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  • Writer's pictureAlong Side Ministries

When you mess up your second chance... then what?

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

October 2020

Sometimes, you need a second chance. Sometimes, a second chance isn’t enough. Or even a third.

But here’s the beautiful truth: Jesus never gives up on you. And neither do we.

Your support for Along Side Ministries saved Chrissy’s life ... even after she wrecked her second chance, her third chance, and her fourth, and ...

Her life was a tragedy. Pregnant at 14, married at 15, she partied hard. Tending bar, she plunged into the bar scene. She had another child. After a car accident, she got hooked on pain meds — opiates. At 20, working at a store, she was arrested for stealing from customers’ credit cards — spent nine months in jail — and lost custody of her children.

When she was released, Chrissy regained visitation rights with little Sierra, under 1 year old, and Cheyanne, 4. It was a second chance. But the party scene beckoned. Chrissy lurched in and out of rehab. Drugs undermined all of her relationships. “It was a rollercoaster ride,” she remembers sadly. “I would be able to stay sober for a little bit at a time, but not for very long.”

She finally got her children back, and landed a good job. A third chance. But the drugs had too strong a hold. “All of

a sudden, I was doing drugs again on a daily basis, not really caring about anything. Your addiction never goes away. It just sits there like a hurricane, waiting for you to come back to it. Once you do, it picks up right where it left off.”

By age 30, she was dating drug dealers to afford her habit. Then came a DUI — and six drug-possession charges. The court put her on probation. A fourth chance. She couldn’t stay off drugs. That’s when she fled to Arizona ... where she

and a boyfriend were pulled over for drinking and driving.

“When the police tried to pull us over, we fled,” Chrissy says. “I got two and a half years in prison.” She was 34 when she got out. A fifth chance. It was a disaster. Chrissy relapsed again — and this time, she ended up homeless. “I slept on the streets,” she recalls. “I stayed high the whole time to distance myself from where I was. I didn’t want to feel any emotion.... I don’t remember too much of those months.”

She was so desperate — for food, and for drug money — she broke into a food bank. The police caught her, and she went back to prison, for another two and a half years.

How many chances can a person get? How many failures are too many? When does

God finally give up on a person? Answer: NEVER.

The day finally came when Chrissy realized: Something had to truly change. “I spent so much time going through detox, treatment programs, AA, NA — and none of it stuck. I knew the answer must be with God.

The moment Chrissy finally turned to God, God was there. You introduced them. You sent Along Side Ministries into the prison where Chrissy was held. And the same way Chrissy once plunged into the party scene ... that’s how she plunged into a whole new life in Christ.

She attended our services in prison. We connected her with a volunteer mentor — who visited her every week, and who’s still journeying with her today. “We’re best friends!” Chrissy says with a huge smile. “She’s a very strong woman of faith, and I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Chrissy grew in faith. When she was released this past January, her mentor met her at the prison gate. “She brought me real clothes,” Chrissy says — her only possessions in the world.

Your support for Along Side Ministries gave Chrissy clothing, and a place to stay, food

to eat, bus passes to get around for job interviews. “Along Side has been there for me like

a family,” she says. “Everything that I needed, Along Side was there to walk beside me and

help me through it.”

As you read these words, Chrissy has a steady job in the medical field. She recently got a promotion. She’s planning on going back to school, training to become a substance abuse counselor. She’s mending her shattered relationships. She’s walking with God, strong in her faith. “I go to God every single day, ask Him to walk beside me and be with me in every decision that I make,” she says. “I know now that I can’t do it alone.”

When God is in the picture, things change. It’s not just a “chance” anymore. It’s supernatural. This is the amazing gift you give, when you support Along Side Ministries. You turn “chance” into authentic, tangible HOPE for someone coming out of prison.

Can you please give a generous gift of compassion to Along Side again today?

This ministry is heartbreakingly important. Two-thirds of the inmates released from prison in Arizona end up going back. Along Side reduces this number to just 10%. Instead of 67% returning to prison, 90% of our graduates succeed “on the outside”!

So please give as generously as possible, right now. And please keep in mind: 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.

May I please hear from you right away? Your generosity today can save the life of another Chrissy tomorrow. Thank you in advance for giving out of a heart of Christ-like compassion. God bless you for it!

Yours in Christ,

Ken Sheets

Executive Director

P.S. We really need your help today, because the pandemic has made it hard for us to get into prisons to minister to inmates like Chrissy. We can do it with live-streaming technology, but these systems will take more money than we have. Caring friends like you have given a total of $5,224 toward the $10,117 we need. We’re over halfway there! So I’m asking you, and every friend I have, to help however you can. Thank you again!

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