Bryan, Sentence 19-75 Years

June 4, 2012

In 1988, I was in jail in Pittsburgh awaiting sentencing. It was Sunday morning and they were announcing the morning worship service. I wasn’t about to go. Then a guard came to my cell asking me why I wasn’t going. I told him flatly I didn’t go to church. Three times he came back to ask the same question. I finally agreed to go if he left me alone. I know God was trying to save me because I was planning to kill myself.

I went to the service but don’t remember the sermon. Afterwards, in my cell, I had such a heavy heart (heavy laden) and still wanted to die. Then the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit came over me (Isaiah 61:1) because I truly was broken-hearted, captive, and bound, now physically as well as mentally. Falling to my knees, I asked Jesus to forgive and help me (Psalm 51).

From then on I started seeing, hearing and even feeling the presence of God in my life. The people God has placed in my path for the last 17 years has been amazing and that especially goes for the Yokefellows volunteers.

Being part of Yokefellowship in SCI Somerset and SCI Greensburg, I have learned so much of God’s love from the Word and exactly how and what God has planned for my life. Yokefellow volunteers have shown me through their actions how Christians are suppose to be (James 1:22,23; 1John 4:7-12; 17-21).

I’ll tell you how an inmate like myself can be an effective witness for the Lord. I’ve been through a lot: sexual abuse, mental abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, no education, no father, and a Mom who did the best she could raising 5 children alone! I believe a born again Christian, set free from these bondages, has more wisdom to deal with those who are living these foolish lives. They can’t lie and deceive me.

When I was 14 years old, I started looking for a man to fulfill my void of not having a father in my life. And, as most young boys do, I ended up looking up to my uncle who was and still is a drug addict, thief, womanizer, etc. Which is part of the reason that I am now doing 19 to 75 years prison sentence.

You see for me, I would never had known the true love of God without seeing, hearing, and feeling it through the Yokefellows and pastors I have met over the last 17 years. These Christians have touched my heart like I’ve never felt in my entire life. I cried for days after my transfer from SCI Greensburg.

Yokefellowship is so strong and anointed of God that it has showed me, a young man of 18, now 35, that no matter how bad I was or what I did, God forgave me and continues to bless me if I continue to do as Psalms 1 and Joshua 1:8,9 tells me. God will see me through.

Remember this! I wouldn’t be the man of God, brother, uncle, son, nephew, or friend that people tell me they love today without the love of Christ and the love of the Yokefellows I’ve met and Lord willing will continue to meet, even after I come home July 2007!!!!