Ronald R. Baker, Chaplain
In 1978, after being out of God’s will for a long time, I was incarcerated for using and distributing controlled substances. I had turned to drugs to dim the reality of a failed marriage and the abduction of my two children by their mother after being given custody about one year earlier.
Their mother had remarried and wanted to visit the children, and I agreed that was a good idea. After the third visit, she did not bring the children back. I received a call and was told by their mother I would never see them again. I contacted the local and state officials, but no one would help me. She had moved to another state with the children and I had no idea where she was.
After awhile of trying to do things through the legal channels, I started becoming very frustrated because of the lack of any concern from the law. I started trying to drown my problems in alcohol, but it did not work.
I then got involved with speed because I wanted to stay awake and stay messed up so that I could try not to dream about my children. After I used drugs for a while, I saw there could be a large profit in buying the drugs in large qualities and selling them. This way I got my drugs free. Nothing was free and I paid a horrendous and appalling price.
I lost all concept of any morals, not that I was very moral before all this started, but things got worse with the constant use of alcohol and drugs. I found I could justify anything I did, and as the law couldn’t care less about my problems, I couldn’t care less about their laws. I got involved with many people who used drugs and had very little contact with anyone that did not use them. Finally, my heart had hardened and all I cared about was being high. It showed in my work and in my family life. I did not even go around my mother very much because of my condition. You would not have known me if you saw me straight, because I was high all the time. Most of my time was spent in searching for drugs or selling them, so I could get the money to buy stronger drugs.
All this, along with a complete disrespect for the law, eventually brought me to court, then jail. God, in His mercy, gave me a chance to get out of all of this, but I chose the lifestyle I was living over and over. I got a 20-year sentence for possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of drugs. However, those four charges (each with a 5 year sentence) were run concurrently by the mercy of God allowing those 5 years to satisfy all four charges.
I started my journey back to the Lord I had accepted as a young child, but during my incarceration I did not turn all my sinful lifestyles over to God. I kept anything of sin in my life that would not get me incarcerated again. I did not think about the Almighty wanting me to turn my entire life over to Him. So, I left prison only to return to a life full of sin, and without Christ’s direction, I was soon right back to the old life of crime. I was incarcerated again with a 13-year sentence, and as a parole violator, it would be a long time before I would see the outside of the prison fence.
This time, I really got into the Word and saw a great concern of the various prison ministries for the lives of the individuals in the jails and prisons. I watched how unselfish they were to take their valuable time to bring the Word of God to a sinner such as I was, one of the least of these, but not yet His servant. I had felt God calling me to the prison ministry during the first incarceration and put it aside because Satan said, “How could Jesus ever use someone as sinful as you have been?” Satan did not say this to me in a supernatural voice. He used the voices of many of the people I thought to be my friends; ones I looked up to as being more in tune with the Father’s will than I.
After three times of being refused parole, I fell on my knees before God and He showed me He wanted me to give up all sin to Him. He wanted to use me in His service, and I must turn all over to Him. Once I did this, I made parole, and through His power started going back into the prisons, later forming Rehoboth Jail & Prison Ministry.
Do you have something you still need to turn over to Jesus so you can get closer to Him and be in the center of His will? God bless you all.