June 7, 2017
The impact of what God is doing in Texas prisons is beyond what you can comprehend unless you have been a witness to it. Men and women alike are being raised up in the ways of the Lord and changed forever by His love, forgiveness, and mercy. Armies are being raised to fight the enemy that strives so desperately to keep us all in chains. And from within these walls comes the next generation of preachers, teachers, and evangelists, mightier than any generation before. Prepare yourself. They are coming your way.
When I first entered Torres Unit I left my expectations behind. The only thing I did expect was to be used, though I had no idea how. My own life has been impacted and changed in ways I could never have imagined as I have been privileged to walk with people that society deems ‘the most broken, dangerous men.’ To me, they are just men whose sin is no greater or less than my own. And when I look at them, I see God’s army rising up, not the tragedy of their crimes. They have taught me more in the last 3 months, than I have learned in years sitting in a church pew. I have seen God take murderers and turn them into preachers. He has turned rapists into teachers, thieves into mentors for others. I have seen devil worshippers give their lives to Christ and beg for Bibles to learn more. I have witnessed gang members walk away from the only life they have ever known and come together with members of rival gangs in love and support as the body of Christ. These very same gang members know that when they make a public declaration of living for Christ, it is going to cost them something. In their eyes, the blood they have to bleed to leave their gangs is a small price to pay for them to experience the love of Christ. For some of them, it costs not only blood, but family ties, and sometimes, their very life. There have been numerous lives lost to gangs as they wait for these new believers to be set free from prison and then they are chased down and given a choice: ride with Jesus or ride with the gang. When they choose Jesus they are killed on the spot. Yet, they still come forward, month after month, choosing Jesus.
Never underestimate the power of Christ, the power of love. I have witnessed miracles behind those cinder block walls and metal gates. These men have become my family and support, teach, and fight for me every day, as I do them. I cannot wait for them to meet my family, my kids and I can’t wait to meet theirs.
And when they get out, they are coming to a church near you. Will your church accept tattooed ex gang bangers that killed somebody? Men that have more fire in their souls for Jesus than your oldest, wisest member. They are being raised up to set the world on fire. Are you ready?
My niece is incarcerated, she has become a Christian. Several months back U-Too Ministries conducted a 6 - 8 week Bible Study at the prison she is in. Every night after Bible Study she would call me and would share with me what a blessing and help the Bible Study has been to her. Just this week she called and told me that Bro. Tom and his wife drove to Brownwood to hand deliver a Children's Bible to her 4 year old grandson. She cried tears of joy when she got word of this. Thank you U-Too Ministries for all you do. God bless you as you labor for Him and minister to those who otherwise would not be ministered to.
My name is Corina, and this is my story. I'm 16 years old, and that's very young, but I guess you can't necessarily choose when incredible things happen in your life. I'll start with when I was 11. The first traumatic thing I experienced was when I learned that my oldest brother was using crystal meth. He was in and out of jail and mental health facilities for a while because of it, and it tore our family apart. It got so bad that I wasn't allowed to see him anymore. Because I was so close with him, it broke my heart. That was the first type of emotional pain I've ever felt. He's much better now, he's very healthy, he started his own business and has a beautiful baby girl and another on the way. I see him pretty often now and I'm very grateful for that. The next traumatic thing was finding out that my uncle had been raping both of his daughters since they were 6 years old. They didn't speak up about it until they were 18, they were so conditioned to it happening that they didn't think it was wrong. They didn't press charges. He's still free. I developed several trust issues from this considering how many times I stayed with them and it could've happened to me. I didn't really trust anyone after that.
The summer of my freshman year, I got into a relationship with a very toxic person who drained me. He put me through hell. But I stayed with him anyway because I thought I loved him. We'll call him T. He sticks around for a while, but he'll resurface later in my story. A year later, June of this past summer, my mom attempted suicide. She took several pills, was care - flighted to a hospital and death was guaranteed. She stayed in a coma for three whole days. For three days, my family and I were worried sick if she was going to live or not. She finally woke up, started healing and was put in a mental health institute for two weeks, then came home. It was a very long and painful process. I'm very close with my mom, she's one of my best friends. It broke me. After that, I became bitter and prideful. I didn't trust anyone, I was never happy, I never stayed home. One day we got into an argument, she gave me a choice to leave or not and I left. I moved in with T. He told me he would take care of me. I met U-Too, and decided to help them give out hamburgers one day. This was probably the best decision I've made in my life. I met some incredibly beautiful people who completely changed my life. I met LaRoy and Jason, who took care of me and bought me groceries. LaRoy is my second mom. I'm still very grateful for them. So then, T and I got into a fight, and he kicked me out, knowing I had nowhere else to go. Jason, one of the people I met at U-Too, literally saved me that night. I'll never be able to thank him enough for that. Turns out, that next morning Jason threw a birthday party for me because I spent my birthday money on bills. They made it very special for me, and it made my entire summer. So then, I made amends with my mom and moved back home, where I am now content and happy. I stopped talking to T, which was a big deal considering he consumed almost two years of my life.
Jason baptized me on October 16th. (which also changed my life) The day I was baptized, T didn't say a word to me because he was an atheist. I cut him off then, because my God is much more important than someone who can't respect my faith.
Because of U-Too, I am now much closer with God, and I am better. My mom is also better, she has a puppy now after she said she'd never get one, she tends to a garden, and she goes to church as well. I'm very proud of her, and I'm not ashamed of her or my story, because they both made me who I am today. Now, I continuously find myself happy with who I am and where I am, and I am just happier in general. I thank God daily for bringing me these wonderful people, because I know they'll be here every step of the way, watching me grow as I fulfill His plan.
So tonight in San Saba...I was telling the girls about the new Kansas city U-too location. ...Regina asked if she could share some good news..I said OK, she went on to tell us that you should never give up praying for your parents because her dad received Jesus recently, and he is sixty three...She went on to say it started when his grandchildren received children's Bibles from Misty Robertson who delivered them for U-too ministries. God works in awesome and mysterious ways if you are willing to allow Him to use you!