Damien* had lost everything during his wrestle with drug addiction. His home, his family and friends were all gone.
Eventually, he was caught stealing machinery from his boss’s worksite to pay off drug debts and that’s the day he lost his job… and his freedom.
Damien’s first memory of prison was sitting at a table with murderers and drug dealers, but there was something different about them.
There was a kindness and genuineness that wasn’t ‘normal’ amongst hardened criminals. One of them handed him a bible and explained that they had each become a Christian while in prison, thanks to the prison chaplains.
Damien was curious but it wasn’t until something truly incredible happened that he decided to explore it further.
There was one prisoner everyone feared. He was angry, violent and unpredictable, prone to angry outbursts that resulted in multiple injuries to other prisoners.
Finally, much to the relief of his fellow inmates, this prisoner was put into solitary confinement, where he was allowed no visitors.
One of the prison chaplains was able to get permission to put a bible in his cell. Months later, when he finally emerged, this prisoner was completely changed. No longer angry and violent, he had become gentle and humble. His transformation was truly miraculous.
He explained that during his months in solitary confinement, with nothing to do but read the bible, he had experienced the love of God through the pages and used his time alone to reflect on every word, finally giving his life to the Lord.
That was enough to convince Damien that God must be real because nothing else could have changed this hard man so completely. Damien started going to weekly chapel services and regularly attended bible study with his Christian brothers behind bars.
Today, Damien has finished his prison sentence and is a regular at his local church, along with his daughter. He was able to rekindle a relationship with her after his release from prison and she was able to see the Godly man her dad had become.
Together, they recently attended the baptism service of one of Damien’s fellow inmates.
Damien said he’s not sure where he’d be without prison chaplains, who change so many lives behind bars, including his own.
* Name has been changed and stock image used.