Growth Takes Time

David is a 36-year-old man who has had his share of struggles in life. At a young age David became involved with the wrong people, started getting into trouble, and by the time he was 18 years old he was in prison serving a life sentence. Inside prison David continued to choose the wrong people as friends, and soon he found himself inside of a prison in a prison (segregation).

While in segregation, David did what he had done many times before; he cried out to God for help. He asked God to bring someone into his life that would help him learn how to be a better person, and someone to guide him through a spiritual change. God answered this call for help by connecting David and the the news reporter who had covered his case. This wonderful woman spent many, many days writing and mentoring David, and through many prayers and a constant spiritual battle, she finally broke through to David and he gave his life to Christ. This choice has made an unmeasurable change in David’s life, and the lives of many others also.

After serving 16 years David found himself sitting in front of a parole board hoping for freedom, but not really expecting to receive such a precious gift. But God had great grace on David, and the Board of Prison Terms found David “suitable for parole” and sent his case to the Governors desk for review. After reviewing David’s history, and seeing his accomplishments (Two AA Degrees, disciplinary free time, TUMI studies, etc.), the Governor signed his parole papers and shortly after, David found himself a free man, in a scary world…

While inside prison, David had received a college degree, and had joined the The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) program, a 3 ½ year seminary program. There are 37 TUMI classes in 20 California state prisons, fully funded by Serving California. Each student is required to follow a strict, 16 module curriculum, which earns 24 college credits. In addition to funding the TUMI program in California prisons, Serving California also funds multiple transitional housing partners in 9 separate counties. These transitional housing providers are a direct link in reintroducing our TUMI students into the community and reducing recidivism.

David paroled to one of our partners, The Eternity Challenge, located in the Sacramento area. At first David struggled. Having gone to prison at a young age did not help, as David did not have any real world experiences; submitting to authority within the home, working, managing finances, as well as every day activities that had never been “normal” for David. But David was surrounded by men who had great faith that Jesus Christ truly changes lives, and these men never gave up on David.

David, a former gang member, a convicted murderer, is now doing exceptionally well. He has worked as a construction worker at The Eternity Challenge, he is involved in ministry work in the community, and working towards becoming an effective spokesperson, while he continues his Bible studies, mentors other men, and is enrolling at William Jessup University to continue his academic studies and obtain his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. David’s goal is to live a lifetime of serving men and women who choose to follow Jesus Christ and change their lives in the same manner as David.

This life that has been changed is directly the result of people supporting Serving California financially, as well as prayerfully. Serving California is blessed to be involved in the lives of men and women who are seeking to serve their communities and change lives through faith in Christ. Serving California is able to finance the TUMI program, as well as financially support transitional housing partners, and do much more for formerly incarcerated persons when people like you support Serving California.

David’s journey is far from over, but so far he has done well and made quite an impact on everyone he interacts with. Everyone, from parole to friends, all thank you for your personal support. Without you, without your prayers and actions, David’s struggles may have overwhelmed him and he may have recommitted a crime just to survive. Praise God David has your support!

Please keep Serving California in your prayers, and take a few minutes to check out our ministry.

www.servingcalifornia.org