Maurice Bork: My baby sister died when I was 9 and I blamed and hated God until I was 29. I had attacked a Christian, Sept. ’88, leaving him for dead and I was in the hole. His [Cory’s] response was he forgave me because if he did not, then God would not forgive him. I came to know and love God out of Cory’s forgiveness and learning who God was from Isaiah. In 1996, I began Distance Learning Seminary supported by three very conservative Presbyterian congregations. 18-1/2 years later I earned my Th.D. I am one who was called out of the darkness by God. I will point out I was happy in my old miserable life of sin. I did not want to change. But God reached down and touched my heart and I will attest to the statement of God the Son when he stated, “They who are forgiven much; love much”. I do love my Lord, my master, my king with every ounce of my heart, mind and soul. My one and only desire is to be obedient to all He commands me through His word. I try harder each day. God’s word is the key to our victory over our flesh, the world, and the liar of the world who has no power over God’s chosen children. That child does not give up! Be strong in Christ.
Jeffrey Brooks: I can remember the day that I finally surrendered, sitting in a prison yard in San Diego on my first term. I had been running the streets for about 8 years, in and out of county jail, doing stupid little crimes. Every time I was arrested, I would get clean and sober and get into reading the Bible, but I never really understood what it was all about. I felt good whenever I was locked up. Clean, healthy, spiritual, just felt good. Then I would get out and be ok but before I knew it, I was right back into my old ways. I remember going to court and my lawyer said that I was going to prison because the D.A. said no more county jail time. I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. Right after I left the courthouse I stopped and looked up and said, “God help me.” In Reception I was reading my Bible and I heard them call for church services. I signed up to go. To be honest I just wanted to get out of my cell. It was a good service and they said if anyone had not received Christ and wanted to be baptized they had a service coming up the next month and we could put our names on a list. So I did. Soon after I felt a sort of peace in myself. I continued going to services and reading my Bible and met some good Christian brothers. I was released from prison, owned my own company, and was grateful for all the blessings but I had stopped going to church and wasn’t reading my Bible or giving thanks. I just got too busy. I relapsed and here I am. What a blessing. Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.
David Chehovich: God has done so much for me throughout my life and all I did was let Him down. All the times I prayed and asked God to get me out of trouble and my prayers were answered time after time. God would answer my prayers for financial help and to keep me out of jail. He’s helped me no matter how much I let Him down and I started feeling guilty about praying to Him for help. I actually felt that I owed God. I was at this point in my spiritual journey until recently when I learned that God always wants us to pray to Him and that it’s best if we pray unselfishly for someone else. I learned that Jesus had never given up on me even though I was still getting in trouble. It took me 56 years to finally declare my obedience to God and I actually stay conscious of my actions, asking myself if God wants me to do that, whenever I’m confronted with a situation. I’m much more at peace and my direction is clear. My life is being a Christian, a follower of Christ.
Sean Church: God came to me in a dream and when I woke up I was still in prison. But God gave me a realization that what I was missing was my relationship with Jesus. (Jer 1:5) The “hole” in my heart I was trying to fill with drugs, gangs, sex, etc., I needed God to fill. I am now at Teen Challenge getting the rest of my life restored to develop a personal relationship with Him and to finally forgive myself for all the pain I’ve caused others. (IICor. 5:17) It is not an easy thing but Jesus said in Matthew 10:22, “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Thank you for adding me to your discipleship. I need constant prayers.
John Coney: From the beginning of my walk with Christ, God has revealed Himself to me in profound and often times dramatic ways. From that first encounter with the Holy Spirit, He has shown me His love, forgiveness, mercy and power. It is not possible in this short space to recount all God has done, in and through my life. Suffice it to say the reality of who He is will never be shaken from my soul. Over the past 40 years, He has allowed me to raise 4 children, earn a B.S. degree in Biblical Studies, and M.A. in History, teach Government and Economics, supervise 3 jobs, and pastor an A/G Church in San Jose, CA. God’s grace has kept me through a divorce and the death from cancer of my 2nd wife. When I hit bottom 7 years ago and the cell door shut in the county jail, I hit my knees and rededicated my life to Christ. Since then He has allowed me to minister to the men at 3 prisons, and He continues to prepare me for the end times ministry to which He has called me. I love God completely!
Kirk Galvin: I was born and raised in the church. However, when I became an adult, I fell away… I hit rock bottom in the county jail and became a born again Christian. God has brought much peace and grace to my life. I am grateful to have my Bible studies and other Christian brothers here on the prison yard with me. I like to pray each day and I go to church 4-5 times a week. I am way happy to be part of the D.O.C. family. May God bless you and all of your loved ones.
Tomas Infante: I lived an ugly life style almost my whole life. I thought when I had a lot of money I was in heaven. I didn’t read the Bible till I got in prison in 2013, then I read it from Genesis to Revelations, 7 or more times. An inmate invited me to church to see a movie titled “God is Dead”. Watching the movie I was convicted by the Holy Spirit. Tears were falling down on my cheeks. I know now that God used that man so that I could be saved. That is the starting point to seek our Lord and Savior. When I surrendered my whole life to the Lord, I asked Him to use me. I was a deacon in xxx State Prison. Our Pastor Harry allowed me to give a sermon in our church. Here in xxx I share a lot of my messages to the inmates.
Terry Jarrell: When I got locked up this time I gave myself to our Lord Jesus Christ and ever since then I have been serving Him.
Treaver Johnson: God has blessed me with the knowledge of the 10 Commandments that I know and follow. It helps in times of trouble. I also accepted Jesus in my heart as my Savior to free me of sin. I love to learn and read the Bible. It strengthens my religious practices. I also always try to put God first. I love my life with God.
John King: It took me a very long time and numerous incidents for me to realize that the only good thing in my life that I’ve been ignoring and rejecting is God’s love for me. I’ve been in prison for a total of 26 years. Not all at once mind you. This is my fourth time in prison and I always was lead in the wrong direction that I could live my life in and out of prison with no Spiritual guidance. Boy, was I wrong all these years. Peer pressure caused me to shy away from giving my life to Jesus. It is( and probably always will be considered a weak way to live in and out of prison) but recently I God opened my eyes and realize that it takes a very strong person to live, accept and teach the ways of the Lord. I’ve lost everyone and everything in my life because I didn’t want to go against the grain of prison life. I haven’t heard from or gotten any mail for over two years now but I can say for the last few months I’ve been a lot happier. I’ve been reading my Bible and praying. I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have a lot more of myself to share and can’t wait to do so. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to begin this new transition in my life. God Bless You
Melissa Longoria: After many trips to jail, I would gather a few good books to spend my time reading, but this time around I picked up a Bible. This is a first for me. Although I find myself scared at times, I am also excited and even feeling comfort more everyday. I am currently fighting my case and happy to find Michelle and thankful that she referred me to this organization which will help me with my new life.
David Noriega: March 16, 2016 in Tom Green County Jail, I understood that there is a God, but I never had believed or trusted God because I was in my evil and sinful ways most all the time. I have spent twenty-one years incarcerated for my drug addiction to cocaine and meth. I finally realized that I must make a change in my life. With the help of my family, which has never given up on me, and God, who was always there helping me, I was ready to move forward on my righteous walk toward Jesus Christ and to become the best possible Christian that I can be. Though I was going through tough times, I also I am willing to spread the Word of God to everyone who is willing to hear about our Savior. May God bless you all and take care of each and everyone of you forever.
Charlie O’Dell: Well it only took two days out of prison before I got jumped on the streets by four active gang members. I was beat good. Three days later same episode at a different location… both eyes swollen shut .. My girlfriend, Patty, doing her best to play doctor. Well, it happened three more times, the last two were in the same day by seven of the gang members. The first time I was beat and kicked in the face, broken eye socket and cheek bone so I prayed on it and it was put on my heart to go and let those guys know that I’ll never serve man. I walk with God. Yeah, I was beat so bad that I laid in a hospital bed for 33 days recovering and thinking I cheated death. No, I did not. God saved my life. I asked my parole agent for a program and two days later I’m in jail for being around active gang members. Well ladies and gentlemen, listen, there’s always something better in store. I was blessed with only a parole violation and God put on the judge’s heart to order a half way home for me. Praise God, it was a blessing in a real big costume. I needed it. Now I know I will only serve the Lord. Not man!
Sergio Quezada: God has saved me by putting me in prison because I was out of control, doing drugs, and not caring for my kids. I didn’t care about anything but getting high. I asked God to change me inside and outside.
Jim Retamal: I do believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and I surrendered my life to him with all my heart, mind, and soul. Before I committed my crime I usually would go to church with my family every Sunday. Now that I am in prison I still go to church to learn more about God and to feel the Holy Spirit in my heart. Church gives me good understanding. I learn how to forgive those who hurt me and those I hurt. I pray for them. It is hard to forgive them, but our Heavenly Father forgives us so we must also forgive them. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I thank you Lord Jesus for saving us by giving up your life for us. John 3:16-17
Paul Roberts: Sept. 18, 2017 I celebrated my 39th year behind bars. April 20. 1980 I was baptized in San Quentin State prison. I’m enthusiastic about life. I program and watch the Board for anything positive about LWOP in California. I am maturing in Christ but need help sharing my faith. I still feel like a new Christian and need ways to help me speak out more & share my testimony with others.
Robert “Russ” Russell: I’m a 3rd generation convict. The last generation was wiped out in 48 days. I was “club raised” in an outlaw bike club. In 1992, on November 15, Christ became real to me and at 8pm that night I bowed the knee. My Hard/Tough Guy persona was instantly changed by the awesome love of God.
Larry Sage: I am a sinner! I am also a born again Christian. The one and only reason that I am alive to write you today is God’s unfailing love for me. Years of drug and alcohol abuse, I put myself and my loved ones through so much suffering. Both my parents were addicted to pain medication & introduced me to the same lifestyle. I took it to the extreme using needles. I have lived many years with fear as my companion, afraid that at any time I could lose one of my parents, girlfriend, or best friend to an overdose. Whether or not I died didn’t seem to matter too much to me. I placed no value or importance on my life. I was dead inside. At the time I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did. I’m 34 now and in the last 15 years I have spent over 10 years behind bars. I was in prison when cops raided my parents’ house and took them to jail. What the cops didn’t seize, our crooked landlord stole. We lost everything we ever owned all at once. Still it took a possibly fatal car crash that I walked away from to open my eyes. I found God in a jail cell. The verse that opened my eyes was Psalms 139. I knew then that God had been with me all along. I wish I could say that life has been perfect since then; it’s a constant struggle. But I no longer feel empty or alone and I’m happy to say that my parents are doing better. Through Christ my life has a new meaning and purpose and I am truly happy. Thank you Jesus!
Michael Solomon: When I was 10 I had problems breathing at school. My mom came and got me and took me to my grandmother’s and went back to work. I was struggling to breath but didn’t want to worry her. My grandma asked if I was okay and I said yes. She left the room and when she came back to check on me I couldn’t breathe but couldn’t tell her because I didn’t have enough air in my lungs. She grabbed my hand and told me to get on my knees to pray. She knew by the time I got to the hospital I’d be dead. She prayed and then told me to say, ”Thank you, Jesus” and to repeat that over and over. She said, “If it takes your last breath I want you to give it to God!” In a blink of an eye I was saying, “Thank you, Jesus.”! I had my wind back. When I got to the hospital they said I had an asthma attack and they didn’t know how I made it. I gave God my last breath and He gave me life. Glory to God. Thank you Jesus.
I have gone through too many storms. I hospitals, ran over, been shot, stabbed, over dosed, died and brought back to life, in and out of prisons, jails, camps, juvenile detention. I’m tried of this life. I want to live the right way, have a good life, goals, dreams and grow closer to Jesus. I know from now on I must put Jesus before anything and I shall do it with all my strength and all my heart, all the days of my Life. Glory be to God!
Christian Usher; I am 27 and today my celly and I were having problems which have been going on for a few weeks and I have been getting closer and closer to losing it and fighting him. I didn’t know what to do. Finally I asked my neighbor/new sponsor what I should do and he told me “Ask God to give you strength. Relax, and don’t lose your cool because it’s not worth it”. Then he said, “Christan, take some time, sit and really, really talk to God.” So I did and I asked God to help me to not lose my cool and help me get through this without getting in a fight. Right after I had an overwhelming feeling of being at peace and all my anger and bad thoughts went away. To me there is nothing better than knowing God has my back no matter what! I am proud to be a born again Christian. I am proud to be a new member of D.O.C.
David Virgo: All my life I’ve been chasing money, drugs, women, and power in a wild and crazy corrupt world, thinking I was someone special, involved with motorcycle clubs and organized crime, working for people with lots of money. I’m currently doing multiple life sentences in prison because my life was in crisis. I knew right from wrong. I’ve known Christ since 1997. He’s saved me from myself over and over. A life in Christ means more than reading the Bible or going to church. It means commitment to Jesus in everything we do in our lives. He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (1John 4:4) This means everything. Christ living in you really does change you. Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. (Eph 4:15) Loving knowing Him is what make the changes in us. Speaking to Him non-stop through your day. Trusting Him, believing and receiving Him, knowing in our heart, soul and mind that He’s there. He brings true peace and comfort and love to life in ways you cannot explain. No amount of money or drugs or power has ever made me feel what I feel in Christ. When I wake each morning I feel complete. I feel right. I feel alive. I feel His presence in everything now. In John 14:6 Jesus say, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” And I go to the Father first each day through Christ who has given me a real life in Him, and the Holy Spirit works over time training me to be a better man. Jesus forever!
Shannon Zumbrunnen: Homeless, outside the Salvation Army, I prayed to Jesus to help me find a way to put some distance between me and my heroin addiction. A week later, I was in jail on my way to prison where I will be doing 1 year for an accident. I spend time every day in Bible Study and trying to gain knowledge to help me not backslide. One day out of the blue, my child writes me and says she forgives me and understands why I left home and desires me in her life. She tells me my boy would also like to begin a relationship with me. They would like me to come home & meet my 5 grandchildren. I have been so blessed by this. So now I pour out my heart into my Bible and Christ trying to be sure I have the tools to fight Satan and all I will be faced with once I am released from here. I also want to have good things to offer my family. With Christ’s help my future looks bright. Jesus brought my family back, Amen – I haven’t seen them in 20 years. They are my miracle.