Spring 2017 Alpha Prison Ministries Newsletter
“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)
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God Finds Atheist Drug Addict
A year ago I was 100% atheist and proud of it, then God found me. I was a drug addict and at rock bottom. I lost everything but my life. I had no friends or family that knew how to help me. I felt completely helpless and alone in this world. My girlfriend sent me a quote that said it best:
“I believe the more desperate we become for God, the more he can reveal himself to us.”
A friend at the time who was a Christian told me I would be going away, that I had some choices to make, I would get to know God and be part of a program, and my girlfriend would follow weeks behind me. At the time I had no clue what he was talking about.
Then a week later I got caught with components for manufacturing Meth so I got arrested for manufacturing and delivery. Two weeks later, my girlfriend got arrested for ID theft. While at the county jail, I started going to church service for social hour and so my girlfriend and I could pass notes to each other.
While at church I couldn't help but to start listening and it seemed like those church services were made just for me. I was shocked the service moved me, my eyes were finally open. I felt it where it mattered most—my heart. This was what I've been missing my whole life, it was God.
Suddenly I didn't feel so alone. I read the Bible cover to cover. I chose not to fight my case, God would put me where I needed to be. I was sent to prison to hopefully get some help that the county jail could not offer. I was put into the Chance for Life program.
Now hindsight is 20/20, I see how it was God speaking to me through my friend. It all happened. I have no doubt in my mind now it was God. He put me here so I could get help, get healthy, and most of all get to know him. Being on the outside this would never have happened.
I've devoted a lot of time to becoming a mature Christian, a stronger Christian. Since the beginning of my incarceration there have been hundreds of small miracles. It's not by chance these things happen to me, it's all part of his plan. I believe Grand Rapids is part of that plan. This is just the beginning of my story.
-Unsigned Alpha House resident testimony
Happy for Alpha Prison Ministries
Well as you can see I have a few things for you today. First, the letters from Will and Ray. I have to tell you, these two guys are truly fun to work with. They are in the Alpha class and in the group I was asked to lead. We really have such a lot of fun.
It really is such a joy to see God work in guys lives, and the joy he has given me to be able to sit and watch. It is truly awesome. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that Alpha Ministries is at this prison.
Next, as you can see, there are more necklaces in here. I would like to ask if you would give them to Lori and Elmer. They can give them to Mary and Carl. They do so much for us in here through TUMI. I could never thank them enough. God has given me the gift of being able to do these necklaces, and it is just a small gift of appreciation for them.
I truly am more glad today with the walk I am able to share with God than I was before. I was really lost when all of this stuff happened. And to be honest, until just a month or so ago, I still was. God has been bringing me back out of this state of depression I was in; and it has been by serving others.
I do believe I am here to help draw some other men out of their darkness Satan has them in. And in return God is filling me with joy seeing it. He has allowed me to be a part of this very important mission.
I know I always thank you but believe me when I say I cannot do it enough. Have a blessed day my friend. See you, Happy Leon.
God Has a Wonderful Plan!
God has a plan for us all. My main concern lately has become salvation for other inmates and my family. I have had the chance to witness to my cousin, her boyfriend, and their two kids…they asked me what convinced me to accept Christ. I replied, “When I heard that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that he would never leave me nor forsake me, I gave my heart to him.”
Here I stood on the phone talking to my cousin for the first time in 23 years, I explained to her that she too could receive this “free gift” and that God's grace is greater than any sin she had ever committed! She accepted Jesus Christ into her life.
She later sent me a letter to tell me her boyfriend also accepted Jesus Christ. God's wonderful plan for my life is unfolding today, moment by moment, and in ways I least expect! God loves you; I love you; and that's just the way it is!
PS: Now she is interested in following along in the one-on-one discipleship Bible study! God is GREAT!
Committed to Learning and Growing
My last letter through Jack detailed my spiritual journey and growth. Again, I am committed to learning and growing and sharing with my fellow Christians. I attend Alpha Ministries Bible studies every week with Al and Bob who are volunteers who run the class.
I am also participating in a group called 33 Series Men's Fraternity, run and sponsored by Turning Point. Plus, a group called Character First, run by Ron and Nancy, and Jack and Kathy. I believe their church is Ridgepoint. They are here in the Muskegon area anyhow.
Basically, I am doing all I can to keep my daily activities filled with positive and godly people. So far, I am thriving and I look forward to my classes and what I can learn and share for that day.
I wish I could write more often! I'll try to send you a letter once a month to keep in touch and to keep you updated. I hope all is well and to hear from you as well. God bless you in all you do.
Additional Prayer Requests by Letter
This is not from an inmate letter, but Jeff and Jackie sent the following hand written requests to us. These are not for APM or inmates but it is our privilege to ask prayer for other harvest fields where God has his workers laboring.
Pray for SonSet Solutions and the work they do with water treatment and sanitation improvements for the many countries they work with. Pray that God will use this ministry to promote the salvation message.
Pray for wisdom in working with Renew World Outreach and In Touch Ministries to develop the Lightstream monitors.
Alpha Prison Ministries' Finances, January-December 2016
Total $ Income: 92,913.34
Total $ Expense: 97,489.45
Net $ Income: -4576.11
Unless otherwise noted,
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
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