My name is Vlad* and I was a young man when I came into this country [from an Eastern-European block country]. I made some horrible decisions that landed me in prison with a life sentence. After a few years, as God began to work in my life I came across a program called Malachi Dads. And I signed up for it because it was a program based on scripture…changing your life through the word of God. And I had seen the power of God through salvation earlier in my incarceration.
After I graduated from Malachi Dads, I became a facilitator of the program. It was very rewarding in a sense that it taught me many principles that I need to apply in my life not just as a man of God but hopefully in becoming a dad one day.
The Lord Jesus saved me during the darkest time of my life in prison, and He really gave me hope and freedom even in prison. I was released seven months ago. I knew how to be a Christian in prison but I’ve never been a Christian outside of prison!
I’m still trying to get my footing as to how to live this Christian life because going from 25 years of routine, to living a life that is really new is challenging. But God has been so faithful to me.
I turned to God because I learned to lean on Him in all situations. He is a very present help in times of need. Through programs like Malachi Dads, I was able to let go of a lot of issues like anger…and other issues that I had to deal with for years. I was able to overcome them through studying God’s word and now [that I’m free], through being a part of a fellowship of believers that encourages one another and keeps each other accountable. Being able to share my story with them, that has been very rewarding.
* A pseudonym to protect his identity, (as some of his former gang members are still trying to seek revenge.)