opportunity to go into the Champaign County Youth Detention Center and Cunningham Children’s Home to share the LOVE of JESUS as well as being able to participate in a Christian outreach for at risk youth in Rantoul.  I could go on and on about the goodness of God and ALL that he is doing in my life but I will sum it up with one phrase “with JESUS it is ALL good.” I want to say God bless ALL of you that are involved in the ministry of Jesus is the Way.  I am truly grateful today that my testimony is, I am a life that has been changed.

Your Brother in Christ, Steven

A Changed Life…

I give honor to God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for saving me and for Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry which helped me and played a major part in the change that has been done in my life. I once was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a thief, a liar, and a gang member. I have been in and out of jail and prison numerous times. I have spent thirteen years of my life in prison; which is where I first made my decision to give my life to Jesus.  I would study the Bible but when I got out of prison I would sooner or later find myself back on that destructive path.

 

I met John Henderson a prison minister at Jesus is the Way (currently serving as Interim Director) who came to the prison to have Bible Studies and that is how I learned of Jesus is the Way. John also made it possible for me to parole to JITWPM. While I was in the program there I received discipleship and many other teachings and lessons on living life in Christ on the outside of prison, something I thought I could only do in prison where there are fewer temptations.

 

Since graduating from the New Beginnings Aftercare Center, I have been sober for five (5) years. I have had a job at the public library for eighteen (18) months. I have also held a second job at a local fast food restaurant for one (1) year, the longest I have ever held any jobs I have ever had. I have my own apartment, a car, a savings account; I attend Christian Life Church where I worship and am a member of small groups, which are accountability partners.  I continue to attend Bible studies at Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I am also a grateful member of Alcoholic Anonymous. I go inside treatment centers and hold meetings with addicts that are still suffering from a horrible life of addiction at the Prairie Center every Sunday night.  I still face many trials and tribulations from time to time, but from the teachings at Jesus is the Way, Christian Life Church and Alcoholics Anonymous, I am learning how to live life on life’s terms without running to drugs and alcohol. I am learning how to make better choices and decisions in the situations and circumstances that won’t result in undesirable results. I am learning to help and give and not be a taker.

Sincerely, P. Henderson

 

A Changed Life…

My name is Darren Comstock and I am 33 yrs. old.  I grew up in a good home.  When I was a teenager I started drinking and using drugs.  I started getting in trouble with the law when I was 18 yrs. old.  From 18 to 30 I visited every county jail in every city/town I lived in and  I lived in a lot of different cities and towns.  I was in jail just as much as I was out of jail.  It was like I had two (2) homes.

 

I finally landed myself into prison in 2007 when I got a D.U.I. and my fourth driving conviction on a suspended license within a year.  I got sentenced to two (2) years in prison; I served six (6) months and was released on parole.  I stayed sober for a few months and once I started doing well financially I started drinking and doing drugs again, again I lost my job, because I quit going to work because of the withdrawal and I started committing crimes again.  When the drug addiction got so bad that I began robbing people.  I asked God to save me from myself and the streets.  After I asked Him to save me I saw jail bars flash before my eyes.  I said I’ll take that God even if it’s for years.  Three (3) days later the police were knocking at my door, they had the place surrounded.  I willingly went with them.  I was charged with aggravated battery, great bodily harm.  I got that charge because I had gotten in a fight with someone over money a few days prior to the police showing up at my door.

 

After going to jail and getting booked I was taken to a jail cell.  That night I was going through withdrawal from the drugs I was physically addicted to.  I was lying on my bed, a concrete slab, shaking and shivering.   I was so cold that I had my head in my shirt breathing heavy so that my breath would help warm me up, plus I was curled up under my blanket.  While I was laying there I heard a voice saying sit up, sit up.  I spoke out loud and said “I can’t I am to sick and cold.”  The voice inside me said “SIT UP, SIT UP.”  I flung my covers back and in a very angry voice I said “WHAT!”  When I sat up and looked out of my cell window I saw this cross lit up like it was lighted by the hand of God, Himself.  I instantly started crying and begging God to forgive me.  After that I knew it was God’s voice telling me to sit up.  I knew He was with me and He was going to help me change my life.  When I woke up the next morning I was looking at the cross that I saw the night before and it didn’t look like it did the night before, it was cross braces that went across the tinted window where the correctional officers look in on the cell block.  I started attending Bible study and I did a lot of reading in the Bible.  I ended up getting sentenced to five (5) years in prison.  This whole time God was with me.

 

God also led me to Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry.  I was in prison with nowhere to parole.  I asked God one Sunday morning to help me find somewhere to parole.  When I went to the church service that morning Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry was there.  I had seen them come here every third Sunday for the last eighteen months (18).  So after the service I spoke with them and got an application.  I was accepted into the program It was a blessing to have a program like that to go to.  While I was at the ministry I was in a lot of Bible Studies and other programs that helped me deal with my past and to help me change my anger.  It was a great place for me because when I got out of prison I only had the sweatpants and sweatshirt the prison gives you when you get out.  The ministry gave me clothes.  Not only did they help spiritually they also helped clothe me.  Without programs that promote God and godly lifestyles, guys like me would end up paroling to a homeless shelter or parole right back to the place where we came from.  Usually that place drags us (me) back into a lifestyle that is destruction to us. My life would have never changed if God didn’t do what He did for me.  “I am so thankful to God for changing me into the man that I am today.”  I am now attending church, married with 3 children.  I work full time and my wife attends the community college.  I can testify that God is good!

Thank You God, I Love You, Darren Comstock

peter.ramon.close.up

A Changed Life…

My name is Peter Ramon and I am a child of God. But, I haven’t always been. I grew up in a Catholic home and my family and I used to go to church every Sunday until my mother’s grandmother died. We started growing apart from the church until we eventually stopped going altogether. I never stopped believing in God, but at the same time I never really knew Him either. By eighth grade, I had experimented with cigarettes and alcohol. My friends and I used to steal the cigarettes from the local Walgreen’s. I made it to high school, but by the time I finished sophomore year, I was heavy into drinking and smoking marijuana. I had dropped out after I had found out I had to repeat sophomore year. By the time I was eighteen years old I found myself in the rave scene, taking ecstasy pills, dropping LSD and sleeping with different girls every weekend. My eyes were completely off of the sight of God.

 

When I turned twenty years old, my father and mother separated. I was shooting heroin into my veins trying to kill myself and my father went into prison for possession of 15 pounds of marijuana. I moved in with my grandmother and stole from her. I was kicked out within a year. My addiction to heroin had me bound in chains. My mother tried to help me so many times, but I was beyond human help. I needed something bigger to help me in my situation. I was a thief, stole from my own mother and started breaking into people’s houses. I was sent to Cook County jail for the first time in my life. It was here when God got my attention. I was put on a Christian deck and started to gain a relationship with Jesus Christ. I was a new creature in Christ. But when I got out, I put God on the side once more and thought I could do things on my own.

 

Everything went well for four years with lots of struggles, but I wasn’t including God. I fell back into the belly of the beast two more times, until finally I said, “Here I am Lord, I’m tired of running, I give up, and I want to submit to you.” I found myself at Sheridan Correctional Center. It was here that I made a decision to do things God’s way because my way wasn’t working. I knew I couldn’t go home, but I didn’t know where I was going. Jesus knew where I was going. As my time was coming to an end, God put a man in my life that told me about Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry. He also told me about the bible studies that were being held every Saturday. I was immediately interested and knew this is what God wanted for me. I joined the bible study and met a great man named John Henderson. I learned a lot from him and he told me a lot about JITWPM. I filled out an application, prayed over it, and within a few weeks was accepted. I praise Jesus Christ for bringing me here. Since being here, nothing but great things have been happening for me. I am now able to hear the voice of God speak to me and allow Him to direct my paths. I’ve been accepted into college and received a grant to pay for school. I’ve been attending great Bible studies and going to great churches, and gaining a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. I thank God for JITWPM because they have taken me in with open arms and allowed me to experience wonderful things through volunteer work and meet wonderful people of whom I hope I will know the rest of my life. God has also allowed me, in His infinite mercy, to still have a close relationship with my family. I should not be alive today, but through the grace of God, He has allowed me another chance to serve Him and see another day.

Praise be to God forever and ever. Amen.

 

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