Matthew 25:36 (NLT)
36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me.
I was in prison, and you visited me.’
At 24 years old I was facing a 3-5 year prison sentence for a felony fleeing charge. I had already spent a weekend in the county jail 5 years earlier at age 19, that came as a result of a domestic dispute between me and my stepfather (who has become a great friend). Within a year I would find myself before another judge in another county for damaging a fire extinguisher box in the hallway of an apartment building that I was partying at. To my surprise the judge suspended a 30-day jail sentence and gave me community service and probation. For the next several years I struggled with substance abuse; alcohol being the worst. Due to lack of self-confidence, and my relationship with alcohol, self-control seemed to be non-existent in my life that had become a bottomless pit of turmoil.
In mid-October of 2004, I found myself in a jail cell at the same place I had been 5 years prior. I had turned myself in 12 hours after I learned that the sheriff had my car and had been to, what seemed to be, everybody’s house I had ever visited looking for me. I didn’t sleep. I laid there ashamed, embarrassed, and scared, wishing I could erase the last 7 years of my life. I was released the next evening with a court date set in two weeks.
To make a long story short, I didn’t go to prison. By the mercy of God, the charges were brought down to a misdemeanor and I lost my driver’s license for 3 years. That was it. That was November of 2004. In March of 2005 I quit my job as a bartender and surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord did a quick work. By late August I was married and after our honeymoon we were on our way to bible college 1,200 miles away. Courtney and I have been in ministry since marriage.
I have had the opportunity to minister in different facilities in Ohio over the years and even in some prisons in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2017. I’ve seen the Lord show up in mighty ways to reveal himself to those incarcerated. I’ve seen people healed, set free, and born again. I have a heart for those who’ve been caught in a cycle of societal failure. God doesn’t see them as failures. Yes, there are consequences to actions in this life and if God wouldn’t have gotten ahold of me, perhaps I would be incarcerated somewhere. It is the heart of God to minister to those who have made the gravest of mistakes. In the scripture above it is clear. I started CJM in late 2019 after we arrived in Colorado. My heart was to go into the prisons and as I was completing all the training the Lord was enlarging the vision. I got to have one service in a level 3 facility, and it was amazing. Then Covid-19 happened and I haven’t been able to go back yet. I am believing God to go back in. In the meantime, He is leading us to minister via our website and we are praying about revival meetings that have been in our hearts for a long time.