A Prodigal Son Comes Home
September 2020 • Newsletter
A lot can happen in 30 years.
When Thomas was sentenced to prison, largely for following in his father’s footsteps, his dad was still on the loose as a longtime member of the infamous Hell’s Angels. Three decades later, when Thomas was released, his father was a different man.
“He was on a dark highway out in Oklahoma one night when his truck skidded off a bridge and landed upside-down in a river. He survived. But at the hospital, God finally caught up to him. He hung up his guns, picked up a Bible and became a Pentecostal preacher.”
The news was so unexpected, Thomas had to see it for himself. But as a lifer on parole, he had to put in his time before the state would even consider allowing him to cross state lines. Thanks to friends
like you, Along Side was there to keep Thomas on the right path after prison.
“I’m on my 4th parole officer now. That says something about what Along Side does. Instead of parole officers outlasting me, I’m outlasting parole officers!”
After three years, Thomas was granted the opportunity to visit his dad in Oklahoma. One of our volunteers even went above and beyond and took the trip with him. Thomas never expected the kind of reception he received.
“After driving 1,005 miles together, there in the driveway was my dad. My father was a hardcore biker. He did hard time; he was a serious man. But I walked up and he hugged me, kissed me, even gave me a ring that had an eagle on it. I spent the best two days with my father. The last time I had seen him was 19 years ago, and that was through plexiglass. The best part was, there were no issues to sort out, no bitterness, it was just a joy to be together. That weekend, I got to live the prodigal son story.”
He credits Along Side with giving him the opportunity to experience such a unique moment. In an effort to help others experience that kind of reconciliation, Thomas recently accepted a position as house manager at Along Side.
“Especially for people like me who have been in for 20+ years, it’s challenging starting over. But you’ve got every opportunity to succeed with Along Side Ministries. The deck is stacked in your favor.”
P.S. As you think about giving, please note: Your gift can earn you a dollar-for-dollar credit against your state taxes, due to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. Claim up to $400 of your gifts to Along Side if you file singly, or $800 if you file jointly. Thank you again!