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In 1997 I found myself in prison. I couldn’t really see at that time how my life was going to turn around, or a way forward. I can vividly remember in my prison cell, looking in the mirror and actually saying these words to myself: “Nothing is going to change my life”— the course of my life isn’t going to change.

My issues were drug addiction. I was an addict for ten years. I’d had a range of drugs, and really the drug that was my problem in the end was heroin. I was injecting heroin five or six times a day. My life ended up a mess, and I knew that going from prison that I was going to use heroin again. And I knew that clearly I would probably be dead in four months, because before I went into prison, the physiological state of me was a mess.

And I can remember as a child that I used to look at creation, and I used to think there has to be a God, just looking at the universe and everything in creation. But I remember as a child that I didn’t know God personally. I didn’t have that personal relationship with him, and I longed to maybe know him. But I went through life not knowing this God, not having this personal relationship with him.

I was on the wing one day and some Christians came in, and they were sharing their stories about how God had changed their lives, how Jesus had changed them. And they actually were guys from the same background as mine—they were guys who’d been drinking, taking drugs, been in prison. I can distinctly remember them saying that Jesus had changed their life.

And I can remember going back to my cell, and I asked the chaplain for a Bible. They got me a New Testament, and I began to read it and God began to speak to me as I was reading through the Gospels.

I began to see that actually there was something special about the Bible—that I’d never read something like this before. So I kept reading, God kept speaking, and then one day I just looked at it and I said: “I want to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’”.

So I said a prayer on my own in the cell. I said: “Lord forgive me for my sin—I’ve rebelled against you, and I’ve made a mess of my life. I need you to come in—I need to be saved.”

The more I was reading, I was reading about life after death, and where we go. And I came to that place where I said: “Jesus, save me, come in to my life. I repent of my sin, and I want to go forward with you.”

When I came out of prison, I went to a Christian organistaion who gave me a home for two years. I didn’t go back to using drugs, and thirteen years later I still haven’t used drugs. Whilst I was in this Christian home, I went back to college; I did a course in social welfare. I was offered an opportunity to do a degree in sociology —so I went to university and got a degree.

From there I met my wife, we’ve now got two daughters, and from there I’ve been to Africa three times, to Liberia, involved in preaching different books of the Bible.

And now I’ve gone the full circle. I go back into prisons, I share the good news of Jesus, that he can change your life. It’s a great privilege just to be seeing these young men, at the place that I was thirteen years ago, and just seeing how Jesus can change them—it’s a joy.