Greg (not his real name) was a young man with two children who was a skilled concrete worker and carpenter. However, he had become addicted to heroin, and soon his life began to spiral out of control. Eventually he could not hold down a job and at the same time could not support his ever more controlling addiction. In order to keep himself supplied with his daily need for the drug he began selling it to friends and acquaintances, which put on the radar of local law enforcement.
Before long he found himself in the county jail facing multiple charges of possession and dealing a controlled substance. Not knowing where to turn he began attending chapel services and Bible studies offered in the jail. During those meetings he began to see that heroin was just a substitute for what his heart truly longed for, to know he was loved and important. Greg discovered as well how much God loved him and that he was important enough that His Son, Jesus Christ died to pay for his sin.
During a weekly Bible study sponsored by Prison Mission Association he began doing the PMA / Bible Correspondence Fellowship lessons as fast as he possibly could. Through the lessons his relationship with the Lord became ever stronger and he learned to appreciate more and more what God’s grace really meant. He also found that the dispensational teaching in the lessons helped to explain some of the contradictory things that were presented by the various groups that came into the jail; some saying he needed to be baptized to be saved, others that he should be speaking in tongues and still others claiming he could lose his salvation.
By an act of grace he was released from the jail after about two years without ever having to go to a state prison. During that time he faithfully attended the PMA Bible studies and became a close friend of then PMA director Don Sommer. After release he became involved in a solid church in his community and became a leader of a ministry in the church that helped people with addictions similar to his own.
Things have not been easy for Greg since his release. Prior to his incarceration he had developed a staph infection in his hips which left him in extreme pain. After his release the infection returned and required that he have a double hip replacement, while still in his 30’s. It took many months before he recovered and it significantly impacted his ability to do the physical labor he had been used to. He and his wife also had an infant daughter born with a congenital heart defect who died at less than a month old.
Despite all these problems Greg continues to faithfully serve the Lord and rejoice at the opportunity he was given for a new life, one full of meaning and purpose living in the will of God.