Richard was a man who’s money was his alter – and his life of money laundering and fraud landed him on the most wanted list.
Leaving his family and living on the run, Richard gambled away his fortune and was left feeling empty and ready to take his own life.
But there in a dark hotel room as he prepared to commit suicide – God intervened in the most supernatural way.
Richard’s story goes back to his childhood. He grew up poor with his mother working a minimum wage job while his dad tragically lost his life to cancer.
As an adult, Richard began to chase the pleasures of the world, always looking for the next money high.
But it eventually caught up with him and he found himself indicted on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering.
Not wanting to go to prison, Richard left his wife and skipped town with a large sack of cash and continued to lead a worldly lifestyle full of gambling and women.
But then his cash ran out and there was nothing left to fill the void in his heart – so he planned to commit suicide.
However, as he sat in his hotel room preparing to take his life, God intervened in a mighty way.
Christianity Today writes about the miraculous, lifesaving moment of his salvation:
“One evening, I duct-taped plastic tubing from the exhaust pipe and into the rear of the vehicle, aiming at a painless death the next morning.
Yet while surfing TV channels that night, I paused on an evangelist preaching about Jesus on the cross. Placing my hands on the TV set and crying, I asked Jesus to forgive me for all my sins and receive me as his child. It sounds like a cliché, but I felt a great weight lifting from my shoulders.”
Richard’s conversion was real. He began to feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction, which ultimately led him to confess his crimes to a Catholic priest – who called the authorities.
As a result, Richard was forced to deal with his past and face the consequences of his actions.
But even though he was in prison, Richard did not lose faith.
In fact, it was here that God replaced Richard’s idol of money with a newfound desire – to know and seek Him as the true source of fulfillment.
Richard ended up spending 18 years in prison, but used every second to dive into the Word and get to know God in an intimate way.
And although he is no longer in jail, Richard continues to serve in prison ministries and helps inmates come to know the forgiving power of Jesus Christ.
Christianity Today continued:
“Through it all, I would spend two to three hours studying the Bible each day, supplemented by hours of prison-ministry courses on the weekends. This gave me the strength to grow and never give up. I began teaching courses to inmates and preaching to the prison’s Spanish congregation, with one of my cellies translating.
Leaving prison six years ago opened up a host of possibilities for serving God. Today, at 75, I volunteer with the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, counseling men in federal and state prisons. I’ve given talks about how to survive prison to as many as 100 convicted felons and their families. In 2016, I founded Bezalel Prison Ministries to help ex-offenders readjust to civilian life.”
Richard’s story is yet another incredible example of how the authority of God is powerful enough to reach even the hardest of hearts!
Truly, no person is too far gone to receive the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Cheers to Richard for living out his faith and using his life story to lead others to Christ.
What a beautiful story of God’s redemptive grace.
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