Finally set free for good

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Jake stepped off the stage and away from the podium. His eyes were like a flame of fire and the passion in his voice filled the room like rays of sunshine at daybreak. People were sitting anxiously, waiting to hear what God was going to say to them. They were waiting for hope to come in any form, they were ready to soak it all in and be refreshed by the message that was stirring Jake’s heart.

Jake stepped off the stage and away from the podium. His eyes were like a flame of fire and the passion in his voice filled the room like rays of sunshine at daybreak. People were sitting anxiously, waiting to hear what God was going to say to them. They were waiting for hope to come in any form, they were ready to soak it all in and be refreshed by the message that was stirring Jake’s heart.

“I was desperate and solitary confinement had pushed me over the edge,” explained Jake as he paced back and forth across the sanctuary carpet with large, round wide-open eyes. “Guys were hanging themselves every week and now the thought was becoming my new reality, my new escape.”

Everyone in the sanctuary was focused on the speaker who was tattooed from head to toe. His muscles bulged from beneath his shirt stretching the fabric to the point of the ripping apart at the seams like the Incredible Hulk. His life had been like that too as he fought, robbed and invented ways to harm unsuspecting victims on the streets of Las Vegas.

“I never went to church; I didn’t know about and was never taught about God. Incarceration was eating me up from the inside and hope was just some imaginary fairy tale that was completely absent from my world. I had made up my mind to kill myself the next morning and had taken one of my bed sheets forming it into a makeshift noose. Before going to bed I did something I had never done before, I dropped to my knees and prayed.”

Everyone was completely silent as Jake continued with his testimony.

The state of Nevada had decided that Jake was not redeemable and decided he needed to stay off the streets for life. His life was over now; there were no ways out; just four gray, cold concrete walls and a steel-locked wall.

Desperation was Jake’s friend now and it hung in the air like thick smoke from a fire. Jake dropped to his knees and pleaded with God that if He was real to get him out of solitary and back in with other people.

“God, I don’t know you, but if you exist then please help me,” mumbled Jake in a soft faint voice that only God, if He existed, could have heard. “If you don’t get me back into the general population and intervene within twenty-four hours then I will hang myself.”

The next morning Jake was summoned into court. His lawyer ran up to him and said, “Jake, you must be the luckiest man on earth – the state attorney is not pursuing the three life sentences and is dropping those charges against you.”

As Jake walked down the dank, poorly lit hallways of the solitary confinement unit and through the windowless blank walls of his cell, the guard told him to gather his belonging, as he was being moved to the general population where there were other inmates.

Jake could not believe that his prayer to God was heard, that God really existed and that all of this had transpired within the time-frame before hanging himself.

Trembling, Jake dropped again to the floor, thanking God for his mercy. At that very moment he dedicated his life to serving the One, True and living God.

“I’ll give my life to serving you,” said Jake softly from a kneeling position. “But I don’t know anything about who you are.”

Jake spent the next five years in five different Nevada prisons until his sentence was completed. In that time God downloaded the truth about who he was through a bible that another inmate had given to him.

God worked miracles through this man as he started five different churches within those five different prisons he was incarcerated in. They even held secret baptisms in the prison’s laundry facilities, which some of the guards allowed them to do.

There is much more to Jake’s story: he is supported by City Team of San Jose, California and runs an outreach in Mexico, which aids women and men who have nowhere to go. Jake is married and has two children. He is living proof that God is real; God cares for his children, hears their prayers and can open prison doors. There is nothing impossible for God!

Is your life like Jake’s? Have you lost all hope? Does it seem like there is nowhere to turn? Have you been considering suicide? Stop right now and drop to your knees and cry out to the God who created you.  Don’t wait today is the day of your salvation! God loves you and he wants to set you free!