Inmate Testimonies

Read testimonies from inmates whose lives have changed through the RUInside program.

TESTIMONIES OF FREEDOM

Enjoy reading and sharing these stories of people who have found help through an RUInside ministry near them. We have used only their first names to protect their privacy, but many of them have found the Lord as their Savior in a jail or a prison.

“EVEN THOUGH I’M BEHIND BARS, I FINALLY FEEL FREE!”

By Patricia

I grew up around alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother said he was very abusive, but I don’t remember much of my childhood; probably because my mind chooses to block it out. My parents divorced when I was 9 years old and my mom, younger sister, and I moved to another city. She never drank when she was with my father, but started drinking once they separated. One day, my mother had invited some men over, she passed out from drinking too much and the men tried to touch me and my sister. I told my dad about it and he came to pick us up the very next day. From that point on, my dad quit drinking and tried hard to raise us to the best of his abilities. He worked, cooked, cleaned and made sure we were fed, clothed, and safe from harm.

I started drinking when I was 11 years old and I was constantly in trouble. I was sent to an institution for kids at the age of 14 for a 2-year span because I was constantly in jail for consuming alcohol as a minor. After jail, I was put into a foster home for a while until I turned 18. I returned to my hometown and fell back into drinking, smoking marijuana, and cigarettes. The patterns of my destructive lifestyle only lead to spending more time in and out of jail.

I will be 42 this summer and I’m back in jail, this time for hurting my 12 year old daughter while I was blacked out from drinking. This incident made me feel devastated, ashamed and guilty. I felt like my life was over. I was transferred to the jail in (city), which is where I was introduced to the RU Ministry. I started attending at first as a means to get out of my cell, but I started listening to what our leader had to say and I started reading the material she gave me. It was as if God was speaking right to me. Suddenly it all made sense and I decided to give my heart to Jesus.

Nothing has worked for me before. I’ve tried going to treatment facilities, AA meetings, and even managed to stay sober for a year [in my own power] but I was miserable, unhappy and not very fun to be around.

I feel so blessed and I know that I need Jesus in my life. He has been teaching me every day and filling my heart with his love. Even though I’m behind bars, I finally feel free! It’s hard to explain, I was so down and out when I went to jail, but now I see that it was all a part of God’s plan for me. I’m using the time that I’m in jail to get to know God. I am so excited to tell people about God and how great He is!

With God’s Love and Prayers,

Patricia

Patricia

Even Though I'm Behind Bars I Feel Free!

“From Abuse to Good News”

By Patsy.

My name is Patsy. I am incarcerated at (name) County Jail in (city, state) and I have been here since my arrest on June 26, 2013. My charges are First Degree Domestic Assault and Armed Criminal Action. I am awaiting my trial on January 6th as well as my pre-trial, which is scheduled for November 13th.

I was brought up in a Christian home with my dad, 4 brothers, and 2 sisters. Everyone in my family believes in Jesus, and we have all been saved and baptized. My mother passed away in a car accident when I was 17.
I’ve been lost ever since I was little. When my dad died, I started drinking off and on. Since the drinking started, every boyfriend I have had, I have met at a bar. When I was 22, I had my first “real” boyfriend who was a heavy drinker; with his drinking came physical abuse. As the years went by, I turned to drinking as a means of entertainment and to numb the pain of abuse. I was so severely beaten in 2009 that I almost lost my life; I began to drink even more.

I started helping a disabled friend and in exchange, he offered to pay for my living expenses. With this relationship came a new kind of abuse: emotional abuse. If he felt I wasn’t spending enough time with him or giving him the attention he desired, he wouldn’t pay my bills. I would seclude myself and drink until I felt “healed” enough to return to work. A vicious cycle of working and drinking consumed my life.

Later on, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even suffered multiple head injuries from multiple men. Within the last 2 years I have suffered more than I have in my entire life combined. Leading up to the day I was arrested, I found myself homeless and unable to provide for my own basic needs; I was also involved in two destructive relationships between the disabled man I was caring for and my alcoholic boyfriend at the time. On the day of my arrest, my boyfriend had started beating me in the head and I attempted to defend myself, however since he was bleeding and I wasn’t, I was the one who was arrested.

I prayed and prayed for God to change my situation and improve my life. Now I can see that the Lord brought me to jail to protect me from further abuse, to help me get sober and to lead me to the ministry of RU through (Name) Baptist Church. I first attended RU on July 11th and I’m so grateful for the ministry! I have been sober for 4 months now; the longest I have been sober since I was 17. I hope and pray that God keeps giving me wisdom, strength, and knowledge every day so that once I leave here, I am able to continue my life in sobriety. I now desire to keep my life and my heart clean; I have a new-found hope for my life. I look forward to Friday nights and being able to help others like me, who have struggled with addictions. I want them to know that they are loved by God and that he doesn’t want them to suffer. I thank God for bringing RU into my life because I don’t feel hopeless, lost and alone anymore.

Please pray for my upcoming trial, as I ache to be free to worship the Lord outside of jail.

God Bless Your ministry!
Patsy

Patsy

“Amy’s Story of Hope”

By Amy

I am Amy and I am 54 years old. I have been in pain since as far back as I can remember. My mother had an affair with a married man between her first and second marriage and I was a result of that affair. She was always telling me that I was a mistake and “the devil’s spawn”. She tried to give me away to her sister, but her sister’s husband wouldn’t let her take me. I was always treated differently than my mother’s other kids.

I was around five when two of my mother’s brothers started touching me and having me touch them in places and in ways that were sexual in nature. The summer before I turned six, they had sex with me. The pain was excruciating. The one uncle stabbed an ice pick through my knee (the scars are still there) and told me if I told anyone he would kill me, then my brother.

To write down everything would be a book, so I will just summarize. When I was about 8 I got into a liquor cabinet and drank some Johnny Walker. It made me sick but it also made the pain go away for a while. Needless to say, it started a lifetime of addiction to alcohol and drugs.

I ran away from home at 10 years old, which started my time in the “system”. Until I turned 18, I was in and out of reform schools, detention centers, job corps, and foster homes. One of my foster homes, the old man sexually molested me. I ran away a lot.

I came to the conclusion that I was put here for sex. I could never get close to anyone. I realize now that I felt that I didn’t deserve to be treated well or wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love. Sex and drugs were my way of life forever, an endless cycle, it seemed. I gave myself away or sold myself. One always led to the other. I have worked the streets of New York City and L.A. My bottom was a cardboard box in West Side LA. I went to a rehab and managed to stop “using” drugs for almost16 years. Something was missing. I started using again at 49 years old. Again, I ended up losing everything and wound up in jail at 53. That’s where I finally found out what was missing. Jesus Christ is my salvation. Through Him this great big hole that has always been inside me that I have tried to fill with sex, drugs, men, and material things is finally not just filled, but over flowing!

The RU program I am attending has helped me to gain a peace and understanding that can only be found with God. The people in the program shine with God’s light and make me feel loved and welcomed. I never before wanted to be around people who went to church. My two uncles were deacons in the church. My RU family is exactly that… MY FAMILY! God is good every day.

One more important thing; I have been beat up, raped, robbed with guns, bayonets and machetes, I’ve OD’ed at least a dozen times. I should be dead. God has watched over me my whole life and He has a purpose for me. I am blessed to have a loving and giving spirit despite what has been done to me and what I’ve done to myself. God HAS ALWAYS LOVED ME!!!

Amy

“I’M SO HAPPY THAT GOD, UNLIKE MAN, IS MERCIFUL”

By Oscar

At the age of 47, I find myself back in trouble again. I was doing great. I was working 40-60 hours per week. I was bearing the load of my family. I was in and out of the hospital and still making it back to work. I felt I had to do whatever was necessary to feed my family. Now I am once again incarcerated, facing too much time. As you can see, I depended on myself and not God!! I started the RU program to study the Bible. The realization was spontaneous that I have a problem. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here. I realize that when you don’t keep God in your life, that gives the devil permission to manipulate you and strengthen your iniquities. I do realize there’s a price to pay! Violating the laws of our country and even worse, God’s law! I’m so happy that God, unlike man, is merciful! The RU program is magnificent, and I am so happy to be a part of it. I’m here in (city, state) under Director (name), and these guys are doing a great job. Thank you for your time.

Oscar

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