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Locked in Solidarity: Freedom

Locked in Solidarity: Freedom

When I started corresponding with Dan over five years ago, I had no idea the trajectory of my entire ministry would change. Dan had been sentenced to 20 years to life for a gang related homicide and was nearing his release date. He wrote me, expressing the desire to finish his TUMI (The Urban Ministry Institute) education. Our seminary-level training for under-resourced leaders had made such a difference in his life he wanted to continue it upon release. A few months later saw his release and since then he has, in his own words, stuck to me “like bubble gum on your shoe.”

Amazing things have happened since his release. As it is turning out, Dan is among the first of many TUMI re-entry leaders God is bringing to San Diego and other cities across our country. Not long after Dan was released to San Diego, God saw fit to allow another TUMI leader, Martin, to be released also. Martin and Dan ministered together on the inside for years and now the Lord has led them to do the same on the outside. About three years ago, they went through World Impact’s Evangel School of Urban Church Planting resulting in Pillar of Fire Church of San Diego.

Not only has God brought Dan and Martin into my life, he continues to bring more each month. I have learned so much from each of these guys like resilience, faith and overcoming fear and anxiety. It isn’t easy for these guys to make the transition from institutionalization to freedom. 

As they walk in faith in the God who makes all things possible, my faith is strengthened too. I am honored to call these men friends and co-laborers in the Gospel. They have made the redemption of God more of a reality to me and am so thankful God has placed them in my life. Now the whole direction of ministry has changed for me, I have a passion for seeing more of these men and women released for church planting, ministry and Kingdom advancement in under-resourced communities around the world. 

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This year we are joining CCDA's efforts to create the space needed to listen to stories of people in our communities who are directly impacted, to learn about the greater impact of mass incarceration, to pray, and to engage public sector officials who have the power and position to impact change. Check out their resources here.

More Locked in Solidarity stories:

Transformed Life

Grace

Inside the Walls

How Visiting Jail Changed Me

Mercy and Justice

They Are my Brothers


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