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  • Writer's pictureAlong Side Ministries

If there ever was a Thanksgiving moment... This was it.

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

November 2020

Danny had plenty. His dad was military. His mom had a good job.

They lived in Mesa. If you’d known them, you would have said, “Nice neighbors. That Danny, he’s a good kid.”

And you would have been right. Danny never did drugs, never got involved in a gang, never committed a crime.

Until ... graduation day. Like so many high schoolers, he “celebrated.” That day sowed the seeds of disaster into young Danny’s life.

Yes, he went to church. He read the Bible. But he wasn’t grounded in his faith. His drinking, in the background of his life, kept intensifying. He dropped out of church. Distanced himself from his church friends. By the time he turned 21, he was primed to plunge into the club and bar scene.

“My alcoholism became worse,” Danny says. He lost his job. “Everything spiraled out of control faster than I

could think.”

He tried to regain his bearings. But he couldn’t manage the alcohol. He was only 23 when he got his first DUI. His second DUI, at age 25, was a felony; he went to prison. Then a third DUI.

He lost everything — without a license, he couldn’t drive anymore; but he kept drinking. When he finally worked enough, and saved enough money to buy a car, he went right back to drinking and driving.

The fourth DUI, when he was 30, sent him to prison for a decade. Nobody in the world — no relative, no friend — would help him.

In prison, desperate and alone, Danny returned to the Word of God. He asked the Lord to help him. And that’s where you showed up: Your support for Along Side Ministries sent us to Danny at just the right moment.

Danny had already been in prison five years when we arrived — He was ready! If ever there was a “Thanksgiving moment,” this was it. “It was a no-brainer,” Danny remembers: “I’ll join ASM!... It was just something I knew the Lord was leading me to do.” Danny needed a fresh connection to God’s grace.

You gave Danny a Thanksgiving gift: You helped give him the rock-solid spiritual foundation he urgently needed. “I’ve never looked back,” he says today. “I’ve never stopped serving the Lord ... reading, studying.”

In January, Danny was released from prison. We were still there for him ... making sure he could succeed on the “outside.” His Along Side mentor Dan stuck with him. Every step of the way, in this new life, Dan was there for Danny.

We also provided a place where Danny could live, for a while ... not a “shelter,” not a “halfway house,” but a true discipleship training center. Here, we provide Danny and others with the leadership they need to succeed in life. It’s an environment of correction, and mercy. It’s an experience of grace.

Along the way, your support of the ministry provides the practical basics: Transportation, meals, utility bills paid. Your generosity has helped us get Danny to the DMV, and the doctor’s office, and the grocery store. How do you get a haircut, if you can’t drive? Your generosity says, Here, I’ll drive you.

Together, we’ve helped Danny land a job. As he grows in Christ, he’s also laying a foundation for the future in a practical sense.

Your generosity helps hundreds of inmates and ex-convicts like Danny. You help strengthen them in their moment of greatest vulnerability. When they walk out of prison, they’re caught in the crosshairs of life. All their old enemies — alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, crimes — everything from their former life is beckoning them again.

But the strength of God’s Word, the Truth ... the day-by-day support of a caring Christian mentor ... makes all the difference. And this month, your gift makes twice the difference!

You read that right. Some close friends have agreed to MATCH every gift made to Along Side Ministries – up to $100,000! That means your gift of $25 becomes $50, $100 doubles to $200, and $500 instantly becomes $1,000 ready to help an inmate or an ex-convict at exactly the right moment… the “God moment” that made all the difference for Danny.

So I’m asking you to give as generously as possible, to double your impact in the lives of the men and women we serve! 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 in advance for sharing the gift of grace with someone like Danny. I look forward to hearing from you soon. And I pray you’ll have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Yours in Christ,

Ken Sheets

Executive Director

P.S. On Thanksgiving Day, as you celebrate God’s blessings, you’ll have the joy of knowing someone else is celebrating too ... thanks to the gift you doubled today! God bless you for it!

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