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  • Writer's pictureAlong Side Ministries

When you look at Abel, you're looking at a Resurrection

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

April 2021

When you think Easter, you think new life.

And here at Along Side Ministries, thanks to generous friends like you, Easter is happening every day ... because God’s love is bringing a continuous flow of new life to men and women, in and out of prison!

I’d like you to meet Abel — one beautiful example of this amazing “Easter

dynamic”: When you look at Abel, you’re looking at a resurrection.

The product of a broken marriage, he was drinking by the time he was in high school — and repeatedly arrested. He ran with gangs. One weekend there was trouble, and someone got killed. Abel realized it could have been him. He wanted out. A different life. But he didn’t know how or where to find it.

He fathered a child, then another. He married. But the alcohol still had a hold on him — drugs, too. When he got involved

in another shooting, he went to prison for nearly 4 years. But prison didn’t inspire Abel to change for the better. “If you have low expectations for yourself,” he says today, “you keep running around in circles, like a dog chasing its own tail.”

As soon as he got out, he went back to the gangs — and the drugs. This time, it was crack. He got hooked. He also got caught in a drug bust — his young daughter was horrified to witness his arrest — and back to prison he went.

As the years passed, the guilt, the shame, weighed more and more heavily on him.

But the drugs and alcohol wouldn’t let him go. At 45 years of age, finding himself behind bars yet again, he finally, truly, urgently, wanted a different life. He started asking fellow inmates how he could get help on the outside. That’s where he heard about Along Side Ministries. He reached out to us ... and began a journey into new life.

Your generous giving enabled us to connect Abel with a mentor, and to welcome him into our Discipleship Training Center. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” Abel says with a smile, “but I was all in! ... I had a hunger to learn, and they were offering that!”

We gave Abel safe shelter ... a loving, supportive community of believers ... consistent Bible-based support ... and 8 months later, he graduated, a new creation in Christ.

Today, you wouldn’t recognize Abel as the troubled young man of his past. He’s been clean and sober for 9 years, and married to a lovely Christian woman for the past 5 years. His family relationships have been restored. He’s served in ministry here in our community. He’s earned a degree, looking ahead to a career in social work.

And his is just one among many, many lives touched and transformed by the power of God’s love through your generous support. Today, with Easter approaching, I invite you to give the gift of new life to someone else like Abel.

For someone who has known only bondage and despair, you can make this their first

Easter of freedom, their first Easter of hope.

Your Easter gift today can help you at tax time, too. Because of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, you can receive a dollar-for-dollar CREDIT against your state tax liability, as you give to Along Side Ministries today. Up to $400 of your gifts to Along Side can be claimed if you file singly, or $800 if you file jointly. You could wind up with a state tax bill of zero.

But the deadline is 4/15. So I hope to hear from you soon.

And I pray you’ll have a blessed Easter, as you offer new life to someone in prison! Thank you!

God bless you!

Yours in Christ,

Ken Sheets

Executive Director

P.S. On Easter Sunday morning, as you celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, you’ll have the joy of knowing that someone else is experiencing the resurrection power of God’s love, because of your compassionate Easter gift today. Thank you again!

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