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  • Writer's pictureAlong Side Ministries

It happened to Pete Cano. He just got out of prison after 30 years inside.

June 2021

Think back 30 years: Where were you in June of 1991? Who were you?

Can you imagine going away back then, detaching from the world, and emerging for the first time today — 30 years later?

It happened to Pete Cano. He just got out of prison after 30 years inside.

He’s got an uphill battle ahead, trying to rebuild his life outside of prison. But Pete isn’t alone. He has a friend. He has you. Your generous support for Along Side Ministries means you’ll be there for Pete, helping and guiding and praying and cheering him on, every step of the way. You’re giving Pete hope for a whole new life.

Hope is something that’s been in short supply for Pete, most of his


In fact, just learning that his mother was going to have a baby, Pete’s father abandoned her. His stepfather was a heroin addict, and took young Pete along on his drug pickups. The heroin made the stepdad more and more abusive over the years, until finally Pete ran away from home — at just 13 years of age. At 14 he was involved in drugs himself, carrying a gun, involved in gang shootouts. Yet by God’s grace, Pete always made it out


Then one horrible day, running from the law, driving under the influence, Pete crashed into another vehicle. Both Pete and the passenger in the other vehicle went to the hospital. Pete went directly from the hospital to the county jail.

“I got to my cell, and there was a bookshelf with a Bible,” Pete remembers; “it was the only book there. I grabbed it and cried out to God to keep the passenger of the other vehicle safe. But that person ended up passing away two days later. I cried myself to sleep.”

His long list of priors landed him a sentence of 25 years to life.

In prison, he began studying the Bible. He soon gave his life to the Lord — baptized in the infirmary bathtub. But Pete knew he needed more ... he needed to mature in his faith ... so he applied to join our Along Side Ministries program.

With your support, our ministry team had the joy of faithfully journeying with Pete — and witnessing his transformation.

ASM’s team members “don’t care where you come from, what you’ve done,” Pete says. “They still bestow the love of God upon you. They want you to succeed, inside prison and out. The love of Christ is exuded from their ministry.”

Bottom line: “There’s always hope in Jesus!”

Pete’s ASM mentor was there to greet him the day he walked out of prison, after 30 long years. “It was a surreal day,” Pete recalls. “When I was first arrested, I used to wake up thinking it was all a bad dream. When I finally got out, I could hardly believe it was happening.”

Two days later, on New Year’s Eve, Pete saw fireworks for the first time in three decades. “It felt like I was being ushered into a new life,” he says.

He was — by God’s grace — thanks to you. But the adjustments are real. Pete didn’t even know how to use a smartphone — they didn’t exist 30 years ago. He has a job, but he’s still learning to budget, to build a base of independence. He’s also attending twice-a-week Bible studies designed especially for people transitioning to life outside of prison, and he’s in our discipleship training program.

“I’ve seen a lot of people released from prison with nothing waiting for them,” Pete says, “and they resort to their old way of living.... That’s why I chose ASM. I knew I needed that foundation to sustain my faith continually. I’m getting that and more here. They provide overwhelming support, encouragement, they build you up.” (You are building him up!)

Pete dreams of returning to school and becoming a counselor. He’s already on his way, certified as a peer support specialist, helping other former inmates. “I know what they’ve been through,” he says, “and I feel that I can help them make better decisions — and share the Gospel.”

Your love, your generosity, is being multiplied through Pete’s life and witness. But someone else like Pete will need you to come alongside them tomorrow, as they emerge from prison into the wide, uncertain world. Your gift today will make the difference for them. Would you please give generously?

We’ve received a tremendous NEW HOPE Matching Challenge — so any gift you give today will be matched dollar-for-dollar, its impact literally doubled, up to a total of $55,000. So please be as generous as possible — to take full advantage of this awesome opportunity!

Your generous donation right now will bring life-transforming HOPE into the lives of twice as many people like Pete.

Please get back to me quickly. Thank you for giving the gift of HOPE! God bless you!

Yours in Christ,

Ken Sheets

Executive Director

P.S. “I always wanted to change but I never knew how,” Pete says. “I wanted peace but didn’t know how to find it.... I once was lost, and now I’m found.” His testimony today reflects your love. Please help others like him by giving generously right now — and your gift will go TWICE AS FAR through our Matching Challenge!

Thank you again!

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